Novel Goggles Blog

Getting Started with Novel Goggles

Author: Lionel Basson

7 November 2022 13:00

Last Updated: 6 December 2022 13:00

Sign Up and Log In

Getting started with Novel Goggles is easy! Simply sign up for the free trial (no payment details required), verify your e-mail address (if you're not receiving the verification e-mail, check your junk mail folder) and log in. Once you've logged into Novel Goggles, you'll see a pop-up showing you the Getting Started image, also displayed below: Getting started with Novel Goggles: Diagram

Peruse the image if you want to see the steps to getting started and get an idea of what the buttons in Novel Goggles do. Once you're done, you can close it. Remember, you can open it again from the link at the bottom of your Projects Dashboard, which you will see after closing the image: Projects Dashboard

Below the Project creation dialogs, there are useful links to the Getting Started Diagram , Novel Goggles FAQ and the Novel Goggles YouTube Channel .

Create a Project

From the Projects Dashboard, simply create a Project by filling out the Title and Description fields and clicking the Create Project button. The new Project will be created, automatically synced to the Novel Goggles remote servers, and the Project Dashboard will be opened: Project Dashboard

Create Characters, Worlds, Locations and Manuscripts

In the Project Dashboard, you can edit the Project Title and Summary, create Manuscripts and Manage Assets. If you click on the , you can create characters. Clicking on the will allow you to create World Maps and Locations. Characters and Locations that you create here will be associated with this project and you will be able to associate them with scenes in your Manuscript later on. For more on creating Characters, Locations and World Maps, check out the guides on YouTube:

You can also watch the Getting Started with Novel Goggles video to get started with your Plot Outline and Writing your Manuscript:

Create a Narrative Structure, start a Plot Outline and Start Writing

To start a Plot Outline or to start writing your Manuscript, you need to create a new Manuscript in the Project Dashboard. Fill in the Title and Premise fields for the Manuscript and click the Create Manuscript button. The new Manuscript will be created, linked to the Project, synced to our remote servers and the Manuscript Dashboard will be opened.

In the Manuscript Dashboard, you can edit the manuscript title, premise and author, as well as create the high-level Narrative Structure for the Manuscript out of Acts and Sequences. If you're not sure about Acts and Sequences, you can use one of the handy templates provided or create a simple structure with one Act containing one Sequence, just to get going. We're working on a blog post all about Narrative Structure and how to make use of it in your Plot Outline and Manuscript Writing: Premise, Narrative Structure, Plot Outline and Novel Goggles

Manuscript Dashboard showing the Narrative Structure Templates

Once you have created Acts and Sequences for the the high-level Manuscript Structure, the Manuscript Dashboard will show these Acts and Sequences groupings. If you used one of the templates, the Act and Sequence descriptions will contain helpful hints at what plot elements are usually contained in each part of the Narrative Structure. You can edit these to suit your needs, or, if you created a structure manually, these fields will be blank and you can fill them with whatever hints you like: Manuscript Dashboard showing the created Narrative Structure groupings

Towards the top right of the Manuscript Dashboard, under the Writing & Detailed Plot Manipulation heading, you will see the two buttons that will take you to the Manuscript Writing and Detailed Planning contexts. The Detailed Planning icon will be greyed out and disabled if you have not yet created any Acts and Sequences for your Narrative Structure. While you can enter the Writing Context without creating a Narrative Structure, most of the Novel Goggles features won't be accesible to you so this is not recommended.

Clicking on the Detailed Planning button Will open the Detailed Planning Context for the Manuscript. The view you see will look similar to what is displayed in the image below. In the image below we have already created a Chapter in Act I Sequence 1 and a scene in that chapter: Detailed Planning Context

In the Detailed Planning Context, you can start creating your Plot Outline by creating Chapters and Scenes and filling out Chapter summaries and Scene Sketches. You can also drag and drop Chapters to change their order and move them to different Sequences. Similarly, Scenes can be dragged and dropped to change their order and move them to different Chapters. When you move Chapters and Scenes around, the position of the Manuscript contents will also change when you open the Writing Context again.

Since this post is just about getting started, there are additional advanced features that we will not cover in this post:

  • Create a Calendar and assign Scene dates on the resulting Timeline (You can see the Calendar creation dialogs at the bottom of the image above).
  • Character Developtment/Progression Tools.

  • World Map and Location Tools.

  • Pace, Tension and Climax Planning and Evaluation Tools.

  • Story Arc Creation and Viewing Tools.

You can find out more about these features in the links listed at the end of the Post under the section Useful Links

If you have clicked any of the buttons in the list above, clicking the icon will take you back to the default Detailed Planning view where you can manipulate Chapters and Scenes.

To start Writing your Manuscript, you can click on the icon in the Detailed Planning Context (visible to the top right of the screen). You can also access the Writing Context directly from the Manuscript Dashboard, Project Dashboard and Projects Dashboard by clicking on the same icon in those contexts. Once the Writing Context is opened, you will see something similar to the view displayed in the image below: Manuscript Writing within a Narrative Structure, with the active Scene panel visible.

In the Writing Context, you can write your Manuscript while viewing and editing your Scene Sketches for the active scene. You can create new Chapters and Scenes using the right-click context menu, traverse the manuscript and view Location Details for linked locations. Remember, changes you make in Novel Goggles are automatically saved and synced to the Novel Goggles remote servers. Clicking on the Detailed Planning button visible to the top right of the screen will take you back to the Detailed Planning Context.

If you want to write without the distaction of the Scene and Location Popups, you can use the Focus Slider at the top right of the sceen to Hide Panels: Manuscript Writing with Scene and Location Panels Hidden

Or if you find even the menus distracting, you can move the Focus Slider to the Dim Menus position, which will hide the panels AND dim all menus: Manuscript Writing with Menus Dimmed

That's all for this post. For information on other Novel Goggles features and how to use them, check out some of the links below. Also check out the other posts on the Novel Goggles Blog.

To help you get started with Novel Goggles, here are some useful links:

While there is nowhere to comment on the Novel Goggles Blog, please feel free to drop us an e-mail if you have any feedback on this or any other piece:

Terms & Definitions

  • Act
  • Antagonist
  • Chapter
  • Character Arc
  • Character Development
  • Character Progression
  • Climax
  • Conflict
  • Denouement
  • Deuteragonist
  • Exposition
  • Foil
  • Inciting incident
  • Love interest
  • Mentor
  • Narrative Structure
  • Opening
  • Outlining
  • Pace
  • Pantser
  • Pantsing
  • Plot Outline
  • Plot Point
  • Plotter
  • Plotting
  • Point of View
  • Premise
  • Protagonist
  • Resolution
  • Scene
  • Sequence
  • Setting
  • Sidekick
  • Story Arc
  • Tension
  • Theme
  • World Building

Did we forget anything? Let us know if there is a term or definition that you would like us to include: