with this post we would thank Michel the author of the interview Bibisco, the Italian Open Source for Writers, published on 17th February on the blog Extra Vergine D’autore. If you want to read the interview in Italian you can find it here, otherwise, here’s the translation!
For a person like me, used to write with pen and paper, deciding to convert completely myself to the digital has been a dramatic step. No binder to collect notes, starting points or entire chapters. Only electronic sheets. Gathering the ideas all together has been more complex than predicted. I heard about a solution: softwares dedicated to writers with many functions to organize their romance, but I’ve always found them too complex and not suitable to my way of working. One day, by chance, I bumped into Bibisco, whose freshness and simplicity convinced me.
My new novel is growing thanks to this software, this is why I decided to interview Andrea, the creator.
Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Andrea Feccomandi, 41 years old, I was born in Milan, but I grew up and I live in Bologna. I am a dad in love with my two kids and their mum. In addition, I am an informatic engineer, CTO of a software house, voracious reader, keen on basketball, music, cinema and tv series.
Now, let’s talk about Bibisco, your software dedicated to writing; where did the idea come from?
Since I was a child, I was interested in reading. and turning 20 an urgency of writing came to me . I used to spend my evenings in front of my text editor writing a word after the other, following the story I had in my mind. But every time I read my lines, I felt a deep sense of delusion. I didn’t understand why, but it didn’t work. After many attempts, I abandoned the enterprise and I dedicated myself to finish my studies in Engineering, to read and to live as a twenty years old guy.
Many years later, the same urgency of writing came back to me. This time I followed a different approach, and I started studying dramaturgy. Everything got clear. First of all, I realized that the idea of writing guided only by the sacred fire of inspiration, is quite naive. Secondly, I understand the most important lesson: the engine of every single story is the internal conflict of the protagonists: an inner need, a desire to realize, or an external situation to afford. Without a conflict a story cannot exist. This is why what I wrote couldn’t work!
So, if everything goes around characters and their conflicts, it’s clear that novels can work only if their characters are believable. And this happens when the complexity of their human nature emerges: values, deficiencies, contradictions. It’s clear that to create believable characters it is necessary to know deeply all the aspects that characterized them:physical aspect, behaviour, psychology, ideas, their life before the beginning of the story.
I understand that the easiest way to know them is interviewing them. Due to the fact that I am a developer, I decided to create Bibisco. Bibisco is a unique programme where you can: develop the characters through a list of questions; define the architectural elements of the story; organize chapters and scenes; write with an advanced text editor.
Could you describe its characteristic?
Bibisco is a software for Linux, Mac and windows. It is divided into sections, and you can reach them from the menu:
- In Project there are suggestions about dramaturgy that could help writers, especially the principiant, to find they way of working
- Architecture: here it’s possible to define the architectural elements of the novel: premise, fabula, settings and narrative lines.
- Characters: you can develop them interviewing with questions about all the aspects of their lives.
- Places: all the places present in the novel are described here; per every place it is possible to associate one picture or more.
- In the section Chapters, all the chapters of the novel are present. It is possible to reorganize the chapters through a drag’ndrop. Every chapter is composed by one scene or more. They are recognizable inside the same chapter through a drag’ndrop. For every scene Bibisco keeps all the revisions and it is always possible to visualize or restore a previous version of the scene. Moreover, it is possible to tag every scene with the time and the place where it happens, with the characters that appearint he scene, the narrative line to it belongs to and the point of view used. As a result, tagging correctly the scenes, the section Analysis is very useful to analyze the novel in terms of where, when and how often the characters, the places, the narrative lines and the points of view appear in our story and in which chapter.
- In Export, you can save the novel in PDF, RTF, so you can read your novel with Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.
To every element of our novel (chapter, scene, character’s sheet, place’s sheet, narrative line…) a visual marker for the working state is associated. By default the indicator is red (“everything to do”); but you can modify it in yellow (“to complete”) or green (“completed”). Finally, with Bibisco you can write with a complete text editor. You have a counter for words and types, all the commands and keyboard shortcuts for bold, italic, underlined, and all the format.
What are the main differences respect the other softwares?
The most important difference is that Bibisco considers the development of the characters as the beating heart in the process of creation of a novel. Moreover, Bibisco has a simple and clean interface, very easy to use also for the writers at the beginning.
What do users appreciate most in Bibisco?
Certainly the possibility to interview the characters.
I know that Bibisco is translated into many languages, how is the distribution abroad going?
At the moment Bibisco is translated into 8 different languages and has more than 40.000 download. I don’t have certain dates about the percentage of non Italian users; anyway, considering the messages and the reviews received, users from Usa and Brazil appreciate it a lot!
Could you tell us which are the future developments for the software?
We are just at the beginning! I am collecting precious suggestions from users and in the next versions, I’ll improve Bibisco with new and interesting functions.
And you? would you like to try bibisco and tell us what do you think? You can download it here, completely free!