Welcome to another Tinderbox Tuesday Tutorial. Today we learn about attributes.

But first let’s discuss the story so you can have an idea of where it’s going. The story takes place in 1948. Madalyn Rosental is a recent arrival to the United States. She is a Holocaust survivor. She has lost her entire family in the camps. Thanks to the generosity of a Jewish aid society and the help of an army officer, Madalyn was able to settle in New York City, but she needs a job. So what’s a well-educated woman with absolutely no work experience, except managing her own household and servants, to do? She becomes a quasi-housekeeper and governess for widowed professor and his young daughter. Poor Madalyn. She has no idea of  what she getting into. The attractive Richard Larson has a professional agenda and he intends to use Madalyn’s experiences in Eastern Europe to further his career.

So let’s begin … in this story there are a lot of secrets. Madalyn has them, Richard Larson has them, and even 13 year-old Maggie has them. These secrets will be added via the attributes function As you can see I’ve added more characters and linked their relationships. The next step is to give them attributes. Attributes describe the note. In this case the note is a character, so that the attribute can be anything about them whether it’s sexual orientation, marital status, political ideology, personality issues or quirks.

To assign an attribute, go to the menu bar and select Window=>Attributes. A window will open and you’ll see six tabs: User, System, Colors, Link Types, and Macros. For this example, we’ll stay in the first tab, User. For now don’t worry about the Type, just use “string.” Hit “create” and another box will appear and type in Secret (or whatever you want to attribute to your character). Hit OK and close out the windows.

Attribute Screenshot

The next step is to go to each character note and go to the Key Attribute option; click on the arrow, and in the drop down menu you’ll see “secret.” Select that. Beneath the character’s name, “secret” appears with a blank field where you can type in that character’s information.

Secret Attribute Screen

As you can see, Ester has one hell of a secret.

Ester's Secret Screen Shot

You may have noticed that from the first lesson that the links are different colors. To change the color and the type of link (bolded, dash, or dots), go back to attributes, and select the Link Types. Type in the name of the link and the color. If you want to play around with colors, select the Color tab and choose the color you want to assign to each link. For a wider variety of tones, select a color and click on the color wheel. A color swatch will open and from there you can fiddle with the colors you want to play with.

That should keep you busy for this week. Next Tinderbox Tuesday we tackle prototypes.