Novel Goggles Blog

The First Novel Goggles Beta Release is Now Available

Author: Lionel Basson

7 November 2022 08:00

Beta Release

Exceptional Invention (Pty) Ltd has released the first open beta of Novel Goggles, the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) that helps writers focus on creativity while streamlining the creation of story structure, outlining, character progression and world building.

Exceptional Invention is a small independent SaaS developer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Established in 2020, Exceptional Invention aims to provide innovative SaaS tools to users in various spheres. The first tool that Exceptional Invention has developed in this journey is Novel Goggles.

The Novel Goggles Saas has been developed for writers, with the aim to streamline the process of creating and evolving story structure in a way that allows the writer to focus on creativity. With Novel Goggles, writers have access to tools and contextual information that facilitate story plotting at any stage of the writing process. Writers who want to plot out their entire story before-hand can create scene-by-scene summaries, setting descriptions and character progressions. This information is then available while writing in a context-sensitive manuscript editor. Writers who prefer to let their creative flow run wild but struggle to later mould their fragmented story into a cohesive, impactful whole can freely update plot details while they write and move scenes and chapters to fit with their changing story outline. Writers who fall between these two extremes will find that Novel Goggles is flexible enough to be of value to them as well, allowing them to easily jump between planning and writing at any time, using various Novel Goggles contextual pop-ups and different views.

Exceptional Invention has been developing Novel Goggles since 2020 and we feel that the web application functionality has now matured enough to allow interested writers around the world to try it out. Exceptional Invention has launched a limited open beta of Novel Goggles, allowing anyone to Sign-Up for a free 7-day trial and making 200 seats of the paid Novel Goggles Pioneer subscription tier available. The 7-day free trial allows users access to all the features of Novel Goggles and fits around the user's schedule by only counting days that a user logs into the Novel Goggles web app against their trial limit. The paid Pioneer Subscription Tier is intended for users who found value during the free trial, are excited to use Novel Goggles, and want to help us grow and improve the platform. Pioneer subscribers pay discounted prices, will always have access to all features and the highest account limits and get access to early releases. The initial beta period of Novel Goggles will last until we are happy with the stability and performance of Novel Goggles and are sure that opening the platform for wider adoption will not impact the experience for existing and new users.

Novel Goggles Features

The features available during the beta period include:

  1. Create multiple projects to manage your manuscripts, characters, locations, and world maps.

    Users can create multiple projects, allowing them to make notes and evolve story ideas for new projects while focusing their writing and editing efforts on a primary project. For those who like to work on multiple projects at once, you can do that too.

    Novel Goggles Projects Focus Marketing Image

  2. Create a story structure, detailed story outline, and story timeline. Traverse your outline by structure, chronological, character or story arc order.

    Each manuscript has its own story structure, created using the available templates or by creating Acts & Sequences manually. You can then create Chapters & Scenes within this structure and move scenes and chapters around by dragging & dropping them. Each manuscript can also have a story calendar with associated timeline. The story outline and manuscript can be traversed by structure order, chronological order, character arc order or story arc order.

    Novel Goggles Project Focus Marketing Image

  3. Create multiple manuscripts in a project and share character, location, and world map assets between projects.

    Each project can have multiple manuscripts, allowing you to create your trilogy or series in a single project. If you prefer to use separate projects for the different books in your series, you can do that by sharing Character, World and Location assets between projects.

    Novel Goggles Manuscript Structure Marketing Image

  4. Character progression: Create character notes for each scene and evolve character traits; Traverse your story by character arc.

    Select strengths and weakness for dynamic characters and evolve these traits for every scene that they are in. Make scene notes for each Character and see them progress with graphs.

    Novel Goggles Character Progression Marketing Image

  5. Locations & world building: See scene notes and setting information on the map.

    Upload your hand-drawn maps or image collages, then create locations in your story's world. Setting information for the active scene can be overlayed on the map and scene notes can be viewed as well.

    Novel Goggles Locations & Settings Marketing Image

  6. Write with story outline, setting and character information immediately available. Easily traverse your manuscript by structure, character arc, story arc or location order.

    Detailed scene, setting and location notes pop up to the left and right of your manuscript as you change the scene you are working on. The right-click menu allows you to view character information or create new characters, chapters, and scenes. Manuscript snapshots allow you to look back at older versions of your manuscript and the traversal tools allow you to traverse the manuscript using the selected scene order.

    Novel Goggles Manuscript Editing Marketing Image

  7. Plan & evaluate story pace, tension, and climaxes.

    Plan your scene-by-scene story pace, tension, and climaxes against the backdrop of the Act & Sequences structure of your story. Then evaluate the perceived pace & tension against your plans and adjust, as necessary.

    Novel Goggles Pace, Tension and Climaxes Marketing Image

  8. Plan, evaluate and visualise story arcs. Traverse your manuscript & outline by story arc order.

    Create Story Arcs in the Story Arc Grid and then drag scenes onto the grid. Link scenes into story arcs that branch and merge, then traverse the story according to the story arc order to see scene and setting details for each scene. You can also traverse the manuscript using the same traversal tools.

    Novel Goggles Story Arcs Marketing Image

  9. Write without distraction in Focus Mode.

    Let your creativity run wild without distraction by disabling popups and dimming menus.

    Novel Goggles Manuscript Focus Marketing Image

The Novel Goggles beta release allows writers who want to improve their craft to take an early look at the existing features as described above, try them out, and see how Novel Goggles can help them write better stories. Exceptional Invention will be using the feedback from these early users to improve Novel Goggles and to grow it in the direction most useful to writers. Anyone who signs up can use the bug reporting and feature request functionality within the Novel Goggles application to provide feedback. Subscribers to the Novel Goggles Pioneer subscription tier will be helping to support us as we continue to work on Novel Goggles and release new features and optimisations. After the initial Novel Goggles beta period has ended, Pioneer subscribers will continue to have early access to future features as they become available, and their feedback will help to shape Novel Goggles and steer development priorities.

We hope that writers around the world will be as excited as we are about Novel Goggles as it stands today and the potential it has for writers at all levels going forward.

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:

Find out more

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: