One of the unfortunate side effects of living, breathing, eating, and sleeping in the communication business is the bulk of words that must be written each day. For the love of money, not for the love of words.
That means that one item high upon my bucket list takes a spot on my shelf of delayed desires (mixing metaphors is a hobby). I want to write a novel. And why not? I’ve started a dozen but, thanks to a wordsmith career, have yet to bring one to market. Uh, finish. But it’s not for lack of trying or the tools that make it happen. Here’s my favorite.
Tell Me A Storyist
There is no shortage of writer’s tools for the Mac. A novel is a merely a long story with many sub-stories. Even TextEdit on the Mac is a worthy tool to create the next great best-seller. If you’re serious about using your Mac to write, try Storyist.
Storyist is not a big fat word processor. It’s a writer’s writing environment; a place for budding novelists and would-be screenwriters to tell their tales. While it’s packed with writer’s tools, it’s also a place to focus on what’s really important in your writing. The story.
One look at Storyist and you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Projects are displayed in a lefthand sidebar. Formatting tools are in a righthand sidebar. Your novel or screenplay takes up residence in the main window.
Start using Storyist by selecting a specific stylesheet to match your writing project. Manuscript. Screenplay. Or, create your own writing stylesheet to match your project requirements. There’s a built-in style editor to help you.
Storyist also provides a WYSIWYG feature so you can see more to your novel than just the words; drop in images, photos, and layout the whole shebang the way you’d like to see it in print. The app handles images, comments, smart quotes, headers and footers, spell checking, word count, and all the basics you need.
Screenwriters will appreciate the custom styles and the options to manage scenes, including introductions, times, characters, locations, even transitions. If you need to scope out the structure of a project first, you’ll start with the built-in outliner.
Wait. There’s more!
Storyist also has story development tools including plot, character, settings, and scene arrangement. Also built in to Story are the templates you need to get started, word count statistics, story sheets (more detail than an outline), the ability to import a variety of text formats (including Final Draft and Fountain), and everything you do is autosaved and versioned so you won’t lose that precious phrase or memorable sentence.
Now, get this. Storyist lets you create ePub and Kindle eBooks so you can export your great novel to Apple’s iBook Store or to Amazon. What is not to like?
The only real negative, and this is coming from someone who is Mac centric and an experienced word slinger, is the package itself. Storyist is like a novel; plenty going on, so start slowly, grab a template, begin writing, and walk into the extra functionality at your own pace.