Jump to content
Storyist Forums
GinnyJ

Issues with Software / Help

Recommended Posts

I have been using Storyist to finish a novel most which was imported. I did not use outlining, corkboard or other sections because I had all that information typed elsewhere. Whenever I tried to use these features or navigate through Storyist I found it incomprehensible.

 

I am starting a new project and thought I would try again. But it is no better now. Here are my issues.

 

1) Novels should be numbered 1 - whatever, not chapter by chapter. Why wouldn't novel writing software provide continuous page numbering linking chapters?

2) I write chapters not scenes but I can not just add a document that is a chapter. I get a folder with multiple collapsing documents. I want one document per chapter and a project folder with all the chapters linked for numbering and printing.

3) Navigating is difficult and not easy to understand. The system is so "flexible" as to be inconsistent and causes popping to areas you neither want or need.

4) I wanted to keep notes on Index cards, but what I wrote on them just disappeared and can not be found.

 

I printed the PDF of the instruction manual, but there is no table of contents and I do not find instructions clear in many instances. I read a comment about a link button, but I have no idea what it is.

 

I choose Storyist because I liked the manuscript formatting, view typed documents as wysiwyg (not just endless scrolling text) and the ability to take the manuscript to e pub format.

 

What am I missing? If I can't resolve the navigating issues, I can't see using the program except as a compiler for e pub files. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Ginny:

Welcome to the forums. I have been using Storyist for four years, and I am not quite sure I understand the problems you have listed (except for the chapter/scene distinction, which is real but can be worked around). Let me take your points one by one, and if I have not understood what the problems are, exactly, please write back with more detail.

 

1. Page numbers are continuous within each novel manuscript. To see them, choose View > Print Layout (that is, go to the View menu and choose Print Layout). If you have not changed the default header, the page numbers will show up in the top right corner after Last Name / Title /. You can edit that header to insert your own last name and the title of your manuscript. If you have somehow deleted the page numbers or the header, you can get them back.

 

2. If you add a chapter, you will get a folder: that's true. That folder needs at least one section. The easiest solution is add a chapter (CHAPTER 1 or whatever) and one section within that chapter (titled, say, 1-1—that title will not appear in your manuscript). Then type your entire chapter in that section. If you would like to keep notes on the chapter you can set up section sheets called CHAPTER 1, CHAPTER 2, and so on—or whatever other titles please you.

 

3. Navigating: not sure exactly what the problem is here. I have not found the navigation system to be inconsistent, although if you have multiple windows open, you do need to look for the blue title bar that marks the active window. Otherwise you may end up moving something you didn't expect.

 

4. Again, it is not normal for text just to disappear from index cards. Text typed on a card generally appears in the summary field when you display the card in text mode. If you have two windows open, one with a sheet in text mode and the other showing the same sheet as an index card (you click the rotating arrows icon at the bottom of the righthand window to link the sheets), and you type in one of them, you should see the text appear in both windows simultaneously. I made some screen shots (thanks, Orren, for the idea!) and will post them below as soon as I cut them down to a reasonable size. If you display the index cards as a storyboard, you should see the summary fields of all of them, side by side. When you double-click on a card to edit it, it does shift out of the storyboard and into its own little window (the collage). You have to go back up a level to see the cards arranged against the corkboard. But the text should still be there.

 

Do write again, and someone will be happy to walk you around the learning curve. You can certainly do more with Storyist than use it to compile ePub files!

Best,

Marguerite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ginny!

 

1) Novels should be numbered 1 - whatever, not chapter by chapter. Why wouldn't novel writing software provide continuous page numbering linking chapters?

 

I may be wrong here, but it sounds like you're starting each chapter as it's own "manuscript" (in Storyist terms). In other words, instead of having a single "Manuscript" item in the Project View and then using the Chapter Title style to denote that you're beginning a new chapter in that document, you're either creating or importing each chapter as it's own document.

 

If you create a single Manuscript and use Chapter Title to deliniate chapters, you will get one continuous page number from 1 to whatever.

20110707-n8spu1cj48t2cfdd7gfw69b4nx.jpg20110707-fkrj6pqnrxde7u4u51qxqu7wmm.jpg

 

If you create many different Manuscripts and name each one "Chapter 1" "Chapter 2" and so on, Storyist will think of each one as it's own separate novel, and start the numbering over.

 

2) I write chapters not scenes but I can not just add a document that is a chapter. I get a folder with multiple collapsing documents. I want one document per chapter and a project folder with all the chapters linked for numbering and printing.

 

Unfortunately, in Storyist 2.3, you can't do that. You have to chose:

 

• If you use Chapter Title style so that each chapter is it's own sub-folder inside your master novel "Manuscript" then you get all the chapters linked for numbering and printing.

 

• If you make each Chapter it's own separate unique Manuscript, it will not be linked to other Manuscripts for numbering and printing.

 

3) Navigating is difficult and not easy to understand. The system is so "flexible" as to be inconsistent and causes popping to areas you neither want or need.

 

It definitely can be confusing, but I think like so many apps, it's one of those things that once you get it, you get it. To me, the most helpful element on the entire UI is the blue-gray bar at the top of the selected window:

20110707-iu8nua1dxxhwx4rr81htngd4b.jpg

 

When you click in a window, this top bar will become dark blue to indicate that if you select something in the project editor, this is the pane into which it will go.

 

I have a regular set up by which I keep my manuscript in the middle, and then my section sheets/notes/index cards in pane 3. I have to be careful to click into the right pane so that I don't accidentally open my sheets in the middle pane, or a manuscript in the rightmost pane (I wish I could "lock" panes, so that nothing would replace my manuscript in the middle). But overall I find it pretty easy to get around in, once you figure out how it works and get a workflow going that you're comfortable with.

 

4) I wanted to keep notes on Index cards, but what I wrote on them just disappeared and can not be found.

 

I gotta admit, I too don't really understand how to use the index cards properly. I believe that some of that information is on the "sheet" side, some is on...another side (I guess it's an index card only view, but I'm not sure). Marguerite is probably the one to fill us both in on how to properly use index cards.

 

I know that Steve is impossibly busy right now, but perhaps this is a good topic for a short tutorial video?

 

Hopefully there's a few ideas here to give you more to work with, and of course don't hesitate to keep asking questions, it's how I learned my way around Storyist, such as I have. :)

 

Take care,

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good for you, Orren. I didn't realize Ginny might be putting each chapter in its own manuscript. I have attached a few screen shots I made by adding new cards of various sorts and typing on the cards or in the summary fields of the associated sheets displayed in text mode. I linked the cards and sheets first. Note that one file also shows multiple manuscripts, which I would not want linked because I am using one of the manuscripts to store text from the main manuscript (another reason for doubling up on manuscripts is if you have a series of books that share characters and settings, although I prefer to use templates for that). I tested a plot element (in my Timeline) first, then a character sheet (where the outline on the yellow legal pad is the equivalent of the index card). The last image shows the chapter sheets displayed as a storyboard, where you can see the same text is still on the card.

 

I agree that cards, sheets, and navigation would be good tutorial subjects.

 

Hang in there, Ginny. You'll figure it out! :)

Best,

Marguerite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am back and truly appreciate the replies. But in trying to replicate anything, I am getting no where. I have been on Macs since the original LC. I expect certain things. First applications, folders, doc (be they spreadsheet, database or text files) to behave a certain way. A diamond or arrow indicates a folder where things are stored. Docs should not have them. When I select a specific kind of document (novel) I shouldn't than see a read me type document which I have to delete.

 

Try this with your own application. Click on the application to open it. Storyist opens. Choose novel template and than option blank and novel is there. I will choose the blank one as I do not want to delete the Intro info (Steve, please remove and put in a Read Me file or into instructions). Highlight the blank one and click choose.

 

I know have three empty folders under Project, see attached.

 

If I click under the picture of briefcase (Project) > Novel Manuscript I am back to Steve Introduction with docs with Chapter 1 and Chapter nested under them with docs inside them.

 

If I go under Projects in the menu bar, Add to Doc I get Text file (which adds a Untitled Note) or Group (which adds an empty folder).

 

Does anyone understand the difference between folders and documents. Also, nothing explains how the buttons for Plot, Characters, Settings bring up the corkboard.

 

I read another post 'confused'. Makes me feel better. This program does not behave like a standard Mac program.

 

I truly want to understand. But instead of writing I am here trying to get some answers.

 

Both the responders seem to make suggestion but I can't make them work. Someone mentions Chapter Title Style, couldn't locate. Styles to me are a set format, fonts, page layout, etc.

 

What is Manuscript for this program? Shouldn't that be a new document?

 

I am not a programmer, but I use computers all day at work (windows based) and come home to my Mac. I am not expecting to know the ins and outs, but a simple way to start. If the learning curve is too steep I may have to try a different program. The people on the forum seem extremely nice, but the software behaves counterintuitive to all other programs I have used.

 

Can someone dummy this down?

 

If Steve pops in, features sound great but execution is wonky. Maybe if I had started at the first version, I would get it. The reason I like Macs is simplicity of use. I like click and drag; knowing copy, paste, delete are the same. If something as an arrow than it is a folder which you click and there is either a document or a another folder inside.

 

I am just giving this a shot. Maybe I need a program that is more Mac-like.

 

For any assistance for the group, thanks. Maybe someone who has used it only a short time will understand. I just don't get how this works and I mean simply starting a new doc without deleting something else.

 

Ginny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ginny,

 

Both the responders seem to make suggestion but I can't make them work. Someone mentions Chapter Title Style, couldn't locate.

 

I would be that someone. My name is Orren.

 

Like all word processors, you can access styles from numerous places. You can access the Chapter Title style from the Format menu. Select Format > Apply Style. You can access the Chapter Title style from the Inspector, in the Style window (second tab). But my favorite place to access styles graphically are from the bottom of the window, status bar. The styles appear in the pop-up menu right next to the page count, as shown in the image below.

20110708-tnugiwad6qdjq9q2f2yfmu1xg2.jpg

 

What is Manuscript for this program? Shouldn't that be a new document?

 

I went to the online users guide for Storyist: http://storyist.com/support/users-guide/welcome/ (same as the downloadable manual, I believe) but I couldn't find a single, pithy explanation of a manuscript in Storyist terms for you.

 

I'll try to give you a definition, but if you're not used to applications that have "projects" this may seem complicated.

 

In TextEdit (the default word processor that ships with your Mac), a "document" is a blank page upon which you type. That is because in TextEdit, all you can do (more or less) is type on a page.

 

In Storyist, a "new file" is a project Because you can add many things to a Storyist project file. You can add blank pages on which you can type (called "Manuscripts" or "scripts"). You can add pictures. You can add text clippings. You can add story or project sheets from lists of sheets in Storyist. So when you create a "New Project" (that is what the command in the File Menu is called). It creates a new document for you in which you may place any or all of these elements. You don't have to but you can.

 

Here is what I believe may be confusing you: in the Project view, Storyist uses the word "document" for the category containing Manuscripts and Scripts. If you are used to Microsoft Word or TextEdit, in which the term "document" to mean "everything that is saved" this might lead you to believe that all your Storyist file consists of is that thing under the "Documents" category, and everything else is somehow a separate thing that is something else. But it's not.

 

In other words, in hierarchal order:

 

PROJECT — the container of everything that you write and drag in that you save and load into Storyist

DOCUMENT—the blank page that you type that becomes your Manuscript or Script

IMAGES—.jpgs or other types of graphics that you drag into your project to represent your characters, settings, etc.

PLOT SHEETS—specific forms that let you type in details of plot points of your story if you choose to use them

CHARACTER SHEETS—specific forms that let you type in character details if you wish,

ETC.

 

If you use more complicated "pro applications" written by Apple such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and so on, they are similar.

 

For any assistance for the group, thanks. Maybe someone who has used it only a short time will understand. I just don't get how this works and I mean simply starting a new doc without deleting something else.

 

I've only been using Storyist 9 months longer than you have, according to the dates we signed up for the forum at least.

 

The Blank template is truly empty. There aren't any blank pages upon which to type. You have to add them yourself using Project > Add to Project. Those three things you're seeing on the project view are not documents. They are categories.

 

Think of it this way: the Blank template is like an empty room with three plaques on the wall: DOCUMENTS, IMAGES, BOOKMARKS. So it is truly an empty room in that there are no manuscripts, sheets, images, you name it. The plaques on the wall don't count as "things" they are simply organizing tools to help you as you build your project.

 

And again, Apple's own Pro Apps are the same. They have windows called Event, Project (Final Cut), Audio, Media (Logic) and so on.

 

Storyist has a learning curve. It's not a simple application compared to TextEdit or Mail or iChat. But it's certainly in line with Apple's own more involved applications.

 

Hope that helps,

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ginny,

 

 

 

I would be that someone. My name is Orren.

 

Like all word processors, you can access styles from numerous places. You can access the Chapter Title style from the Format menu. Select Format > Apply Style. You can access the Chapter Title style from the Inspector, in the Style window (second tab). But my favorite place to access styles graphically are from the bottom of the window, status bar. The styles appear in the pop-up menu right next to the page count, as shown in the image below.

20110708-tnugiwad6qdjq9q2f2yfmu1xg2.jpg

 

 

 

I went to the online users guide for Storyist: http://storyist.com/support/users-guide/welcome/ (same as the downloadable manual, I believe) but I couldn't find a single, pithy explanation of a manuscript in Storyist terms for you.

 

I'll try to give you a definition, but if you're not used to applications that have "projects" this may seem complicated.

 

In TextEdit (the default word processor that ships with your Mac), a "document" is a blank page upon which you type. That is because in TextEdit, all you can do (more or less) is type on a page.

 

In Storyist, a "new file" is a project Because you can add many things to a Storyist project file. You can add blank pages on which you can type (called "Manuscripts" or "scripts"). You can add pictures. You can add text clippings. You can add story or project sheets from lists of sheets in Storyist. So when you create a "New Project" (that is what the command in the File Menu is called). It creates a new document for you in which you may place any or all of these elements. You don't have to but you can.

 

Here is what I believe may be confusing you: in the Project view, Storyist uses the word "document" for the category containing Manuscripts and Scripts. If you are used to Microsoft Word or TextEdit, in which the term "document" to mean "everything that is saved" this might lead you to believe that all your Storyist file consists of is that thing under the "Documents" category, and everything else is somehow a separate thing that is something else. But it's not.

 

In other words, in hierarchal order:

 

PROJECT — the container of everything that you write and drag in that you save and load into Storyist

DOCUMENT—the blank page that you type that becomes your Manuscript or Script

IMAGES—.jpgs or other types of graphics that you drag into your project to represent your characters, settings, etc.

PLOT SHEETS—specific forms that let you type in details of plot points of your story if you choose to use them

CHARACTER SHEETS—specific forms that let you type in character details if you wish,

ETC.

 

If you use more complicated "pro applications" written by Apple such as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, and so on, they are similar.

 

 

 

I've only been using Storyist 9 months longer than you have, according to the dates we signed up for the forum at least.

 

The Blank template is truly empty. There aren't any blank pages upon which to type. You have to add them yourself using Project > Add to Project. Those three things you're seeing on the project view are not documents. They are categories.

 

Think of it this way: the Blank template is like an empty room with three plaques on the wall: DOCUMENTS, IMAGES, BOOKMARKS. So it is truly an empty room in that there are no manuscripts, sheets, images, you name it. The plaques on the wall don't count as "things" they are simply organizing tools to help you as you build your project.

 

And again, Apple's own Pro Apps are the same. They have windows called Event, Project (Final Cut), Audio, Media (Logic) and so on.

 

Storyist has a learning curve. It's not a simple application compared to TextEdit or Mail or iChat. But it's certainly in line with Apple's own more involved applications.

 

Hope that helps,

Orren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did exactly what you said Orren and this is what I get

 

/Users/GinnyJ/Desktop/Screen shot 2011-07-07 at 7.25.17 PM.png

 

Again, I document (text file) with folders labeled chapters and scenes inside and each chapter is a separate folder with individual text files (scenes) in them with instructions written in them. Same thing i get when I choose the non blank version.

 

Is there a way to get a simple, blank text file to open for a chapter followed by another text file chapter all linked together to maintain numbering.The Project should be a folder contain all the text files for a novel where they are scenes or chapters. Again a folder holds other doc (whether spreadsheet, database, text or images).

 

I did exactly what you indicated and I get Steve 'project' folder with for his overview. I have a printed copy of the PDF manual. I don't need all the bells and whistle now. Storyist provide a simple view with true WYSIWYG....page layout with headers/footers.

 

Does any know have to get blank text file/manuscript page. Manuscript again loads a bunch of stuff that isn't how I work.

 

Sorry, my frustration is rising.

 

Today loaded trial of Scrivener (can't see and control headers and footers /only see at the compile stage.

 

Jer's Novel Writer - but no page layout view - only continuous scrolling.

 

Does anyone understand what I am asking?

 

Ginny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Ginny,

You want the Novel dummy text to show up first because it loads the styles into Storyist. Otherwise there is nothing to provide the WYSIWYG formatting commands. Try this:

 

Open a new file based on the Novel template (choosing Blank just adds a step, until you feel comfortable enough to create your own styles). Select and delete everything but the first paragraph. Select that first paragraph and, without deleting it, type your first sentence.

 

Type # on a line by itself, select it, and choose Section Separator from the Styles menu (Orren shows you where it is). Click back to the end of your first sentence. You could also save one of Steve's separators, then copy it and its formatting as needed.

 

Type as much as you want, saving every so often. When you finish that chapter, type another # on a line by itself and style it as Section Separator. Type your next chapter. Repeat as needed.

 

Eventually you can work through the Project View and name your sections, add characters, do whatever you want. But let's start with the basics. To recap:

 

1. Open a new file based on Novel.

2. Delete everything but paragraph 1.

3. Select that first paragraph and type your first sentence over it.

4. Create the section separator (#). You could also just save one of Steve's, if you like.

5. Type the first chapter.

6. Create a new section separator.

7. Type another chapter.

8. Repeat.

9. Post again and we will help you organize your prose or do whatever else you'd like to do (assuming we can).

 

Scrivener has a completely different setup. If you try to work with it and Storyist at the same time, it is likely to confuse you more, not less.

Best,

M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. The project is a folder holding everything, but everything includes manuscripts, plot, characters, settings, and other things. Similarly, each manuscript is a folder holding many chapters, each chapter can hold many sections/scenes, and so on.

 

The base levels are section, character, plot point, setting, note, and image. Each of those can be grouped into higher units (folders), which becomes important when you have 50 research notes, 20 characters of four alien races, a main plot and two subplots and a couple of mythic structures, or even just a bunch of whatevers that you don't need right now but may want to call on later.

 

Storyist is a WYSIWIG word processor, true. You can make excellent use of it without ever going beyond that. But where Storyist excels is in data management. If you think of it in those terms, it will help, I swear. :)

Best,

Marguerite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ginny,

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

I think Marguerite and Orren did a great job of addressing the questions you raised, so I just want to add a couple of suggestions and comments:

 

1) Multi-file page numbering. As Orren pointed out, Storyist does support page numbering but doesn't have a mechanism for coordinating page numbering (or word counts, for that matter) across multiple files. If you do want to keep with the approach of keeping each chapter in a separate document, perhaps you could assemble them when you finish your draft. However, I think you'll find it easier to get the result you're looking for if you keep your chapters in a single manuscript.

 

2) Displaying manuscript outlines in the Project view. This a favorite feature for many Storyist users, and since you treat chapters as separate pieces of your projects, I guess I'm a little surprised that this doesn't appeal to you. However, you can turn the feature off by selecting the file in Project view, choosing Project > Edit "My Manuscript" Preferences, and unchecking the "Show outline in Project and Outline views" checkbox.

 

3) Placeholder text in the template files. You're probably annoyed with Pages for the same reason. While you can't currently customize the Storyist file templates that appear when you click the Project toolbar button (this is something that is on my future features list), you can create custom project templates. Just create a new project, set it up as you like, and then choose File > Save as Template. It will appear in the template chooser the next time you start a project.

 

4) Documentation. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the online version of the User's Guide. It has a table of contents, and you can leave comments on sections that aren't clear. I'm always looking for ways to improve the docs, and I respond to each comment left. Note that the Kindle and ePub versions, and the printed manual (available in the store) also provide tables of contents. And of course if you read the Storyist version, you'll see the contents in the Project view. :-)

 

It sounds like you've evaluated most of the writing programs out there and haven't found exactly what you're looking for yet. If you do choose to stick with Storyist (and I hope you do), please feel free to join the feature requests discussions. That's the best way to help shape the future features.

 

-Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Everyone Who Replied,

 

Thanks for the assistance. Marguerite, the step by step was helpful. But, Steve, I still have found no way to open a blank start up page to write on. You mentioned Pages. I went to Pages, wham bam, there is a blank document, nothing to delete, just start typing. I also went online and found several reviews for Storyist which indicated the start up was cumbersome. One reviewer stated "adding new items to the project was unnecessarily complicated." Everyone raves about all the features, but the steep learning curve issue pop up quite a few time. I mention this because if the program didn't have a specific style I wanted (my own peculiarities) I wouldn't be fighting so hard to understand it. I would go to something else. It also made me think it wasn't only me. Just something to consider.

 

Also, I will keep all the suggestions from everyone. Navigating is still difficult. There is not always a blue bar and things pop all over the place without sense to me. Does anyone actually move panes around or do most people set up a layout, as someone suggested, the word processing/text portion in the center and the far right pane for outline and index cards. (Maybe a way to lock the layout is needed.)

 

Thanks again.

 

PS Steve, is there a reason the PDF Manual doesn't have a table of contents if the online and printed versions do? Also, you might want to have someone who has never used the software begin using it from scratch and watch, and have them follow the Getting Started Instructions. It isn't that straight forward for most people. When people do things constantly, everyday, they see it differently. You may not see things the same way as the new user. (For example, try to teach double digit subtraction to a six year or teach a senior citizen online banking. I have done both. What seems simple and straight forward to you, is overwhelmingly complicated to that other person.

 

Sorry for the long post.

 

Good luck and thanks for your time and energy, everyone.

 

Ginny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Orren's comparison of a Storyist project to a Final Cut project is very apt, and one I had never considered. (I wish I would have read your post when I was first learning Storyist...it's a good model for newbies to understand the operating paradigm.)

 

I too struggled with Storyist when I first began using it, but I really think it's because I was expecting it to act like a word processor, when it's really so much more. I think the user guide does a great job of describing all the features, but I had a hard time putting all of the functionality into a "big picture" perspective to really understand how to best use the software. I don't think I really learned to use it to my advantage until my second major project...then it all sort of clicked. Now I use Storyist for things that I never thought I would (like a project I wrote for work...)

 

I would also imagine that if you polled 100 Storyist users you'd find that we all use the application in slightly different ways, but we've all found workflows that work for us. (For instance, I never use the plot point cards or notebook entries...I use Evernote for that...but I do use the character cards.). I guess that's the beauty of a big, flexible system...but, of course, it makes the learning curve a bit tougher to find just what elements work for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still have found no way to open a blank start up page to write on. You mentioned Pages. I went to Pages, wham bam, there is a blank document, nothing to delete, just start typing. I also went online and found several reviews for Storyist which indicated the start up was cumbersome. One reviewer stated "adding new items to the project was unnecessarily complicated." Everyone raves about all the features, but the steep learning curve issue pop up quite a few time. I mention this because if the program didn't have a specific style I wanted (my own peculiarities) I wouldn't be fighting so hard to understand it. I would go to something else. It also made me think it wasn't only me. Just something to consider.

Ginny,

Here is the way to create a blank document on startup.

1. Open Storyist by clicking on its application icon. When the window listing possible projects appears, choose Novel. If it does not appear because you disabled it, choose File > New Project. Choose Novel. From here, you can do a couple of things depending on what you want.

Choice A: Click in the text, choose Edit > Select All. Delete everything.

Choice B: Click in the Project View (the window on the left) where it says chapter 2. Delete that. Do the same with the two sections "Formatting Your Manuscript" and "Handling Sections and Headers." Double-click on the one remaining paragraph and type "Text here." Leave the # character in place.

 

Whichever option you choose, when you have the page the way you want it, go to the File menu and choose Save as Template. Give the template a name that you will easily recognize: Ginny Novel.story or Blank Novel.story, say.

 

Next time you want to start a new project, choose Ginny Novel (Blank Novel, whatever you called it) from the Chooser window, where it will appear next to the prefab choices. The screen will open with exactly as much text as you wanted, and you can go on from there.

 

If you are sure that this is the only template you will want to use with Storyist for the next good while, create it, then choose Storyist > Preferences. The first entry under General says: For New Documents Show Template Chooser dialog or Use template. There is a button to Choose. Click on it. Choose your new novel template from the window, and click Choose. Make sure the button next to Use template: Ginny Novel is dark. Click the red button on the Preferences window to close it.

 

Next time you choose File > New Project, you will get the blank page. (Note that this works only if you open the new project via the menu. If you click on the suitcase and choose Novel Manuscript, you will still get the dummy text.)

 

Why would you pick option B over A? Only because it reminds you what goes where. If you are sure you want to see nothing on the page, not even Chapter 1, then choose A.

 

Also, I will keep all the suggestions from everyone. Navigating is still difficult. There is not always a blue bar and things pop all over the place without sense to me. Does anyone actually move panes around or do most people set up a layout, as someone suggested, the word processing/text portion in the center and the far right pane for outline and index cards. (Maybe a way to lock the layout is needed.)

What I do is use the Workspaces feature. I set up my windows the way I want them and click on the button that says Workspaces (next to the blue i for the Inspector) and give it a name. Then I can get back to that setup just by choosing the Workspace from the Workspaces drop-down menu (note that a workspace is a snapshot of where your windows are at a given point in time, so when you snap back, your cursor may move to a previous chapter that happened to be open when you saved the workspace: this is not a bug).

 

As for the navigation, I have spent so much time with multiple windows that I realized while creating these instructions that Orren and I misled you slightly. If you have two or more windows open besides the Project View, as in my screenshots, the active window has a blue bar over it. Otherwise the clue is more subtle: if the Project View is active, the selection is a bright dark blue; if you click in the manuscript, the Project View remains selected but is a more subtle blue. If you switch away from Storyist altogether (as I am to write this note), the selection remains but is gray. Check it out a couple of times and you will see the difference.

Best,

Marguerite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, here I am again, trying to learn software when I should be writing. A little background: I bought Storyist two years ago, after spending hours and hours reading the reviews of all the choices available. (I'm very selective. I try my very best to get the right product). I can't explain exactly why I finally went with Storyist, except that it was based on a feeling, simply a hunch. A lot of it was because of this forum and the admiration for Steve.

 

After the 'kicking-the-tires-and-then-buying' stage I was excited to get going. I am 68 years old, have never really learned how to use a word processor, but really, really had the urge to write... now .... finally .... after putting it off for all these years. Before the memory is totally gone, or worse, before I am gone. I played around with Storyist as soon as I got it. But ... well ... I didn't get it. So I chalked it up to my age and lack of technical know-how. So I put it aside for awhile, rationalizing that I first had a lot of research to do on my imagined historical fiction novel. So I spent a year researching, and then tried playing around with Storyist again. Same result. I was not getting it. By now, I'm sure you know how this story ends. Yes, it's another year later and I am once again motivated to write - and once again attempting to "get Storyist." There is one difference this time: I'm not at all sure I really want to get it anymore; it just doesn't seem to be worth the time. Despite the posts I've seen that say essentially, "Okay, I got it. What a dummy I am."

 

It should not be like this. I am not a dummy in other respects, why with this? I am sure everyone in this forum agrees that the process of writing is hard enough, without writing software making it harder still. And we also know of the numerous posts herein that say the same thing. Why, to offer just one example, is there still no instructive video to make things just a bit easier for us visually-oriented types?

 

I don't want to waste any more time .... either knocking Storyist or anything else. I want to be productive. I want to write. I want software that is the digital/electronic equivalent of a typewriter, without a typewriter's limitations. I do not want writing software that boasts every "feature" under the sun, or is extremely "flexible," or knows more than I do, etc, etc. I want writing software that makes it easier to write, not harder.

 

I won't attempt to list specific problems, even though you and Steve and others will have the right to scold me if I don't. And I don't even want to throw Storyist out the window ... not quite yet. I am simply hoping that someone can convince an old codger like me that it could still make sense to use Storyist all stripped down, without the bells and whistles, simply to write. AND ... at the same time to use something like Circus Ponies' Notebook to keep track of characters, ideas, notes to self, etc. (I just reviewed 'Notebook' online and it looks pretty nifty. Of course, I felt the same way about some writing software once)

 

Okay, enough jokes and enough ranting. I apologize if I've been too sarcastic. But, after all, I know I'm not the only one who's a bit frustrated. Seriously, I do hope that you, Marguerite or Steve, or anyone else who reads this, can suggest a workable way to work with Storyist (in conjunction with, or without, separate note-taking software) that will allow me to be more productive when I sit down to write. I realize that goes against the grain, it's probably a conflict of interest for you, etc. But, I don't know how else to reach out. If you do choose to respond, please spell things out for me as if talking to a child. Because apparently, when it comes to this software, that's what I am. Thanks so much for your patience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Landsmann,

I want software that is the digital/electronic equivalent of a typewriter, without a typewriter's limitations.

 

Ok, try this:

  • Launch Storyist.
  • Create a new project from the Blank template.
  • Remove the Plot, Characters, Settings and Workspaces icons from the toolbar.
  • Click on the Project icon and select Novel Manuscript. This will add a new file to your project that contains styles for standard novel formatting.

Now you have a document to type in. You can delete the template text that is there.

 

When you want to start a new chapter, type the chapter title on a new line and apply the Chapter Title style.

 

If you want to add a new document for notes or journal entries, click the Project icon again and choose Notebook entry. Notebook entries are text files intended for shorter bits of text.

 

I won't attempt to list specific problems, even though you and Steve and others will have the right to scold me if I don't.

 

I would certainly never scold you, but it is hard to help if you won't say what it is you're having trouble with. :)

 

You mentioned that you never really learned how to use a word processor. I'm not sure how serious you were, but you will want to make sure you understand how styles work. (Knowing this will help you with other writing software if you decide Storyist is not for you.)

 

With a manuscript and a collection of notes, you should be able to use Storyist complete your novel without having to dive in to the more advanced features of the program. Once you're comfortable with the text editing features, you can move on to the outlining features and such.

-Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Landsman,

 

Thanks, Steve, but please tell me how to accomplish your third bullet point (above). Maybe I am a dummy?!

 

To customize a toolbar in a Mac application:

  • Right-click (or control-click if you don't have a two button mouse) in the toolbar and choose "Customize Toolbar."
  • Drag the items you don't want from the toolbar.

-Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...