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Hello from England! (But I'm Italian, so: ciao a tutti!)

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Hello everyone,


I thought it would be nice to get into this forum as I still haven't figured out how to use Storyist in the 12 hours since I bought it. :)


I am in the East of England (blustery weather and the lot) but I was born in Italy, which spells trouble for book writers, right?

Right, except, I've been writing to give sense to my life since I was very young and I have self published on Amazon 2 years ago, with some degree of success.


I am now sitting in front of the finished draft of my first novel (an epic love story, think Nicholas Sparks but with much more action) and I really need to organise my files and start doing the editing, sharpening etc


It would be nice if I understood straight away how to use Storyist and I'm sure that by being around this forum I will eventually make it sing.


I am also published illustrator and a qualified Herbalist and Nutritionist, thus the need of organising vast amounts of notes in a smart way. My Mac has thousands of Pages files… time to organise the lot.


I homeschool my kids and my hubby is a Pipe organ builder….which is a good foundation for a hectic life. :)


Wish me luck!



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Hi, Franz, nice to meet you!


We'll be happy to help you get started. There are lots of threads in the Using Storyist and Troubleshooting sections that may be helpful, as well as online video tutorials. Or you can do what I did, which is just take a deep breath, pick the one or two things that seem easiest and most intuitive, and dive in. For me, those were character sheets and the manuscript itself. Also images, which you can just drag into the project view on the left side of the screen or into the square at the top right that has a symbol in it (drama mask, camera, etc., depending on the kind of sheet). Once they are listed under images, you can rename them or drag them anywhere else you like (a note, say).


Once you get the hang of a few things, it becomes much easier to figure out how to make use of the rest. Storyist is extremely flexible and powerful, which is great long-term but can feel just a bit intimidating at first.


I've used it for seven years and am beginning my fourth novel in it (I also use it for blog posts), so I can swear that mastering it is worth the effort!


If you want to import some of those Pages files, you can find useful information here. Just be aware that Pages does not respect styles in RTF files (for more on styles, see here), so you will probably have to do some reformatting in Storyist. I wrote a long post ages ago explaining exactly how to import a file, but alas, I can't find it for beans.


Anyhow, welcome to the forums!



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Hello Marguerite!


Thanks for the warm welcome. I have indeed spent several hours reading forum threads and saving the most useful in a Pages file for future reference. It looks like the learning curve is a bit difficult but then it will all makes sense.


The tutorials remind me of Windows (when I did use Windows, I was 30) which went like, "with the so and so tool you can do so and so" but they never showed you the look of the icon, or where it was, and how to actually do the task. Thats' why I switched to Macs! Started from G3, went on for years, will never go pack to PCs.


And now I am here with this apparently simple piece of software, having learned Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, Power Point, QuarkXpress and HTML….should master it in minutes…but it's not an intuitive software.


I lost my manuscript and notes several types on it just trying things out. The icons are far too small and the colour tints not sufficiently strong for me to identify what is what quickly. And, I keep forgetting the instructions. LOL I am only 49!


But I am firmly convinced that if I keep trying and trying I will get there - I am persistent.


It would be so nice to have a digital assistant that pops out when you first launch the programme. What do you want now? Write from scratch? Or import a novel? Do you want to make notes about the chapters? You know, simple and clear step 1, step 1 for each task a person wants to do.


The real work seems to consist in trying to understand the way of thinking of the software. Very much like Adobe Illustrator: either you love it or you hate it, no half ways!


I had no problem importing my 88,000 words from Pages. It just happened. Now I just have to figure out how to do something productive with the whole thing!


Give me a week and sure enough I will be back with screenshots and questions. I might then prepare my own help files with photos etc as I do with most things. I am a visual learner.


Thanks again!


Let me know where I can see your novels, I love reading.




Franz in rainy Norfolk

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Hi, Franz:

I too am a Mac convert: after some initial resistance to the upright toaster version from 1987, I bought a Performa in 1995 and never looked back. The only version of Windows I used was Windows 98. Don't get me started on that. I cut my PC teeth on MS-DOS!


A couple of words of wisdom as you explore.


1. The trash is your friend. It won't store a deleted section or bits of text, but manuscripts, images, notes, and sheets of various types can be retrieved so long as you haven't emptied the trash. To see what's there, click on the little icon (yes, it is very small, but there's only so much screen real estate to use) that looks like an envelope. You can drag anything you deleted accidentally back into the project. Click the envelope again to get the trash window out of the way.


2. Make backups. There are automated backups, which run every ten minutes or so by default, but you can also save your own backups, with comments, by going to the File menu and choosing Back up. I do this routinely before making major changes to my files. When I need to find an old version (or something I deleted and then decide I need), I go to the File menu again and choose Backups. From the window that appears I can open a copy of the most recent version and copy whatever I need or even restore the file back to a previous state. Eventually we'll probably get the automated versioning that Apple has introduced in Pages, but for now, backups are also your friend.


3. If you can master Illustrator and Photoshop, you can certainly become a Storyist whiz in no time! You may want to download the manual from the Support address and read through it. It doesn't cover everything, but it has lots of pictures and basic information, and if you are a visual learner (I am too), it's easier to use than the internal help files. You can even download a sample project to play with, if you like. Better to delete Steve's text than your own, right?


My books are available in print and for Kindle at Amazon.co.uk and as e-books at Barnes and Noble and the iTunes Store. Thanks for your interest! What do you write? I know you said an epic love story, but is it historical? Contemporary? Other-worldly?



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Good morning!


I had no time this week to use my brand new software. Weeding was this week emergency! Thanks for your suggestions. I have read the entire manual and I am thinking that I really need to do a fake project first so I don't care of losses, you are right! I will become a great friend of the trash bin. My book is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles etc print and kindle) and it's not fiction - it's a quick manual about getting started with preparedness, covering sprouting, dehydrating, gardening, smart shopping, budgeting, recycling and more.


Regarding the novel I wrote, this is a contemporary love story set in the medieval city of Norwich in Norfolk, England. It's the perfect science fiction story for those who can't understand too much science fiction jargon. In fact three characters are cyborgs: half robots half humans. And they behave better than humans sometimes!


It's a story about believing in yourself and in others, about restoring faith in a a good future, instead of looking back all the time. It is also about growing up and accepting responsibilities and the pampered girl in the story must grow up before she can accept her bright future with a wonderful and loving man (The Lead).


But there are many obstacles to hinder his efforts to reach her: a current boyfriend who cares more about gadgets than anything else, difficulties at work, an old friend who turned out to be a dangerous enemy, and his old ex girlfriend who is trying her best to snatch him. The Lead character faces death and only in the very end we shall see if he manages to survive.


Each chapter is packed with action and twists and turns of all sorts. However, I am still working on defining some of the characters a bit better and on making things more difficult for the lead. This is why I bought Storyist and I am hoping that I won't need to waste the editing time because I can't figure out the software.


Oh! I wrote too much heh? I better go and get some work done.


Many thanks for your support! I noticed that you are among those who are extremely helpful to newcomers - well done!



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Thank you for welcoming in this little community!



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I am back. I am giving up. 14 days, spent trying to learn this and I am still unable to move on with my novel. I hired a person to look after my kids so I could do the editing and instead I spent the entire time trying to understand how things work. I have managed to copy and paste a few things here and there but this software is an enemy to intuition. Very, very disappointing. I can do the whole thing in Pages - MUCH faster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I've never been so frustrated in my life - and furious with myself. But there we go. Bye bye Storyist...


Franz :(

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