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green_knight

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Everything posted by green_knight

  1. Since Dropbox, too, is affected by the Heartbleed exploit, I changed my password like a good netizen. And found that a changed password does not revoke access to any of the devices I have linked with my account, nor to the Storyist app. I'm not using Dropbox for anything important right now, but I still feel that this is a possible security exploit. I would feel much better if it would be possible to limit the access to a Storyist folder and hide the rest of the account from casual view. (I know this is an issue for Dropbox, which seems less and less safe the more I poke it, but if this can be fixed on your side, it would make things safer.)
  2. If you hold down the key, you get access to the extras, including ellipses and dashes, so that one is pretty much built in - I'd advocate against a three-dash keyboard for practical reasons.
  3. So, I quickly wanted to import a mess of files into Storyist, so I could order them correctly, output them to epub, and give them a readthrough. The 'import' function allows me to import one file at a time, which, with >40 files, all with very similar names, is not very helpful. (I only need the latest version of each of them. If I have to open-and-remember-which-one-I-just-imported, I get in a mess.) Dragging the files onto the text area gave me a list of filepaths. Hurray. Dragging the files onto the sidebar gave me an import option... and it puts every file into its own file. If I'd wanted to cut and past to that degree, I could have stayed in Word. So can we please have an import function that allows the selection of multiple Word files and which presents the import as a single, continuous document? Extra points if you can turn the document name into a header style, so that it will turn into an navigable document instead of a single lump of text. Pretty please?
  4. I've broken down and started using Aeon Timeline. On the Mac, it's hands-down the best timeline app that I've tried; but that doesn't say much. On the positive side, it allows you to create custom calendars, so I don't have to force my character into the Julian nomenclature. BIG win. On the negative side, I learnt that what I really want is a flexible timeline: so I can show times of frequent activity in detail (the week in which Everything Happens) and collapse the long boring bits between Character A's birth and the moment he Does Something Related To The Plot. A timeline feature that would allow me to see all events would be priceless. (There are many other things I do not love, but it's better than glaring at the hopeless muddle that are my application dates.)
  5. Hi Steve, they're very different environments and my needs are different. On the iPhone, I want to put as much text onto the page as I can comfortably read: I am looking for a font that is readable on a small screen, so I want a small-ish size, narrow margins, single spaced, and a font that's clear because I'll often be moving and don't have much attention for the screen. On my Mac, I want to break up the 'wall of text' effect with white space, indents, and space between paragraphs, and I tend to use fonts that are more ornate: one, because they put me in a better mood, and two, because they slow down my reading speed slightly and stop my eyes from racing across the text without actually noticing the flaws in it. (On the phone, the limited screen size does that job for me.) I also like seeing immediately which project I am working in, so I tend to assign every document different layouts, whereas my needs on the iPhone are consistent: every text document I work on needs to be optimised for readability because there's so little screen. On an iPad - I have my eye on a Mini - I guess I will be somewhere in-between, but I'll still be largely using it in situations where I cannot focus on the screen very well (because I need the attention for other things, or I'm moving) and thus must use a style that makes it easier to take in what text is displayed on the screen. So yes, very different needs that cannot be served by a single layout, quite apart from the fact that a user shouldn't be forced to do things the software's way unless there is a pressing need for it.
  6. I love the Storyist iPhone app - so much inspiration in such a small package. My main feature request would be the ability to define mobile styles which are automatically mapped to style names, so that I can use all the fancy fonts and formattings on my Mac, open the file on my iPhone and see it in an appropriate font and layout, and send it back to my Mac without having to reformat it at both ends. Which, given how much hassle changing the format is, right now is a major obstacle to sharing the same file on both platforms. Also, can the 'common fonts' menu please be dynamic and put the fonts I use at the top instead of the pre-chosen ones? I'd rather not have it than have it clutter up with three - to me - useless fonts.
  7. A new operating system, a new update to Storyist, and I am nearly done with the modifications. (Could we please have these as customizable options in the future? It makes such a difference to the usability, as I struggle to read Helvetica.) So far, I have modified... - the default novel manuscript that you get every time you open a new one - the default templates - css of character, plot, and setting plugins Unfortunately, I cannot find the template for the scene sheet, which by the logic above ought to be part of another plugin. And I shall use the duplicate trick for notes in the future; but it would be ever so nice if they were to just use one's default style set.
  8. I would like to use the notecards feature as a brainstorming tool, which means cards of - different colours - different sizes - in different locations And I am certain that the last time I used Storyist in this manner (under 10.6, with an older version) I was able to do at least the resizing and free association. Today, I could either resize the cards (but only view one at a time), or view them in a static grid with an invasive blue pin stuck through them. (Visual clutter annoys.) I do not want to increase the font size and decrease the zoom factor so I can view a useful number of cards... and I really do not want them statically stuck next to each other - I want to be able to have them in clusters and with comments between them or one large card with a bunch of small ones underneath. So, what gives? The ability to use notecards flexibly was one of the things that attracted me to Storyist, but suddenly that functionality is either well hidden or simply no longer present. Is this something that happened between OS 10.6 and 10.8? And if so, can we PLEASE have the old flexibility back?
  9. Steve, how hard would it be to implement track changes as an import/export feature? (Just wanting to bump this thread, as this would be an extremely useful feature for me.)
  10. Finally got around to that - hurray! (And next time I have too much time on my hands, I might dabble with the layout...) Unfortunately I could not find a default setting for notes, and that's a lot of hassle to change them every time :-(
  11. Which platform are you on? The spell/grammar checker in Word as well as Apple's inbuilt spellchecker that is used by everything else tend to be reasonably good at finding misspellings, doubled words etc. Other tips for proofreading include changing the font, looking at the mss one line at a time so you have to concentrate on individual words, or even reading the mss backwards. Once you've run it through a spellchecker, find someone to read it for you - and offer to return the favour.
  12. Amen, brother. I've been working with Filemaker since it was Filemaker II back in 1990, and I use it a lot.
  13. Very related request, so I'll just tag it on here: is it possible to add feedback to the dialogue? In Word, it's 'word found x instances' or 'replaced y instances' which makes it a) obvious that something happened and sometimes gives an indication that things went wrong.
  14. Steve, I would argue that many writers use spreadsheets because they posess the tool, not because spredsheets are particularly suited to writing. So the question is, what do the writers try to achieve? From the spreadsheets I've seen from writer friends, answers appear to include - tracking everything that happens on a particular day - tracking everything that happens in a particular place - ability to compare what different characters are doing at any point in time In short, it appears to me as if what writers want to do is to a) select only certain traits and then sort that information (which could be resolved by an advanced search/sort function [*]) as well as displaying that information so they can get an easy overview. Right now, I'm using the index card view for overviews more often than not, [*] Best sorting function I know is Filemaker's - it allows you to rank the fields you want to sort and specify for each field whether you want ascending, descending, or custom, so you don't, for instance, need to number your months, you can just tell it that January comes before February etc At the moment, the index card view only shows a single sheet (and you can then drag other types of sheets into the view). If you turned that into a paginated display, you could have scene/section sheets one underneath the next, or one beside the next. This would allow you to display a grid of sorts with information - but instead of cells in a spreadsheet, its lines (or rows) of index cards, selected and sorted according to user-defined criteria. Does that make sense, or would you like a mockup? [Edit: Green_knight. I edited to remove the HTML that the forums added to the post. Let me know if any content is missing.]
  15. Like many others, I would love to have a timeline feature. Margaret's tip makes me wonder whether it wouldn't be easiest to add a special start date, end date field to sheets. A timeline feature could then - display sheets by starting date order - do the same, only for a specific plot thread (given we already have any number of custom fields, it would be wonderful to simply be able say sort first by field x, then by date) - show only events that were active on a specific date or between two dates, so if I want to know what happens between he first and fifteenth of February, I get only those events - ideally, map events to a visual timeline And I really would want a 'construct calendar' feature that allows me to determine - how many hours in a day - how many days in a month - how many months in a year (including names) Pretty please?
  16. Can you give us more technical details about your computer? - operating system - total RAM - free disc space - what other applications you're running What you describe sounds like a memory problem, quite possibly caused by a memory leak - and quitting Storyist is not much help, you need to quit everyhing and restart, and quite possibly restart again if it's persistent. One tool that will tell you a bit more about what's going on is an application called 'Activity monitor'. (In applications -> Utilities). That will tell you a) how much processor power your applications are using (storyist usually needs next to nothing in the background and very little when it's active) as well as whether your application hangs or whether it's just your computer in general that is unresponsive. (Both feel the same, subjectively.) I have found Storyist relatively stable, but under Snow Leopard sometimes it freezes in sympathy with Safari - if I fix Safari, Storyist is back. Don't ask why...
  17. What it says in the subject line. It would be wonderful if every element could have a wordcount - so while it's wonderful to have a scene-by-scene wordcount, I'd love to be able to see how many words the manuscript in total has, how many words each chapter has, etc, so I could simply look at my list of chapters and see how many words they contain, and then, if I want, expand and see how many words per scene. I'd also love to have a wordcount if I'm looking at the notecard view. And while we're at it I would like a pony different colours for comments.
  18. You do what you're doing right now: ask people you trust for reccommendations. (Disclaimer: I work as a freelance editor/copy editor, including with self-publishing authors). If you want to hire an editor to get feedback for your novel, so you can learn and improve and produce better prose, that would be a legitimate reason to pay them. If you want someone to improve your grammar and pick up typos, you'd be wasting your money, because, to put it bluntly, there's a good chance your manuscript _isn't_ ready for publication yet (few are). And yes, a copy editor will improve those things - but what will you do when you"ve spent $500 on copy editing the manuscript, and an agent or editor gives you feedback, so you rewrite a whole section, and... pay again? I would reccommend that you approach editors in your genre (this makes a big difference - I'm very familiar with reader expectations in SF/Mystery, and not familiar at all with Romance) with a sample (1-3 chapters) and a synopsis; ask them whether they'd be willing to do an edit/mss evaluation. Ask them for a sample edit of 2-3 pages and a quote - and take it from there. If your writing has recurring patterns, such as all your scenes take place in white rooms, or your action sequences are full of long convoluted sentences, or... you don't need someone to go through the whole manuscript and mark up every instance; you need them to point it out, and then you can go home and fix every other instance. Just like running spellcheck yourself, it's cheaper that way. And do consider the alternatives - crit groups and writing workshops. Paying an editor is an option, but not the only way towards a better book.
  19. Hi Marguerite, and thanks for replying. That works - but the order is not saved. I also cannot use the 'keep display value synchronised' value, and right now, choosing a different element to link to does precisely nothing. For the time being, I've given up using the autofill fields and I'm sticking to linking manually - or simply scrolling to the characters in the left pane. I really think that arranging the items as a tree - ideally with the same structure as I'm using in the project (tons of subfolders to keep things organised) would make life easier. Oh, thank you. The existence of a project trash had eluded me. That makes life a lot easier. I have confidence that these things will be ironed out. On the positive side, I've added about a quarter of the book - 30K - to Storyist yesterday. With previous tools that would have taken me several days, and I feel that - thanks to being able to keep each scene *with* plotpoints *and* their synopses in view at the same time - my ability to gain control over the story is much improved. It's not as if I hadn't revised this one, but I can see its weaknesses much better. Storyist is an immensely powerful tool, and the longer I use it, the more useful it becomes to me.
  20. Adding to this thread rather than opening a new one. So, I've been using Storyist for a while now for various projects, and I love it. It's making it tremendously easy to track continuity issues, (how does this charcter refer to her mother, which verbs are used with [futuristic technology]), and it's making me a better editor. That said, I am now preparing to launch into the revision of a major project, and one of the things I want to do - that I want Storyist for - is to track the plot, using the plotpoin and characterpoint features. A number of issues have arisen during this: - the character and settings fields in sheets are just too damn sensitive. I like the way that a new character/setting is created merely by typing, but a new one is created for every typo-and-backspace, aggravated by the fact that sometimes the computer is just lagging a bit and creates a new item when I'm halfway through a term, or several entries in a row. I'd really like to commit only when I type a comma or hit return. This has been so problematic (I don't want five choices for autocompletion for every single one I keep) that I've turned the character etc fields off - but of course I still have to keep the old ones around, because fields, once created, cannot be deleted - the menu for editing links is overly complicated. I don't need to plow through the whole services, I just want the 'open, copy, edit, remove' bits at this point. - Under 'edit' I want a tree of appropriate things - I group, say, characters, and may have thirty of fourty, and just as many settings, and a stack of notes, and hundreds of plotpoints... and they're all in a single unordered list. This is already driving me bonkers in chapter one. (and all the default things like boy meets girl are hanging around - everything that was ever created is in that list.) - There's no way to attach a plotpoint to both a scene sheet *and* a section sheet, and I want a hierarchy for my revision: much more freedom in how I use the section/scene sheets and the plotpoints. (For instance I would like to track plot threads: Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and add all those plotpoints to it. I also might want a 'Trip to Darbyshire section, and add some of the same plotpoints to *that*. So a many-to-many relation rather than many-to-one.) - I want a simple drag and drop, because I might create the plotpoint before the section sheet, or change my mind. Right now, the process of adding plotpoints isn't intuitive (it works differently from the plotpoint and the section ends. - Again, the 'add to section' menu a) contains ghost entities like 'Formatting your manuscript' which were deleted a long time ago and is unordered. I dread getting to the last scene of book four, because at that point it will have become utterly unusable. Why can't I simply drag the plotpoint onto the scene in any view? For the moment, I'm fudging things by simply adding the plotpoints in the corkboard view, which brings me to another niggle - there's no way of resizing a group of things. I'd be happy enough if I could change the original size to the small one and then simply resize the section (I want a large card at the top and a series of smaller ones next to it. Just being able to pick a custom 'size 1/size 2' would make life so much easier, because right now, they're all slightly different. . - Also, it would be nice to be able to add a whole set of plot points to a scene view at once. - I also want a setting that allows me to add new things in the format of my choice. Having to change every single plotpoint to an index card will grow old long before the book is finished. Unrelated to the above: - I'd like the ability to edit comment style, and it would be useful if a comment could be attached to a section of text rather than just to the icon. (I comment a lot.) And then I ran into a bug where the standard view was just turning into a surrealistic nightmare - ending halfway down, two scrollbars to the right, fields vanishing if you ran your mouse over them, typing a single name created three new characters and I got very frustrated indeed. I've restarted Storyist, so I'm ok, but I still have a ton of random things hanging around, and the easiest way to deal with them was to fix the template and create a new project. (Also I snoticed that every now and again the command-return shortcut for creating new objects refuses to work; which is a shame as it's such a useful feature.) All that said, I am really excited about tackling the revisions in Storyist. I feel much more in control of the story than I have with any tools used previously. It's simply wonderful to have all the story elements, the text, *and* the plot-point-by-plotpoint outline side by side; this makes for very smooth working
  21. Steve answered that question earlier elsewhere - it works under Lion, but not in earlier versions of the Mac OS. (I've been putting that on my wishlist, too.) green_knight
  22. Sections continue - you can only use the # marker, formatted as 'section separator' - what it does, is to make an 'Untitled Section' appear on the left. Take a deep breath ;-) Try typing some text, eg 'chapter 1'. Then open the inspector, click on the paragraph symbol (the inverted 'P') and mark it as 'Chapter Title. You will, indeed, get the Courier halfway down the page etc etc. Now click on the little arrow next to the style name, and choose 'edit style'. You want to remove the large number from the 'before paragraph' box, choose the font you want etc. Then click OK. Your chapter title should now be formatted at the top of a page. It sounds as if you're deleting the chapter title, or turning it into a different style. I've been able to duplicate this, but only in one particular instant, and when I played around a bit more,suddenly all of my chapter titles jumped back to where they ought to be, but for a brief moment, I definitely had text that was correctly marked as being in style 'Chapter Title' sitting directly underneath the real chapter title, so you're not imagining things. I've never had a problem just writing text and marking it as chapter title, so keep persevering. Chapters start on a new page, turn up in the list as expandable (heading 1) items, and can contain text on subordinate levels as well as body text. Sections are body text, they're all equal, and can't contain anything else. You need to add a manuscript before you can add text. That's a feature - if you're using the 'chapter title' style, anything you type gets turned into the chapter in the list. If you change it in the list, it will change the text of the chapter title as well. This is a feature rather than a bug. Set the font colour for the chapter title to white ;-) I can't help with your other problems, but I'm hoping that this will help you out a bit.
  23. Firstly, let me say that I love Storyist. I discovered it on the NaNoWriMo boards, and from the moment I opened it I was all 'where have you been all my life?'. I'm using it not just for my own writing, but to edit fiction for clients, and I've already saved a lot of time and trouble by being able to create character sheets and group them etc. That said, here is my wishlist: - getting rid of hardcoaded defaults. Whenever I create a new manuscript, I get the standard Storyist template in Courier with the inbuilt text. I want my own template styles and contents. Whenever I create a new notebook entry, it's in Helvetica. Every. Single. One. And every single one of them has a default style that is the appliction's default, rather than the default styles I've set for my template/document. Changing defaults gets old very quick. - get rid of Helvetica, full stop. I hate sanserif fonts and find them difficult to read. I have trouble reading a thin yellow text on a white background - this is the unchangable style used on the character etc sheets. This is an accessibility issue, and users with visual impairments - including those who need different colour schemes, font sizes etc - are going to struggle with the stylesheets - please enable the opportunity to change the style on those sheets to whatever the user feels comfortable with. The ability to change the default headings and default text would make me even happier; though that's more of a cosmetic issue - the lack of styling impedes usability - please change the way field lists are handled: - there's a long list of fields that I will never use and can't get rid of - I can create a new field but not delete it - I cannot change the type of the new field - if you choose 'character' and then decide that it doesn't serve you well (because you might want to use descriptors rather than actual character names) you can't turn it ino a text field, and the now useless field remains in your project until eternity. - I want groups of fields that I can save and share between projects. Instead of going through the fields one by one, I want to simply tell Storyist 'use group 'location' (a general setting, like a town) or use group 'place' (a specific room or building) - yes, I use all of the stylesheets in more than one collection, because I find it darn handy to, eg, be able to track 'the fellowship' instead of only its individual members. - I also want a 'things' stylesheet - whether it's mysterious McGuffins, magical rings, or James Bond's car collection: sometimes you just want to be able to track a thing, and having a stylesheet with a separate category and all the features of the other stylesheets would make life a lot easier. - copy and paste between documents. If I create a character in one document, I don't want to have to copy every field across, I want to be able to select the character stylesheet, choose 'copy' and paste them into the new document, etc. Last but not least, please change the defaults for when Storyist opens. At least 80% of the time I want to work on a previous project, so neither 'new from template' (close, choose project from 'open recent') or the template chooser which then makes me click a button and navigate to the file I want are practical. 'do nothing' and 'last opened' as preference options would be very welcome. Also, there's no 'new from template' - if I want to change templates, I need to change from default template to template chooser, and then create a new file an then change it back again... that's a lot of effort to create a new file from a different template, and it's faster (but more dangerous) to open the template and use 'save as') That said, I really love Storist, and a shoutout to Steve for the quickest bugfix I've ever seen. 2.3.6.b1 is stable and running fine.
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