Welcome back to Part II of Dabble's primer on all things "Getting Started". See Part I here. Follow this tutorial to learn how too add story elements like Chapters and Scenes, and Dabble's focus features help you be a better writer.

The Plus

The Plus is where all new elements are created, “the stork” of the left-hand nav menu, if you will. 

To properly place your bundles of joy (aka new Chapters or Notes) make sure you have the right element selected by clicking on them. Select elements such as a Chapter or Scene to add a new element right below it. Or select the Manuscript or Book View to add a new Chapter or Scene to the very end of your book. 

Below, we clicked and selected Chapter 1 before we clicked The Plus, because we’re about to add a Chapter 2. If you had 10 Chapters and wanted to add another, but your Chapter 5 was selected, your new Chapter will end up as Chapter 6 instead of Chapter 11. Whoops! Easy to drag and drop however, if you do misplace any element. 

Pro Tip: You can also hover over, and click the three dots of the Book, Part, Chapter or Scene elements to add a new Part, Chapter, Scene, or Scene Note. 

Organized Elements 

Some of Dabble’s folders can hold any story element and some can only hold certain types. For example, a Chapter can only hold Scenes, while a Story Note folder can hold a Chapter or Scene or anything else. . If you’re really stuck on a Chapter, drag-and-drop it to Story Notes where you can workshop it better. Here’s a breakdown of who can hold what: 

  • Manuscript: Books
  • Book: Parts, Chapters
  • Part: Chapters
  • Chapter: Scenes
  • Plot: Plot Grids, Plot Lines
  • Plot Grid: Plot Lines
  • Story Notes, Folders, Trash: Any element

Right-hand Nav Menu 

It might look a little sparse, but there’s a lot going on behind this curtain. 

  • Goal Settings: See the little gear next to Goals & Stats? Click to manage your goals. Set your word count source, word count goal, a deadline, and which days you want off.
  • Project Stats: Your word count for the last 30 days you worked on your novel. Click the chart label to see your progress on all projects. 
  • Scene Cards: Your Scene’s Note Card displays here along with any of the Scene’s Plot Points. Read about how to add Plot Points to your Scene here

To the right of the top nav bar, are the Account and Help drop-down menus. 

  • Account Menu (the one with your name): Your account settings.
  • Preferences: switch to dark mode or turn off auto-fade.
  • Profile: update your name, email, and password.
  • Billing: manage your payment and subscription.
  • Manage Data: view how much data Dabble is taking on your computer and how much you have available, as well as exporting your project data.
  • Help: Seek help with Dabble. 
  • Visit the Dabble Community to find support from other writers, or to generally have a good time. 
  • Request a feature from the Creator himself. Psst! Many user requests are already in the works. 
  • Chat with support, a real live person will typically answer quickly during US Mountain Time business hours. 
  • Visit the Help Center to read super helpful How-To articles like this one. Congrats, you already knew where to go, we’re so proud!

Stylistic Simplicity 

Since Dabble is a writing tool for the modern age, you might not see some familiar features. Especially if you’re a child of the last century. 

Where’s the save button? 

Because Dabble is a cloud-based platform, you never have to save. It automatically saves as you write. Access your manuscript from any computer with your Dabble log in. Offline or online, you can write anywhere. It’s all backed up in the cloud so never fear a lost manuscript due to a computer crash.

To see the status of your save, click on the cloud icon in the top nav menu. Here, you get more info about the various states your cloud sync is in. A checkmark means you’re all saved.

How do I change the font? 

There’s only one font set in Dabble currently, but a few more options are planned. Styles that work in Dabble right now are bold, italics, indented quotes, and lists. These elements help organize and style your writing. Dabble purposely simplifies the style options to help you focus.

Can I customize the look and feel of Dabble like my MySpace page of old?

Sorry, Dabble doesn’t have different color options. Dabble is designed solely for novel-writing, play-writing, short-story writing. As such, you won’t find any distracting design elements to take you away from your story. You’re welcome! 

You are now ready to begin your masterpiece! When you’re done, (or suffering from writer’s block) share your Manuscript with Dabble’s writing community. We love new works. Happy novel writing from the Dabble team! 

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