The process of starting a screenplay can be very difficult to say the least. When writing a story you have to keep track of events, characters, locations and slip in things like character quirks and attitudes. Organization can be daunting for people like me who can’t keep track of their keys and sneakers. There are many software titles in the market that are designed to help writers, but few that merge organization and formatting. This is where Storyist for the Macintosh steps in (sorry Windows users). Offered by The Writers Store, Storyist is a powerful word processor with lots of organizational tools that is designed for both screenwriters and novelists that’s offered at less than half the cost of similar software formats.
I took it for a spin and this is what I found.
First and most importantly, Storyist formats your screenplay or novel while you write, and that my friend is crucial. If your script or novel is not formatted properly, meaning it does not conform to the industry-standard, you may as well print it on napkins. There is a reason the movie and publishing industries established standards, so do not fool yourself into thinking, “My story is soooooooo good, formatting doesn’t matter.” It does, and Storyist does it for you.
Characters are the people, animals, and possibly even objects that live within your story. A good story has interesting characters that the reader can become “invested” in. You create these characters one piece at a time. Answer questions like; How tall is he? What is her age? Define whether the character is a human, animal or even … a candlestick. How does this person, dog or monster stand, walk and talk? Storyist has a corkboard section that helps you organize and develop your characters. You virtually “tack” index cards and pictures of your characters to it. Whether the photos are the actual picture, or representative ones, is strictly up to you.
There is a freeform notes section too. Notes are random thoughts that are attached to characters, locations or plot information plus Storyist helps you create and follow your storyline by using what is called “project view.” It’s simply a window on the left side of the screen that has a tree view of everything including chapters, characters, plots, you name it, it’s there. Jump from one part of the tale to another with one click of the mouse.
Every story needs a location and probably even more. There is a sheet to help you specify your settings. Go ahead and describe that creepy sea-side castle towering high above the raging green and white ocean below. Talk about the massive, gnarled wooden door with rusting iron strap hinges built into the side of the castle walls, then quite simply return to writing what’s happening inside that castle, all the while never loosing your rhythm.
Authors will love the “export as an ePub” option. This helps folks who are writing a book but have no idea how to format it as an e-book. Remember, novels are no longer solely printed on paper. You need it in e-book format too if you have any hopes of having viable sales. Other formats that can be imported and exported are Final Draft, HTML, .doc, .docx and RTF. making Storyist one of the best choices for collaborating on projects.
Storyist creates a visual way of writing your screenplay or novel. It’s less than half the cost of many competitors, and much easier to get through the learning curve. If you have any questions on how to use the software there are informative tutorials on the Storyist website. Storyist makes writing fun, and it makes developing all the elements of your story entertaining. You can get the boxed edition at The Writers Store or have it on your computer within minutes with the downloadable version.
- Very visual interface that adds fun and excitement to writing.
- Easy to install.
- A bit of a learning curve, but in reality no more than any other program.
- No PC version.
BOTTOM-LINE: A great choice for anyone who needs a helping hand with organization and structure when writing.