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Everything posted by Steve

  1. After you purchase Storyist from the Storyist website, your license information is presented on the checkout page, and also sent to the email address you provide at checkout. To install it: Launch Storyist. When the Trial dialog appears, click the Enter License Code button. Enter your license name and code exactly as it appears in the license email, caps and all. If you need to install Storyist, you can download it from http://update.storyist.com/downloads/Storyist.dmg. If this doesn't work for you, take a look through the troubleshooting guide at http://storyist.com/support/howto/install-your-license/. -Steve
  2. Unfortunately, this is an issue with Word (at least in Office 2001) that affects most OS X apps (TextEdit, Pages). TimesNewRomanPSMT is the name of the font that OS X uses for the "Times New Roman" font family. Word doesn't recognize the font name, so it marks it as "missing" and assigns a replacement font (which defaults to "Times" in 2001) to pasted text. You can assign a different default as follows: Paste your text into a Word document. Select Word > Preferences... and choose "Compatibility" from the list on the left. Click the "Font Substitution..." button. You should see TimesNewRomanPSMT listed as a "missing" font. The default substituted font will probably be "Times". Change this to "Times New Roman." You can handle the problem with italicized Courier in a similar manner. OS X uses a font named Courier-Oblique for italicized Courier. Word doesn't recognize the font and rather unhelpfully substitutes Times for it. Using the steps outlined above, you can instruct Word to substitute Courier for the "missing" Courier-Oblique. -Steve
  3. Hi theresemarie, This is a puzzling one. Let me ask a couple of questions. 1) Did the file you are importing originate on a Mac or a PC? 2) Are the apostrophes missing or simply represented by a strange character? 3) Are the apostrophes you are importing "smart" apostrophes? If you want, you can send a small sample to support at storyist dot com and I'll take a look at it for you. -Steve
  4. Steve


    Thank you for the kind words, PJ: They made my day! -Steve
  5. Marguerite put together the Time New Roman template. You'll find it in a topic under "Sharing". (I had to post it for her since I forgot to add story files to the list of files you can upload. That is now fixed. If you have a template to share, you should be able to upload it now.) So how did the revising go, Marguerite? -Steve
  6. [Posted for Marguerite - Steve] Attached is the Novel template in Times New Roman 12 that I promised in a previous post to make available. To use it, download it and move it into the Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates folder in your home folder. Next time you start Storyist, it will be there. If you want to do this yourself, just click on a paragraph and choose "Edit current style" from the Format/Style menu. Cheers, Marguerite Novel_Times.story
  7. Interesting. I hadn't heard the "one box" rule before, but I can easily imagine an agent wanting to cut down on the size of the "slush" in their slush pile. BTW, though the guidelines I outlined above are fairly well established, manuscript formatting requirements can actually vary a little bit from publisher to publisher. Times New Roman, as Marguerite mentions, is an acceptable alternative to Courier in some places (it is considered much prettier and easier to read). I've also heard from a couple of authors that their publisher requests a slightly different header format or placement. My opinion is this: If someone wants to read your manuscript and specifies a specific format, the correct answer is "Yes Ma-am. Right away!" Note: If you develop a template you'd like to share, you can post in in the "Sharing" forum on this site. Thoth: I haven't forgotten your request for screenplay info. I'll have something for the board in a little while. In the meantime, there is a good overview at the Oscar's site.
  8. I've recently received a couple of emails asking about formatting, so I thought I'd briefly discuss the (more or less) standard manuscript format. (Note: the styles provided by the Novel template and the Blank template are set up to make it easy for you to follow these guidelines.) In the standard format, section text is double-spaced, left aligned, and set in a 12 point Courier font. Paragraphs begin one half inch (5 characters) from the margin. The margins are set so that there are 25 lines per page, with each line having a maximum of 60 characters. Why is that? So that your editor can estimate the word count and accurately determine the final page count of your book. The math works like this: Sixty characters per line at an average of six characters per word (a publishing industry rule of thumb) works out to an average of ten words per line. A 25 line page, then, will have an average of 250 words--a nice big round number. Four pages is about a thousand words. Four hundred pages is about a hundred thousand words. By the way, partial pages other than the first page of a chapter are estimated as 125 words. Section breaks (the visual breaks between the scenes in your story) are indicated as above using a centered number sign ("#"). Don't use a blank line to separate your sections since they are easily missed by the typesetter, especially if they happen to fall at the bottom of a page. Page headers typically include your last name, followed by your novel title (which you can shorten if you have a long title), and end with the page number. Chapters begin on a new page about a third of the way down and start with a centered chapter title in all caps (i.e. all of the letters are capitalized). When you finish your manuscript and start sending it to agents and editors, you'll want to include a title page to let people know how to contact you and where to send the check. Type your name, address, phone number, and email address in the upper left corner in single-spaced 12 point Courier. In the upper right, type the word count. You should calculate the word count using the estimating method outlined above (and round up to the nearest thousand) rather than use the actual word count calculated by the program. Center your novel's title about halfway down the page, add two single-spaced returns and then your name (or pseudonym) as you want it to appear when your book is published. That's about it. -Steve
  9. Hi Folks, You may have noticed that this board has recently attracted the interest of one or more spammers. As a result, I have instituted some stricter policies that I hope will keep our little community a friendly place for writerly discussion. All new registrations are now forwarded to me for approval. Posts by new members are now sent to me before they are posted to the board so that I can reject any offensive material. I realize that these new policies will cause a slight delay in posting for new members, and for that, I apologize. After a few posts, I will lift the moderation requirement so that legitimate members may post freely. As always, if you find a post that you think is objectionable, please click the "Report" button at the bottom of the post and I will review the post right away and take appropriate action. -Steve
  10. Make sure the "Pressing Return in an empty paragraph activates style chooser" check box is checked in the Text Editing > General preference pane. Also, make sure the insertion point is positioned at the start of an empty paragraph--if there is whitespace in the paragraph, the style chooser won't active (enhancement request already filed). Note: you can also simply apply a style using any of the following: Select it from the popup at the bottom of the manuscript view. Select it from the Style > Apply Style context menu. Select it from the Format > Style > Apply Style menu in the main menu (at the top of the screen).
  11. Thoth, Thanks for starting the thread. Storyist does use style information to build the project outline--specifically the style's "Outline Level" attribute. This is the approach used by many other word processors, including Word and Open Office. Word, for example, uses "Heading 1", "Heading 2", "Heading 3" etc to determine where the heading goes in the outline view or table of contents. If you examine these styles, you'll see that each style has an "Outline Level" paragraph attribute that specifies the outline level. Same with Storyist. Due to the special requirements of novel manuscripts and screenplays, Storyist also provides a way to identify separate blocks of body text (i.e. sections and scenes) so that they appear in the outline. This works as follows: In novel manuscripts, Storyist recognizes the special "Section Title" style as the start of a block of body text and the section separator (a paragraph containing only the "#" character) as the end of a block of body text. Only one is required, but the section separator is preferred, since you will probably want to select Format > Manuscript > Hide Section Titles when you send your manuscript off to your agent or editor. In screenplays, Storyist recognizes the special "Scene Heading" style as the start of a scene. In addition to presenting the sections or scenes in the project outline (and possibly a table of contents in the future), Storyist uses the outline level information to keep track of your section or scene sheets. And since there is currently no visual feedback that you have section sheets attached to a section, Storyist will warn you if you make edits that would result in the merging of sections and, as a result, the loss of your notes. Note: You mention that you received the warning when trying to change the documents fonts. Storyist is being a bit overzealous here--changing the font has no effect on the outline. I'll fix that. In the mean time, as a work around, you can change the style definition to use the font you desire--you don't have to edit each section individually
  12. 1.2 makes this much easier. To split a section: Place the cursor at the end of the paragraph you want to split. Press return. Optionally press return again to bring up the style chooser and select the "Section Separator" style or simply press the tab key. Type the section separator ("#"). Press Return. You'll now have two sections where you had one and you can just type the section title in the manuscript (if you have section titles enabled.) To merge a section: Select the section separator that divides the sections you want to merge (and the section title too, if section titles are displayed). Press Delete. If there are no notes in the section section, Storyist will merge the sections for you. If there are section notes, Storyist will ask you to confirm that you want to delete them as well. Note: I already have the feature request to offer the option of merging of notes in addition to deleting them. To create a new chapter: Place the insertion point at end of the paragraph before which you want to create a new chapter. Press return. Press Return again to bring up the style chooser. Select the "Chapter Title" style. Type your new chapter title. Deleting the chapter title will, as you would expect, merge the chapters. -Steve
  13. I don't think the hang Isaac was seeing is the result of a virus, not because of the relative scarcity of them on Mac OS X, but because of the way it "presents" (to use some medical jargon ): There are no messages in the console, which means that Storyist did not take an exception (a sign of a logic or coding error). When it is hung, the application is not using any CPU cycles. It is most likely that Storyist is waiting for some system resource (e.g. a file). This may be the result of a bug in Storyist or in the underlying OS. If it is the first, naturally I want to fix it. If it is the second, I'd like to try to find a work around. The key will be finding a way to reproduce it. As you point out, few people have seen it, but like the Loch Ness Monster, just because we haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. So if you catch this one on tape (so to speak), please reply to the thread with details. -Steve
  14. For the archives: Isaac and I have been trying to track this down offline--so far with no luck. If you run across this problem, I would be very interested to know: What version of Storyist you are using. What version of OS X you are using (version number and PPC or Intel). What, if anything is listed on the console (which you can find in /Applications/Utilities/Console). If you have any network drives mounted. If you have autosave enabled and there are any autosaved stories (files with the suffix "(Autosave)") in the save folder as your story.
  15. When Final Draft exports a script as RTF, it includes the page margins in the paragraph style definitions. For example: In a script with left margins set to 1.5", Final Draft does not export page margins, but instead adds 1.5" to the left indent of all paragraph styles (SCENE HEADING, ACTION, etc...). You could import this RTF file into Storyist with no changes. However, using the Script Import Assistant, you can make some adjustments "on the way in" to make it easier to adjust margin settings later. Open the Final Draft RTF file. From the template chooser that appears, choose the "Screenplay" template. In "Step 1 of 2: Scene Headings", leave the "Apply heading styles..." checkbox unchecked. Click Next. In the "Step 2 of 2: Style Substitution", check the "Substitute new styles for imported styles" checkbox. In the style table, assign new (template) styles to the imported styles. E.g. SCENE HEADING -> Scene Heading, ACTION -> Action. Check the "Preserve style overrides" checkbox. Click Import. As your script is imported, the Final Draft styles are replaced by the styles from the template you selected.
  16. Another thing to try might be to do a fresh install of Storyist (from the DMG) in another user account and run it from there. This would eliminate any preferences, permissions, or input manager issues. -Steve
  17. Steve


    So you would like to add a tag or keyword to text to collect for a "jargon file" and then have Storyist generate a jargon sheet? That would be interesting and the facility could probably be generalized so that while you define a tag called "Jargon", someone else could define "Needs Research", etc...
  18. Hi Isaac, As you probably guessed, the fact that you aren't getting to the new document dialog means that there is an initialization problem somewhere (fortunately or maybe not, there have been very few changes in the init code from release to release). The first thing to do is disable any haxies (Silk, Menu Master, TextExtras etc...) and see if your situation improves. I'd be interested to hear of any conflicts you find. If you have saved any custom templates, they would be in ~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates. Templates are not opened at initialization time, though, only enumerated for the template dialog, so it is unlikely that they are affecting your launch. Another thing to try would be to move aside your preferences file (~/Library/Preferences/com.storyist.storyist.plist) and relaunch. -Steve
  19. Steve


    For up-to-the-minute slang, I like http://www.urbandictionary.com/. As for adding references, etc... I you think they are worth reading, go ahead. At some point, I'll probably cull the recommendations and pin a categorized list where folks can see it.
  20. I've had numerous requests to add index card support, so I thought I'd start a thread to refine the idea a bit. If you care to contribute, I'd be interested in knowing: Do you use physical cards now? If so, how do you use them? In Storyist, would you see index cards as a general summary of individual items (e.g. plot cards, character cards, setting cards) or just for sections/scenes. What other virtual card implementations have you used that you like? Dislike?
  21. Storyist 1.2 adds support for screenwriting and includes: A screenplay template with styles for standard screenplay elements. Tab and Return key shortcuts to make changing between standard screenplay or novel elements as simple as typing a key or two. Smart text processing (screenplay formatting only) to collect your scene introductions, locations, times, character names, and transitions and auto-complete them for you when you need them. A Backup Assistant to make it easy to backup and restore your work. The ability to view and edit page margins and specify mirrored pages. Improved header and footer support, including the ability to specify different headers for left and right pages. Many other performance and stability improvements.
  22. Steve


    I thought I'd start a list of recommendations on the craft of writing. Feel free to add suggestions of your own. The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall. The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. A classic work on mythology. Said to have been the inspiration for Star Wars. The Writer's Journey, Second Edition: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. A nice distillation of Campbell's work with some new thoughts on structure and character archetypes. The Weekend Novelist by Robert J Ray. Ray lays out a plan for writing a novel over the course of 52 weekends. Buy the first edition if you can find it. Creating Unforgettable Characters by Linda Seger.
  23. Steve


    5.0? You sure are! A table-like view is probably a reasonable compromise. I have a strong preference for staying with the page metaphor, which most non-technical users respond well to. Well, you probably noticed that the major pieces are plugins already (manuscript, plot, character, settings) and the file format is made up of open standards. My approach is to use the APIs internally for a while before making them public, which I hope to do in the 2.0 timeframe.
  24. Good suggestion. The film folks would probably be very happy to have this feature too. When a script goes into production, someone (the AD?) has the responsibility of tagging the elements in the script that have $ attached to them (e.g. props that needed to be rented, animals hired, etc). The framework is already there in Storyist to handle other types of data, so it is not a "major" feature.
  25. Steve


    So are you thinking of events that are separate from the story (say backstory or events that influence the story but are not depicted in a section) or are you thinking mostly of sections? If it is the latter, you could use the section start time and end time fields (that are available in the section sheet but not on by default). BTW, in this scenario, I wouldn't consider the virtual index cards to be replacements for sheets, but as a summary that is linked to the sheet. Yes, since time is often fluid, especially in a novel. You have can have multiple epocs, out-of-order presentation, etc... and it does get difficult to design something that will work for the majority of the cases out there. I'd be interested in seeing what you think should be on an event form. If you have an idea of how it should look, go ahead and attach a story file or an rtf file to illustrate.
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