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Can't find any cards on Storyboard

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I am trying to learn to use Storyboard. I see my manuscript. I see the portions of it in the outline and I can fill in notes or whatever in outline, refer to them, etc. But when I go to the Storyboard (corkboard), there is nothing there under each section. If I go to My Manuscript in the Project pane, then there are index cards for each section -- prologue, chapter 1, chapter 2, etc. (Although I cannot write in them.)


But then, I go to, say, Prologue in the project pane and I see it in the manuscript, I see it highlighted in the Outline view, but in the Storyboard, there are no index cards, just blank corkboard. When I use the little plus to add a card template onto the corkboard, then it adds a new section into the project (with a light bulb) and the manuscript for it is a text storyboard.


I would like to be able to put notes, plot ideas, all kinds of stuff, for each section, onto a storyboard and then be able to change, re-arrange them, etc. As I would perhaps with real physical index cards, photos and a corkboard on the wall.


I think this is possible but damn if I can figure out how to do it. It seems as though what Storyist is doing is WAY more complicated than what I want. (Maybe I was better off with just blank templates in Pages!)


Apparently, the manual, which I have been reading and re-reading, just doesn't cover this on a level elementary enough for me. I wish there was a YouTube video showing somebody using it, going through the basics, but the latest ones I see are on specific areas and are at least 2 years old. Or maybe a Storyist for Dummies.


Thanks --

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Hi, gdmedia,

Are you using Storyist for Mac? If so, let's walk through the basic idea, and see what happens. Try this. (> means go to the first menu, then choose this option there).


1. Open a new project: New > Project. From the window that opens, choose Fiction, then Novel.

2. Click on My Manuscript in the Project View. Choose View > as Storyboard. Do you see two blue stacked index cards called CHAPTER 1 and CHAPTER 2?

3. If so, double-click on CHAPTER 1. You should see three more index cards with titles.

4. Double-click on Start Writing! The corkboard should change to a gray background. That is called the Collage, and it represents one section.

5. In the Collage, you can double-click in the card to get a cursor and type some text. You can also drag characters, settings, notes, images, or plot points (the light bulb cards), to link them to that section. There are not too many options in this template, but try it with Protagonist and the Example Setting. You can drag these additional sheets to more than one collage.

6. Click the back arrow above the Collage or click on CHAPTER 1 in the Project View. You will see the text you entered on the Start Writing! card.

7. Double-click Start Writing! again to see the items in the Collage. Then go back to CHAPTER 1.

8. Drag Adding Section Breaks to the left of Formatting Section Text. You should see the cards change order and the Project View mimic that order.

9. Click the small plus sign at bottom left of the Project View and choose New Section. A blank index card called Untitled Section should appear on the corkboard and an entry for Untitled Section in the Project View, selected and ready to rename. Type "New Card" and that will become the title of the card/section. Move it where you want it.


That's the basics of the storyboard—at least in the Mac version. (If you're using the iPad app, someone else will need to walk you through the process, as I rarely use index cards in the app and they work a little differently.)


If, in contrast, you are not seeing cards even when you follow these steps, that is a bug or defect in your copy of the software. In that case, the best thing is to report it to the support address.

Hope that helps, and welcome to the forums,


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Marguerite, thanks very much for this. Yes, I have Storyist for Mac. I went through these steps but got hung up at #5. These "characters, settings, notes" etc. that you can drag onto this grey collage -- where do they come from? I don't see where you drag them FROM.


I worked with the program for a while this afternoon and accomplished nothing other than disappearing my test manuscript. I am pretty much at the point with it that I think I am probably better off just using Pages. I mean, with Pages, if you start at the most basic level -- choose a blank template -- you at least get a place to write. With Storyist, choose blank and you get an "Images" folder. The program just makes no sense to me.


Obviously, it makes sense to thousands of people, so there must be some basic concepts I do not grasp. I'm not stupid and have been writing with computers since the early '80's, but I never could figure out -- or found any use for -- 90% of what Microsoft Word did either!

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Hi gdmedia,


Point is, you don't have to use all the bells and whistles. I came to Storyist from Word and before that a host of text editing programmes. I don't use most of them and those that i do I've figured out as I need them, or as someone points them out to me!


If you've done step 1, then you should be looking at a basic manuscript that starts out " Chapter 1

This is the first section of the first chapter of your manuscript. If you are eager to start writing, simply select this placeholder text and start typing: The journey of a thousand (or a hundred thousand) words begins with a single keystroke."

You can just delete this text (once you've read it) and start writing. Already one step up from Pages,
If not, do you see the Project View in the left hand column (if not, click on the top left icon, below the 3 coloured dots)? This is essentially the file manager for the project, and you can select what appears in the main window / view by clicking around.
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Sorry I was unclear. You drag characters, etc., from the Project View--the list on the left, as Nick indicates--to the Collage.


Storyist is both a database management program and a word processor. If you just want to write, you choose View > as Text, click in the main window, then delete the sample text as Nick indicates and type your own. To start a new chapter, type CHAPTER 1 (or whatever number) and choose Chapter Title from the list of styles above the manuscript (where it says status). To start a new scene/section, type # on a line by itself. You can style it as Section Separator if you want to see it centered. Then hit return and type the next section.


The Images folder exists in the blank template because you can store images. You can also set up folders for characters and settings and the like. But if you choose the Novel template instead, those folders have already been created for you with sample character and settings sheets. When you're getting started, that's usually easier.


Storyist is not like Pages, because it can store notes about your scenes and settings and characters, which can be very useful when crafting your story.


For an example, see the attached screen shots from my (very new) WIP. In the first, the Project View is on the left, with a list of images available in the project. The center shows a character sheet for the main antagonist, with notes as to where he is in book 4. The right window is the heroine (Maria, Koshkin's daughter), in her Collage, with a setting (Kolychev Household) and an image of the man she's about to marry.


In the second, the Project View shows the parts of the manuscript, most of which are just chapter headings left over from the previous book. But the manuscript itself is in the center, and the right now shows a list of characters in outline view (View > as Outline). That information is taken from the summary fields in the individual character sheets. The characters display on the storyboard as a series of pinned photos, which I for one find hugely useful as I'm writing.


Hope that helps.







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Thanks to both of you for the help. I will work with what you have given me here and see what I come up with. For some reason, this program has turned out to work in a way that is very unintuitive for me. Probably says more about my intuition than the program. But I will go back and give it another shot.

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