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OK all you screenwriters, where's the program that let's you sit down to a blank page and start writing without thinking about formatting, line spacing, page numbering, etc.? You know, something simple, intuitive and user friendly, as in anyone could sit down and start writing with just a list of Control key functions.

 

My ideal script writing program would work like this;

 

Select screenwriting format, blank page appears (Title Page), enter data, hit enter.

 

First blank page of script appears and is numbered 1.

 

Cursor automatically positions itself at the beginning of the page.

 

Enter: Fade In:, hit return, Line Spacing automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control S, (Scene or Slug Line), enter: INT./EXT. YADA, YADA, YADA - DAY and hit return. Program automatically capitalizes entry and positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control A, (Action), automatically positions cursor to left side of margin. Enter: Action line and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control C, (Character), automatically positions cursor to center of page for Character's Name. Select Control or Function (programers choice) and first letter of character's name. Program will automatically Capitalize name, hit return. Program automatically positions cursor one line down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control P, (Parenthetical's), automatically positions cursor to proper position. Enter data and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor one line down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control D, (Dialogue), automatically positions cursor to proper position. Enter data and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

OK, you get my drift. So where does this software program exist? I'm ready to buy it. Surely, someone has developed a program for the person who just wants to write and is not interested in learning to be a software engineer just to use a screenwriting program.

 

Am I asking for too much here?

 

Thanks,

Klaatu

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Either you are looking for something like Final Draft, which happens to be the screenwriting software, or you are looking for something newly developed which does copy or expand Final Draft's features. You might try celtx or Montage.

 

Storyist is not screenwriting-only, mind you, it can do significantly more than that; and still retain a screenplays formatting and other peculiarities.

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Storyist has shortcuts

 

short_cuts.jpg

 

So I think if you could custom define them (maybe stored in the template or something), it'd meet most of your requests? But I think the problem with this is for people who write a screenplay, then jump to a novel or some other text that has different formatting, then the shortcuts wouldn't be as friendly (it'd lack consistency in the program as a whole).

 

Celtx has shortcuts as well. It starts off empty.

 

The Tab and Enter to cycle through seems to be the standard for many screenwriting programs. I think it makes it easier than remembering short-cuts (especially with the inconsistency between applications).

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I think iKlaaatu is talking about more than just shortcuts but about overall program behavior. And I think an important question is being raised here.

 

When Storyist was first put forward as a screenwriting tool we talked about it in terms of a tool which swapped files with Final Draft. But I've always felt that this was a half-measure. Storyist is at heart a novel writing program. If it's going to be a screenwriting program, as it is touted to be, it will need a second mode: A mode that has all of the tools iKlaaatu suggests and a few others.

 

The Two Mode Solution, which seems to be where Steve is headed, begs the question of how will the modes integrate. (In part, this is the consistency problem emoKid mentions.) A method of instantly reformatting screenplays into novels and vise versa would be amazing, but clearly a major undertaking (Storyist 3.0 ?).

 

I hope this feature request gets Steve thinking about where Storyist is going as a screenwriting tool. Right now it (obviously) is no Final Draft. But then, what is it? The first draft software tool which exports to Final Draft for further development? Maybe. You can certainly complete a screenplay in Storyist but, as iKlaaatu points out, certain ease-of-use features could be further developed.

 

So, Steve, if you have a minute, could you give us an idea about your direction? Is Storyist going to develop significantly further as a screenwriting tool? Or is screenwriting merely a peripheral goody thrown into a phenomenal novel writing program?

 

Where do we go from here?

- Thoth.

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While I sympathize with the request, I think there are a couple of points to remember here:

 

1. This is a Mac program. Apple reserves, and I think requires developers to reserve, certain key combinations (Command-C, Command-P, Command-S, among others) for systemwide functions. This is part of the Mac's charm: that you can go into almost any program, select some text, and hit Command-C to copy it and Command-V to paste it, etc. Sure, you could program variations of Command-C, but does anyone really use a three- or four-key combination? Command-Option-N or Command-Shift-X are about as much as my poor brain can hold.

 

2. You can actually get much of this functionality by setting the "Next Style" options in the Format > Edit Current Style window. I realize the whole point here is that the user shouldn't have to do this, but it would be pretty simple to set up the Screenplay template to do just that, if it doesn't already. Steve?

 

3. As Storyist is currently set up, hit return twice and you get a list of styles. Select the one you want, hit return once, and the text is formatted according to your selected style. Does any program get simpler than that?

 

Maybe it's different in the screenplay template? I don't write screenplays, so I don't know. But I don't see why it would be, and if it is, that would a suitable fix.

Best,

Marguerite

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I would like to "Thank" everyone for taking the time to review this. All of you have some great points. When I'm in the script program, I don't see the Action tab at the bottom of the screen, as emoKid illustrates. Is that in Novel program? All I get is heading 1 or variants of it, which is greek to me. Would it hurt anyone (programers), to say what that means? I use headings when flying, not when writing!

 

I just finished the first draft, of my first script and I'm excited as ever to get it into a script writing program that I can use for the rewrites. The writing was incredible, like watching a movie in my head, all I did was transcribe it. Unfortunately, the experience has been mired with trying to get the script into a formating program.

 

After spending far too much time trying to learn these programs, I gave up and wrote my script using iWork, Pages. It has a simple screenwriting format included. When changing from Action to Character to Dialogue, etc. you click on a little icon on the left and select which item you wish describe and it moves the curser to the proper position. Like Storyist, it will not automatically number the pages, which for the life of me, I do not understand. Scripts to my knowledge, live or die my page count, novels do not.

 

I bought Storyist specifically for writing a script but am disappointed with the lack of maturity the program exhibits. I am a point and click kind of guy. When I click on a function, I expect it to do something. Clicking on a Project Item, does nothing more than highlight the item. So what's the point? I just don't understand the logic behind this lack of functionality.

 

Unless someone comes up with better answers, I guess the next move for me would be to buy Final Draft, since that is what it was designed to do. Have any of you writers used FD? I'm interested in what the learning curve is like. Thanks again for your feed back.

 

 

Klaatu

 

Remember, there is security for all or no one is secure.

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I would like to "Thank" everyone for taking the time to review this. All of you have some great points. When I'm in the script program, I don't see the Action tab at the bottom of the screen, as emoKid illustrates. Is that in Novel program? All I get is heading 1 or variants of it, which is greek to me. Would it hurt anyone (programers), to say what that means? I use headings when flying, not when writing!

 

I just finished the first draft, of my first script and I'm excited as ever to get it into a script writing program that I can use for the rewrites. The writing was incredible, like watching a movie in my head, all I did was transcribe it. Unfortunately, the experience has been mired with trying to get the script into a formating program.

 

After spending far too much time trying to learn these programs, I gave up and wrote my script using iWork, Pages. It has a simple screenwriting format included. When changing from Action to Character to Dialogue, etc. you click on a little icon on the left and select which item you wish describe and it moves the curser to the proper position. Like Storyist, it will not automatically number the pages, which for the life of me, I do not understand. Scripts to my knowledge, live or die my page count, novels do not.

 

I bought Storyist specifically for writing a script but am disappointed with the lack of maturity the program exhibits. I am a point and click kind of guy. When I click on a function, I expect it to do something. Clicking on a Project Item, does nothing more than highlight the item. So what's the point? I just don't understand the logic behind this lack of functionality.

 

Unless someone comes up with better answers, I guess the next move for me would be to buy Final Draft, since that is what it was designed to do. Have any of you writers used FD? I'm interested in what the learning curve is like. Thanks again for your feed back.

 

 

Klaatu

 

Remember, there is security for all or no one is secure.

Klaatu:

I understand your frustration, but it may help to explore Storyist a little more. Try this:

1. Open Storyist. You should see a group of templates. Choose Screenplay (click on Script first if you don't see screenplay). A window opens with preset text.

2. At the bottom of the window, next to Word Count, you should see the word Action with a double-headed arrow next to it. Click on Action and you should see a list of preset styles you can apply to your text with the indicated keystrokes. You can also hit Return twice at the end of a line, and that list will pop up in the text window. Pick the style you want, hit Return, and the next text you type will be in that format.

3. Storyist absolutely will number the pages for you. There doesn't seem to be a header in the script as there is in the Novel template, but you can create one. Choose View > Show Page Guides to see the header space, click in it, then choose Edit > Insert > Page Number. It will show up in Courier 12. You can right align it or format it as you want.

4. If you don't like the Project View, hide it (View > Hide Project View). Or choose View > Full Screen to see only the Manuscript.

 

One issue you will have is that you have a completed script that you want to import. We can walk you through that process (it's not very difficult), but first let's make sure the program will do what you want it to do. So I suggest working within the boilerplate script until you feel comfortable with it, then asking for help in importing your completed file.

 

I think you can do what you want to do in Storyist very simply. And once you're writing and more comfortable with the program, you can also do many other things, like store facts about your characters and settings.

 

Give it a try. And check back if something is not working. Storyist certainly has room for improvement, but it's actually pretty mature by now.

Best,

Marguerite

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Hi Klaatu,

 

It seems you are looking for two things:

 

1) A blank template with your desired formatting.

 

2) Keyboard shortcuts for quickly switching between screenplay elements.

 

Storyist provides both of these things.

 

In fact Storyist provides two types of shortcuts--keyboard shortcuts, and tab/return shortcuts (which most dedicated screenwriting programs provide and is more or less an expected feature).

 

1) Keyboard shortcuts: You'll find these in the style pop-up menu at the bottom of the text window. emoKid included a screenshot above. As Marguerite pointed out, the shortcuts are more in line with other Mac programs.

 

Unfortunately, some of the shortcuts you were looking for conflict with system-wide text shortcuts. I.e.

 

Control-A = move to start of line

Control-P = move to previous line

Control-D = delete the next character

 

2) Tab/return shortcuts: If you press Return at the start of the line, you'll get a small pop-up window with the element choices. On Leopard and later, you only need to type the first letter of the element to select it, so the sequence is Return//Return to select a different style.

 

Often, though, you just need to press the Tab key, which changes the element type to the next logical choice. E.g. If you're in Action, pressing Tab changes the style to Character. If that isn't the style you're looking for, pressing Tab again takes you to the next logical choice.

 

So for the workflow you are looking for:

 

Select screenwriting format, blank page appears (Title Page), enter data, hit enter.

 

First blank page of script appears and is numbered 1.

 

Cursor automatically positions itself at the beginning of the page.

 

The screenplay template provides sample formatting so you can see what the formatting looks like, but it is easy to create your own.

 

1) Create a project from the screenplay template.

2) Select All and delete the text.

3) Choose File > Save as Template.

 

The template is now available for future projects.

 

So start a new project with this template...

 

Enter: Fade In:, hit return, Line Spacing automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

Select the Scene Heading style.

Enter "Fade In:" and hit return.

 

Select: Control S, (Scene or Slug Line), enter: INT./EXT. YADA, YADA, YADA - DAY and hit return. Program automatically capitalizes entry and positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

Select the Scene Heading style (Return/'S'/Return or Command-Control-4), enter INT./EXT.YADA, YADA, YADA - DAY. Storyist automatically capitalizes entry, switches to Action, and positions the cursor at the appropriate line spacing.

 

Select: Control A, (Action), automatically positions cursor to left side of margin. Enter: Action line and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

No style shortcut necessary. Your script is already in Action. Enter the action and hit return. Storyist automatically positions the cursor for the next Action paragraph.

 

Select: Control C, (Character), automatically positions cursor to center of page for Character's Name. Select Control or Function (programers choice) and first letter of character's name. Program will automatically Capitalize name, hit return. Program automatically positions cursor one line down for the next entry.

 

Select the Character style (Tab, or Command-Control-1). Storyist automatically positions cursor to center of page for character's name. Type the first letter of the character's name. Storyist will automatically capitalize name. Hit return. Storyist automatically switches to the Dialog style and positions cursor one line down for the dialog entry.

 

Select: Control P, (Parenthetical's), automatically positions cursor to proper position. Enter data and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor one line down for the next entry.

 

Select the Parenthetical style (Tab, or Command-Control-3). Storyist automatically positions cursor to proper position. Enter data and hit return. Storyist automatically switches to the Dialog style and positions cursor one line down for the next entry.

 

Select: Control D, (Dialogue), automatically positions cursor to proper position. Enter data and hit return. Program automatically positions cursor three lines down for the next entry.

 

No style shortcut necessary. You're already in Dialog. Enter the data and hit return. Storyist automatically switches to Action and positions the cursor accordingly.

 

Am I asking for too much here?

 

Not at all. In fact, I think you'll find that Storyist requires fewer overall keystrokes than the workflow you're looking for :P

 

-Steve

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I would like to "Thank" everyone for taking the time to review this. All of you have some great points.

 

iKlaaatu, forgive me for explaining this if you already know this but: Formatted styles are associated with Templates.

 

If you start with the Novel template (for example) the formatted styles associated with it (and available on menus accessible through the placard next to the word count placard, or by using a double return twice anywhere) are: Chapter Title, Header, Section Separator, Section Text, Default Style.

 

If you start with the Act_Scene template the formatted styles associated with it are: Act, Action, Character, Dialogue, Parenthetical, Scene Heading, Shot, Transition, Default Style. Which is pretty much what you need.

 

I hope this helps. But I would still like to know the direction (functions, features, etc) of the screenplay part of Storyist.

- Thoth.

 

(Why did he thank us in quotes?)

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Hi iKlaaatu,

 

Some additional info:

 

I would like to "Thank" everyone for taking the time to review this. All of you have some great points. When I'm in the script program, I don't see the Action tab at the bottom of the screen, as emoKid illustrates. Is that in Novel program? All I get is heading 1 or variants of it, which is greek to me. Would it hurt anyone (programers), to say what that means? I use headings when flying, not when writing!

 

I just finished the first draft, of my first script and I'm excited as ever to get it into a script writing program that I can use for the rewrites. The writing was incredible, like watching a movie in my head, all I did was transcribe it. Unfortunately, the experience has been mired with trying to get the script into a formating program.

 

After spending far too much time trying to learn these programs, I gave up and wrote my script using iWork, Pages. It has a simple screenwriting format included. When changing from Action to Character to Dialogue, etc. you click on a little icon on the left and select which item you wish describe and it moves the curser to the proper position. Like Storyist, it will not automatically number the pages, which for the life of me, I do not understand. Scripts to my knowledge, live or die my page count, novels do not.

 

It sounds like you imported your script from Pages. What format did you use to export from Page? Doc? This is probably why you're seeing Heading 1, etc... instead of your styles. Use RTF if possible.

 

Also, Storyist will automatically number the pages if you insert page numbers. To do this:

 

1) Place the cursor where you want the page number.

2) From the main menu, choose Edit > Insert > Page Number.

 

I bought Storyist specifically for writing a script but am disappointed with the lack of maturity the program exhibits. I am a point and click kind of guy. When I click on a function, I expect it to do something. Clicking on a Project Item, does nothing more than highlight the item. So what's the point? I just don't understand the logic behind this lack of functionality.

 

I'm not sure I follow. Clicking on a Project item causes the project item to be displayed unless it is already selected.

 

-Steve

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Steve, an excellent review. Just the sort of comfort food I'd like to see in the User's Guide.

- Thoth.

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I would like to "Thank" everyone for taking the time to review this. All of you have some great points. When I'm in the script program, I don't see the Action tab at the bottom of the screen, as emoKid illustrates. Is that in Novel program? All I get is heading 1 or variants of it, which is greek to me. Would it hurt anyone (programers), to say what that means? I use headings when flying, not when writing!

 

That was in the Screenplay format.

 

I just finished the first draft, of my first script and I'm excited as ever to get it into a script writing program that I can use for the rewrites. The writing was incredible, like watching a movie in my head, all I did was transcribe it. Unfortunately, the experience has been mired with trying to get the script into a formating program.

 

If you used the Screenplay format, it should export easily into several formats. The Final Draft Format (.fdx) can be imported into several other programs with ease.

 

For what you've already written, you can also create a new Storyist project in the Screenplay format, copy and past all of the text int, then apply the styles to the different lines. This might be a bit of work (or try import menu item).

 

After spending far too much time trying to learn these programs, I gave up and wrote my script using iWork, Pages

 

Did you choose a specific format when you started? Some programs might be easier to use (like Celtx) because they don't multitask as much as Storyist (allowing you to write novels, create your own templates).

 

I bought Storyist specifically for writing a script but am disappointed with the lack of maturity the program exhibits. I am a point and click kind of guy. When I click on a function, I expect it to do something. Clicking on a Project Item, does nothing more than highlight the item. So what's the point? I just don't understand the logic behind this lack of functionality.

 

Clicking on project names/icons usually brings something up. If you are in the Index card view or Outline view, it will always bring something up. If you are in the Editor view, then it won't bring something up if there is nothing to edit.

 

Storyist is quite mature. If you start off with the Screenplay format, you'll have a similar experience to many other Screenwriting applications. The main editor for any screenwriting application is pretty mush the same no matter which one you buy. The only difference is the added features (like Character, Scene, Setting, and other Sheets, or budget management, and the handling of the title page).

 

Unless someone comes up with better answers, I guess the next move for me would be to buy Final Draft, since that is what it was designed to do. Have any of you writers used FD? I'm interested in what the learning curve is like. Thanks again for your feed back.

 

I first suggest trying Storyist. It sounds like you might be running an old version or came across some problem in the application.

 

Otherwise, have you tried Celtx? Since it sounds like you didn't use the Screenplay format, I suggest trying to start using the Screenplay format first. If you don't like it, try Celtx.

Final Draft and all standard screenwriting applications are pretty much the same using the Tab and Enter keys to switch between styles (like Storyist).

One issue with Celtx is that it cannot export to .fdx or .fcf. There are some work arounds for getting it into another application. You also can't make comments in it or color code it for drafting/editing/revisions.

 

 

If you don't have any choices for Templates on start-up, I suggest downloading the latest version of Storyist. Also, check your "~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/" folder and removing anything in the "Templates" directory.

 

It might help if you post screenshots or a video of the issues you're having. It might also help if you post the version of OS X you are using and the version of Storyist you are using (2.0.0 had some issues with screenwriting. 2.0.1 fixed many of these issues).

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It sounds like you imported your script from Pages. What format did you use to export from Page? Doc? This is probably why you're seeing Heading 1, etc... instead of your styles. Use RTF if possible.

 

I just checked and Pages does not export style sheets in RTF!

 

This makes the task a little more difficult. If you have Word, export your Pages script to Word, import it into Word, and then export the Word script to RTF. If you don't have Word, let me know. I'd be happy to do the conversion for you.

 

-Steve

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If you don't have Word, let me know. I'd be happy to do the conversion for you.

With all he has to do he's Happy to do the conversion. With customer support like this why would anyone ever want to switch?

Humbled by his service.

- Thoth

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With all he has to do he's Happy to do the conversion. With customer support like this why would anyone ever want to switch?

Humbled by his service.

- Thoth

 

For serious and true.

 

<3

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Otherwise, have you tried Celtx? Since it sounds like you didn't use the Screenplay format, I suggest trying to start using the Screenplay format first. If you don't like it, try Celtx.

Final Draft and all standard screenwriting applications are pretty much the same using the Tab and Enter keys to switch between styles (like Storyist).

One issue with Celtx is that it cannot export to .fdx or .fcf. There are some work arounds for getting it into another application. You also can't make comments in it or color code it for drafting/editing/revisions.

 

 

If you don't have any choices for Templates on start-up, I suggest downloading the latest version of Storyist. Also, check your "~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/" folder and removing anything in the "Templates" directory.

 

It might help if you post screenshots or a video of the issues you're having. It might also help if you post the version of OS X you are using and the version of Storyist you are using (2.0.0 had some issues with screenwriting. 2.0.1 fixed many of these issues).

With all due respect, I'm not sure these repeated recommendations to try Celtx are helpful. Does Celtx have an online user community like this one? Does its developer respond to support requests right away? Does it come with easy-to-follow documentation, and if it does, is Klaatu oriented toward learning from manuals or online help (many people aren't, especially when they first encounter a new software program)?

 

I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I think if someone is having trouble figuring out how to do these basic tasks in Storyist, which is set up to make them simple, that person will have similar difficulties with Final Draft or any other program. Why not focus on giving a step-by-step, as Steve did above, on how to get the job done?

 

Using 2.0.1 is certainly a good idea, because it fixed several bugs, including a big problem with screenplays. But I know that when I began using the betas, back in 1.1, it took me quite a while to figure out what the program could do. I had to ignore a lot of features while I became comfortable with basic chapters and sections. Version 2 is much more flexible, but as a result it can seem a bit overwhelming to someone (even an experienced beta tester!) who just wants to put words on a page. I may be wrong, but I suspect that is at least part of what's going on here.

 

Also, if a user deletes everything s/he finds in ~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates, s/he will have no Screenplay template to use for the examples, right?

Best regards

Marguerite

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Thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to recommend a fix for my apparent learning curve. After reflecting on my initial post, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I have a mental block regarding Storyist. I think this block stems from the way I look at computer software in general.

 

I work for Boeing and in particular, as a Quality Inspector on the 787 program, which has the world's worst build software (Dassault). By the time I get home, I'm usually frustrated beyond belief and I just compound that problem when I sit down and fight another software program that is not intuitive to "me".

 

Like I said earlier, I'm a point and click guy. If I point and click and nothing happens, then you have already lost me as a user. And right now, I just don't have the time to work thru these issues. I've got a script/story to write and at this point in time, that's my prime directive, everything else is secondary. If I have to, I will just hire someone to do the computer stuff and move on.

 

I am checking the local colleges for script writing courses. Maybe this will be place for a fresh start and a different approach. Hell, if I can fly a helicopter, I should be able to figure out a little software, right? So, once again, thank all of you for your time and effort, it was appreciated.

 

Klaatu

 

 

 

 

 

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Okay Inspector. So why did you put "me" in quotes?

 

Just curious. (I'm not even going to ask the obvious question of whether you actually can fly a helicopter.)

- Thoth

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Hello Thoth,

 

Okay. So why did you put "me" in quotes?

Seems people 'assume' what works for them should work for everyone else, a standard misconception.

 

As I said, I've worked with a lot of different software in my life but Storyist seems to take the cake. You

can't imagine the time I have spent trying to get this thing to work, valuable time I should have spent

writing. Intuitive, is the key word here. Intuitive for a programmer doesn't mean the same thing for a guy

off the street, "me".

 

It would be an interesting experiment to have someone sit down, who has never been exposed

to Storyist or any script writing program and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

 

I'm not even going to ask the obvious question of whether you can flay a helicopter.

 

Yes, I have three flight ratings; commercial fix wing, single engine, commercial gyroplane and

commercial helicopter. I started flying in 1969, when I was seventeen and a junior in high school.

I've built three gyrocopters and taught myself how to fly them. There were no two seater trainers

in the late seventy's. I have also owned three fix wing aircraft over the years.

 

Earned my A&P license in '86/'87 and my I.A. rating in '92. As you can see, I've been involved in aviation

for sometime, both in general and commercial aviation. So I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. This writing

thing is just a hobby for now, due in part because of the insanity I'm exposed to at the Boeing Co. The

writing is helping me to maintain some level mental equilibrium.

 

Regards,

 

Klaatu

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As I said, I've worked with a lot of different software in my life but Storyist seems to take the cake. You

can't imagine the time I have spent trying to get this thing to work, valuable time I should have spent

writing. Intuitive, is the key word here. Intuitive for a programmer doesn't mean the same thing for a guy

off the street, "me".

 

It would be an interesting experiment to have someone sit down, who has never been exposed

to Storyist or any script writing program and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

Regards,

Klaatu

It took me about five minutes to get the basics—longer to figure out what to do with character development points and plot points. The whole thing seems quite intuitive to me:

 

Click to open Storyist.

Click to select Blank Template.

Click Project Items, select Film Script. Boilerplate film script appears.

Click Help > Getting Started Guide. Click "Working with the Script."

Read.

Click to open the new film script. Select (by pointing and clicking) all scenes but the first.

Click after the : that ends FADE IN: Hit return twice. The style chooser appears.

Move cursor to Character or, if you have Leopard, type C and hit return (the one part that is not intuitive even to a nonprogrammer like myself, but probably described under help).

Type character name. Hit return. Note that Storyist is set to Parenthetical.

Type paranthetical. Hit return. Note that Storyist is set to Action.

Type action. Note that all these are now in standard formatting.

 

If you don't like Storyist, you don't. But you wrote a long post with your list of desired features, ending with "If I could find such a program, I'd buy it." If Storyist will do what you want, isn't that good news?

Regards,

Marguerite

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Hello Thoth,

 

Okay. So why did you put "me" in quotes?

Seems people 'assume' what works for them should work for everyone else, a standard misconception.

 

As I said, I've worked with a lot of different software in my life but Storyist seems to take the cake. You

can't imagine the time I have spent trying to get this thing to work, valuable time I should have spent

writing. Intuitive, is the key word here. Intuitive for a programmer doesn't mean the same thing for a guy

off the street, "me".

Quotes do not denote emphasis. I believe you were looking for italics or perhaps an underline. Maybe even an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. Typically, quoted text in this (print) context denotes either you're quoting someone or you're trying to express some level of sarcasm. Bottom line, you broke the one real rule: you failed to communicate. So I asked for clarification. That's all. Thank you, Klaatu.

 

It would be an interesting experiment to have someone sit down, who has never been exposed

to Storyist or any script writing program and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

See M's post above. Please believe me when I tell you that many of us have searched for the right writing tools for a very long time. Will Storyist be the ultimate novel writing tool? Unlikely. Steve won't live forever. (Sorry Steve.) But currently, in my mind and the minds of many here, it is the best so far.

 

I'm not even going to ask the obvious question of whether you can flay a helicopter.

 

Yes, I have three flight ratings; commercial fix wing, single engine, commercial gyroplane and

commercial helicopter. I started flying in 1969, when I was seventeen and a junior in high school.

I've built three gyrocopters and taught myself how to fly them. There were no two seater trainers

in the late seventy's. I have also owned three fix wing aircraft over the years.

 

Earned my A&P license in '86/'87 and my I.A. rating in '92. As you can see, I've been involved in aviation

for sometime, both in general and commercial aviation. So I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. This writing

thing is just a hobby for now, due in part because of the insanity I'm exposed to at the Boeing Co. The

writing is helping me to maintain some level mental equilibrium.

You are rightly proud of your accomplishments. But you did say "if I can fly a helicopter" in your post (italics mine). Further, no one here implied that you fell off a turnip truck. Of course there's a learning curve. There's always a learning curve. There certainly was for me. We are helping you with yours as a courtesy. Just as Steve, and others, helped me with mine.

 

Please take no offense for none is intended.

- Thoth.

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Hey Folks,

 

As this topic started as a feature request for simpler software, I'd like to bring the discussion back around to that issue.

 

iKlaaatu: I realize that your original post was written out of frustration. I'd be happy to help, either here in the forums (perhaps in the Troubleshooting area) or off line. It sounds like you are almost there.

 

So, to the point: Suppose you're an aspiring writer who is new to screenwriting software and perhaps new to the Mac. As many people have noted, Storyist is a great tool for you. But how can I make it better?

 

If you're not starting a new script, but bringing one from another app, the first thing you probably try to do is import it. You could be coming from Final Draft (which is a little pricey for first-time screenwriters), but more likely, you're coming from a traditional word processor. Word seems by far the most common choice, but others include Nisus Writer, Pages, Mellel, Bean, and sometimes Open Office or Neo Office. You might also be coming from Celtx, Scrivener, or Montage.

 

As interchange formats go, RTF is the lingua franca. If the tool you're coming from exports style sheets, you're in good shape. Unfortunately, a number of the tools listed above don't export style sheets (I was surprised to learn that Pages is in this category), so exported files don't contain necessary information for screenwriting, such as where your scenes start, who your characters are, what is dialog and what is action, etc...

 

For these cases, Storyist provides a pattern matching tool that scans the text looking for variations of INT, EXT, and I/E. This catches most (but not all) of the scene headings. However, there is no real way to detect character names, dialog, or action by pattern matching, so you're stuck going through the script and manually applying these styles.

 

It would be nice to provide some help in these cases. One solution is to have the import assistant walk you through your script and ask you to identify the formatting for character, action, dialog, etc... and then annotated the text. This would also be useful for novels too, and I'm thinking of implementing this.

 

It would also be helpful to have screen casts or HOWTO guides for importing from other applications.

 

What else?

 

Many new screenwriters have questions about formatting. The screenplay template covers the basics. A small change would be to include links to books with additional information. Ditto for writing instruction.

 

There has to be more. I'd like to hear other suggestions. Especially from new screenwriters.

 

-Steve

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A small change would be to include links to books with additional information.

 

I've found links to naming sites very useful for both screenwriting and novel writing.

Specifically,

http://www.behindthename.com/

http://surnames.behindthename.com/

http://www.20000-names.com/

http://www.ssa.gov/sitemap.htm

 

- Thoth

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I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but I think if someone is having trouble figuring out how to do these basic tasks in Storyist, which is set up to make them simple, that person will have similar difficulties with Final Draft or any other program. Why not focus on giving a step-by-step, as Steve did above, on how to get the job done?

 

:lol: Sorry. The reason I kept suggesting Celtx was because the emphasis seemed to be being able to jump in and start. Also, instead of using symbols for the "Tab" and "Enter," it uses "Tab" and "Enter" to explain the next style. My brother finds it easier to use Celtx than the applications I use because he believes the interface to be easier to adapt to than Storyist (organization and outlining aren't part of his workflow).

 

iKlaaatu said that he wrote his first draft, so I assumed that he understood the program enough, but wanted something simpler (I realize that I interpreted it wrong).

 

...

 

Also, if a user deletes everything s/he finds in ~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates, s/he will have no Screenplay template to use for the examples, right?

Best regards

Marguerite

 

On a clean install of Storyist 2 (not sure of Storyist 1), the default templates (Novel, Screenplay, and Stageplay) are stored in Storyist.app/Contents/PlugIns/Manuscript.plugin/Contents/Resources

I cleared out the "~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates" as a test before suggesting it (just in case).

 

Edit

There was a website I found before explaining the Screenplay format. It also covered common situations and what to use. I'll try to find it again, or we can put one together and bond..?

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iKlaaatu said that he wrote his first draft, so I assumed that he understood the program enough, but wanted something simpler (I realize that I interpreted it wrong).

We all interpreted it wrong. I thought he wanted a solution, not merely to express his frustration. You were trying to help, like everyone else.

 

On a clean install of Storyist 2 (not sure of Storyist 1), the default templates (Novel, Screenplay, and Stageplay) are stored in Storyist.app/Contents/PlugIns/Manuscript.plugin/Contents/Resources

I cleared out the "~/Library/Application Support/Storyist/Templates" as a test before suggesting it (just in case).

Ah, that would explain why I have two screenplay templates. I wondered about that! Thanks for the tip. I can now safely nuke the duplicates.

 

Steve, on your question of imports, not being a screenwriter I'm a bit out of my depth here, but as I understand it, there are formatting conventions with indents, centering, etc., that identify the different elements, including all caps vs. sentence caps and the like. Can Storyist match those, or do the various word processors not have consistent enough setups?

 

For novels, Storyist already recognizes the most important formatting so long as the file is set up properly in the word processor. The big problem is that many writers don't use styles but leave everything set as Normal with overrides. Also, many writers don't (until they use Storyist for a while and realize it will make their lives easier) call their chapters Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and so on or use # to mark the end of a section. The section problem can be addressed by looking for two line spaces in a row (and already is, I think). An automatic conversion of Normal to Section Text with manual overrides preserved would be useful. Then, at worst, people would have to hunt down their chapter titles and apply the style. If a chapter title, however named, was preceded by a manual page break, that might be something else Storyist could look for.

Best,

Marguerite

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