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Rob123xyz

Index Card and other resources shareability across manuscripts.

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Having come to Storyist from Scrivenor because I want to use my iPad for writing, I wish the Index cards could be created independent of a manuscript and a template selection. Many writers like myself, like to play around with scene, plot, setting and character ideas before deciding Novel, Screenplay or both. With Scrivenor, index cards as well as all other resources (characters, settings, plot points, images, etc) are independent of deployment and you can attach a screenplay manuscript and a novel manuscript to the same project and share all resources. Storyist makes you create a manuscript based on a template before you can start accumulating supporting materials (like index cards) and then you cannot share those resources with other manuscripts or projects. Or am I missing something?

 

— Robert

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Hi, Rob,

Welcome to the forums.

 

I think you may be underestimating the flexibility of Storyist. A project can hold more than one writing file, and more than one type of writing file. So just pick the most likely option for your template. If you later decide your novel should be a screenplay or stage play, or vice versa, no problem. Add a manuscript with the right type of file to your project, and keep the text there.

 

If you keep your index cards disconnected from the manuscript (as unlinked scene/section sheets, plot sheets, character sheets, etc.), you can delete the "wrong" manuscript after you set up the "right" one. But nothing will change if you keep both around to be safe. Each MS exports, prints, etc. by itself, even if you have more than one.

Best,

Marguerite

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Thank you for the reply. Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. You're saying you can share index cards across manuscripts? Because I thought I tried that and when I created a new manuscript in the same project, the index cards were blank. Is there an assumption that you would probably want the flexibility to structure the story differently as a novel than as a screenplay? But even so, there should be a capability to copy the screenplay index cards into the novel. The other folders and sheets are definitely independent of the manuscript, but not the cards.

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The cards are just one way of displaying data. They are actually just one way of displaying the sheets. Rather than give you false information, I need to look at this in Storyist for Mac, which I can't do right now.

 

More tomorrow.

M

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Hmmm, I didn't think the cards had anything to do with the sheets. Is it possible I'm misunderstanding the product capabilities? I thought the folders and sheets were notes for the project, but the cards were linked to the manuscript and helped you move scenes around as you organized the story in the manuscript.

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Okay, here's the deal. I was pretty sure that this was the case, but (1) I wanted to check the program itself; and (2) it's easier to type on a keyboard than from my iPad.

 

First, you can have a novel manuscript and a screenplay in the same file, as you can see in the attached screen shot. Whether they share cards depends on how you set up the project. A common misperception for new users of Storyist has to do with the difference between sections/scenes and section sheets/scene sheets. They are not the same.

 

Let's say you start a new project and choose Novel as your basic template. You get something called My Manuscript under the collection MANUSCRIPTS. If you choose View > as Storyboard to see index cards—say, for Chapter 1—those cards represent the actual sections of the manuscript. Notes there represent what is in that section of text, and it can be useful if you are just keeping notes for yourself rather than recording other information, such as who the point-of-view character is or what the conflict is. BUT if you delete the manuscript, those cards go with it. And if you add a screenplay, you would have to manually drag each section card into the collage (gray area) for the scene that you wanted to associate it with.

 

If you have not yet decided whether you want a novel or a script, this is not the best solution. Instead, the idea would be to create section sheets for each scene you can imagine having in your story (I actually use plot points for this purpose and display those as index cards, which is a third option). You can still use View > as Storyboard to see the index cards for the section sheet (screen sheet in a script), but the sheets have two big advantages. First, whatever you type on the card gets entered into the summary field in the text version of the sheet; this doesn't happen when you use the index cards in the manuscript. And second, section sheets can exist independently of the manuscript. So since you don't know what kind of project you're dealing with, let alone how you want to organize it, having a blank manuscript or script and a bunch of sheets that you can display as index cards, move around, and eventually attach to sections or scenes gives you much more flexibility.

 

Note that if you are using Storyist this way, you probably want to turn off, at least temporarily, the default option to create sheets automatically as you add sections/scenes to the manuscript. When you have the automatic sheet creation on, sheets and sections are permanently attached to one another and change in tandem (which can be very useful once you are actually writing).

 

To turn off automatic sheet creation, Control-click or right-click on My Manuscript (My Film Script) and choose Preferences. Uncheck the box that says Create sheets automatically. Close the window. If you ever want to turn it on again, repeat the process and check the box.

 

Even if you don't have automatic sheet creation turned on, you can attach any sheet to a portion of text by dragging its icon (from the project outline) into the collage of another element. This is great for adding pictures of a character at different ages or the chief setting of a scene, etc. For an example, see the attached screen shot. The card here represents section 1 of chapter 1, and the three smaller icons are a section sheet, a character sheet, and a note. The section sheet attached just as well to the first scene of the script (which in the image bears its name, because I attached the sheet).

 

The second screen shot shows an image from my novel in progress, with an image of a character attached to the section sheet where he first appears. This section sheet is not attached to any section; it's just a way for me to keep notes during the planning stage and ensure during revisions that I've covered basics (like having conflict in a scene).

 

Hope this helps! :)

 

Collage-Image.jpg

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You posted under Storyist for Mac, so that's what I was responding to. The iPad version does some things that the Mac version doesn't, but it doesn't do everything the Mac version does. And although I do use the iPad version, I use it mostly to edit files I have already created on the Mac.

 

You can have multiple files in an iPad Storyist project. And you can have section/scene sheets. But the index cards refer to sections in the manuscript rather than the sheets. So Steve (or someone else) will have to advise you on the best way to do what you want to do on the iPad. My guess is that you would better off using the sheets, even if they don't display as index cards, and filling in just the summary fields. That way, you keep your notes independent of the manuscript while you decide whether you are writing a novel or a screenplay.

 

You can reorganize the section sheets by holding one down and dragging it to a new location. But you will need to give each one a distinctive title. Otherwise, you won't know what you're dragging.

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My apologies. I was redirected to that site from the app store on my iPad for making suggestions and didn't realize it was for the Mac version. It makes sense though that the iPad version of anything will have much scaled down functionality. I have been using Celtx for writing screenplays on both Mac and iPad and until the most recent version, the iPad version had the unfortunate quirk of losing all your markups and background information (production notes). The thing is, I'm so used to using index cards (real index cards scattered on the dining table) and arranging and rearranging them until I am satisfied with the structure and flow. I even have a plain old index card app on the iPad called I think "Index Cards"". But I wasn't able to take my notes on them into any other app other than as plain text and copying and pasting them. So I wanted an app that could help me as I laid out my ideas, detailed the character bios, locations, plot turning points and so forth, structure and arrange and then bring my notes right into the manuscript as a starting point (slugs for screenplays, and the equivalent of novels). Scrivenor seemed the best writing program on the Mac for multi-purpose writing, but they have no iPad version. So I can't work on stuff on trains, in waiting rooms, etc. as I like to. And Celtx does support novels now, but I don't think you can share your catalog info between say a novel and a screenplay—they are different projects and projects don't seem to be able to share anything.

 

 

I appreciate your taking the time to try to help me figure this all out Marguerite. It looks like I'm still searching for that fantastic does-it-all writing program (supports multiple writing targets, shares catalog info between projects, and works on Mac and iPad).

 

Best wishes.

 

Cheers,

 

Robert

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Well, Storyist is very close to what you want. The only thing missing—and that only in the iPad version—is the option to have section sheets display as index cards. You can already enter information in section or plot sheets and rearrange those as you like and share them among different templates in the same project.

 

So why not post a feature request in the iPad forum asking for the option to display sheets as index cards? If Steve can program it easily, he will. He's good like that. And if he can't, he'll explain why.

Best,

M

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Hi Robert,

 

Thanks for posting and welcome. I wanted to add a couple of things to Marguerite's excellent explanation.

  • In Storyist for iPad, you can display and manipulate index cards that are attached to scenes or sections in your text files.
  • In Storyist for Mac, you can also display and manipulate index cards for story sheets (characters, plot points, settings, etc...) which, to my knowledge, Scrivener doesn't support. You can, of course, create a text file for character and setting notes in Scrivener, but the text files lack many of the capabilities of sheets.
  • In Storyist for Mac, you can also display and manipulate cards that are attached to the text files themselves, rather than to the scenes or sections in the text file. Notebook entries are set up this way by default, but you can configure any text file to behave this way by editing the text file preferences to not show the outline elements. I believe this is how index cards operate in Scrivener.
  • While Storyist for iPad does not display index cards for story sheets or notebook entries, it does preserve them, so you can create them on Mac, and then edit the project on iPad, and they will be available when you return to the Mac.
  • Storyist project (Mac or iPad) can include multiple scripts of any type--novel, screenplay, stage play. Final Draft doesn't do this, and I believe Scrivener projects are limited to a single "binder."

Neither Storyist nor Scrivener nor Final Draft (nor Celtx for that matter) allow you to attach the same card to multiple items. However, all allow you to duplicate the items that the cards are attached to.

 

This is an interesting feature request, though, and worth some discussion.

 

-Steve

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