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US data scientist and novelist, Michael Green, created the digital platform, Lynit, to help authors visualise, plan and weave together the various elements – such as characters, plot arcs, themes and key events – that form a story.

The app is now in its beta stage, and is being tested by a number of writers. Currently free to use, users can draw and update intricate digital templates or story maps.

Green saw a need to use technology for the simplification and the streamlining of the writing process when he was in the middle of writing his first book.

“In the midst of editing, I got to the point where I started feeling like I had a lot of plots and characters. I had all these documents on the deeper aspects of the world I was creating. I was worried about being able to keep track of it all. That’s when I switched into my more data science-minded approach to solving a complex problem with a lot of different pieces,” says Green.

Alternatively, authors can turn to Chicago-based Hiitide’s website and app that allow writers to participate in live paid-for question-and-answer sessions with their readers.  Writers of self-help books can also create and earn money from learning courses.

“Courses are immersive workbook versions of the books. They help you better understand the material, and integrate its principles into everyday life, says Evan Shy, Hiitide’s chief executive .

California-based Crazy Maple Studios tech firm, also created four apps, Chapters, Scream, Spotlight and Kiss, that add animation, music, sound effects and even game play to digital books, whereby the reader can decide what a character does.

“The digital revolution and the advent of e-readers made the first big shift in the publishing industry. It lessened the impact of gatekeepers but it didn’t go far enough,” says Joey Jia, the firm’s founder and chief executive.

Source: BBC website