Screenshots: Beemgee

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Screenshots is a regular feature by Simon Groth, highlighting a project, app, or other resource of interest.

An online authoring tool

Beemgee is a web-based tool designed demystify complex narrative, breaking it down into its components, and step its users through the minutiae of storytelling, one concept at a time. Essentially, it is a storyboarding tool, using a card-based interface to provide a broad overview of a project. It guides its users through the often mechanical processes writers undertake—character profiles, switching between chronology and narrative order—cleverly integrating them into an engaging visual design. Beemgee’s bet is that these tasks can be approached step by step, like baking. Maybe they’re right. But storytelling is an idiosyncratic process and the inevitable assumptions all tools such as Beemgee must make are unlikely to suit all writers. Having said that, this tool’s real value may yet lie not so much in the creation of new stories, but in the breakdown and analysis of existing ones.

As a web- based tool, it also comes with built-in caveats. Using an app within a browser window is not for everyone. Even widely adopted apps like Google Docs have always felt to me like swimming fully clothed. It also raises concerns about the long-term storage and accessibility of its data. But Beemgee does bring a fresh and well-thought-out approach to the tricky business of story planning.

Beemgee is available to try for free online with the option of a subscription for additional features.

Simon Groth is a writer and editor whose works include Infinite Blue (with Darren Groth) and Hunted Down and Other Tales (with Marcus Clarke). With if:book Australia, Simon created a series of award-winning experimental works including the 24-Hour Book, live writing events at writers festivals around the world, and works of literary remix.

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