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Scrivener 3 User Trying Out Storyist


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Greetings -- As of this moment I am the newest member of this forum and am looking forward to reading some of the thousands of posts before me. I have been using Scrivener 3 but I'm finding the "overhead" too high for my liking. Although it is feature-rich, I will never use many of its capabilities, and access to those features I do need is not always obvious. In short, I think Scrivener is a fine piece of software, but it often uses up too much of my creative oxygen.


That is why I'm taking a closer look at Storyist. Some might argue that Scrivener is more capable than Storyist, but I don't believe that is necessarily true. I find the Storyist user interface and command structure more intuitive and that means I am more productive as a writer when I use Storyist than when using Scrivener. I'm in the middle of writing a fairly complex sci-fi novel at the moment and am looking forward to importing my Scrivener file into Storyist in the coming days. I'm looking forward to reading many of the great tips and lessons learned in this forum as I make this journey.



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Hi, WMH99338,

Welcome to the forums! One thing to note right away is that each little piece of a Scrivener document is a separate file, so although Storyist can open the file directly, you may prefer to process it a bit in Scrivener first. I just went through this yesterday with a novel that I plan to revise.


The most efficient way, I concluded, to blend the separate scrivenings into one manuscript is to compile the file to RTF. You want Scrivener to use # as the separator between text files, to leave off any automatic numbering, and ideally to start each chapter with the word "Chapter"--as in Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc. If you do that, you can import the RTF into Storyist rather than the whole .scriv file. (Or, if you have many notes, you can open the Scrivener file first, save it as a Storyist file, then replace the actual MS with the imported RTF file.)


Storyist will recognize the # as indicating a new section. From there you can use the Apply Styles by Matching Text option from the Format > Style menu and correct any formatting, ensuring that you change fonts in a paragraph that has no italics, etc., before choosing Format > Style > Redefine Style from Selection. If necessary, use the "Choose Stylesheet" option, also under Format > Style, and select the Novel Stylesheet before applying styles.


I actually managed to mess up both the Chapter and the # on the compile, but I've worked with Storyist for (gulp) 11 years now, so I fixed the issues with minimal problems. And the reason I was doing this is because although I appreciate the ease of setting certain compile preferences for e-books in Scrivener, I much prefer Storyist for day-to-day work. Like you, I just find it more intuitive. And I haven't even tackled Scrivener 3, which appears to have an even higher learning curve than its predecessor.


Wishing you luck with the transfer!


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Thank you for the insight, Marguerite. I hadn't gotten that far in the conversion process yet, but this will no doubt help save time and aggravation. I honestly didn't realize Scrivenings were separate files so that is certainly good to know. I'm about 60K words into my novel so the conversion may likely be easier said than done.


Again, I think Scrivener is an excellent app, but I'm looking forward to completing this project with Storyist and weighing the experience in light of my growing frustration with Scrivener's complexity and distraction. I'm a life-long computer user with very strong analytical and tech skills (MBA, Mensa, etc.) but I simply don't want to invest weeks or months learning a new piece of software when it does little or nothing to actually improve my writing. I need more focus on my plots, characters, settings, and timelines than I do on simply organizing my writing projects. The only way a software program can do that well is to stay out of my way when I'm using it, and I think Storyist will be much better at that than Scrivener.


Again, thank you!

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