Mon, 24 Aug 2009 Storyist 2 review
Creative writing application gets updated and adds new features
- Manufacturer: Storyist
- Pros: Clean intuitive interface; outstanding set of writing tools; distraction-free, full-screen option; linked Wiki-style notes draw ideas together; support for headers, footers, and style sheets; multiple monitor friendly; affordable.
- Cons: Screenwriting alternative Celtx is free, Storyist requires time and commitment to fully take advantage of its range of creative writing and organisation tools.
- Min specs: Storyist requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, Universal.
- Price: $59 (around £35, $29 to upgrade from Storyist 1)
- Star rating:
Back in April we looked at Storyist 1.5, an attractive creative-writing application designed for both new and established novelists and screenwriters. The typewriter-like, double-spaced, 12-point Courier default setting conforms to an industry standard for submitting manuscripts. A solid four-star product, a significant update was promised and here it is.
Storyist 2 adds a range of new features that, while enhancing the writing experience, doesn't distract from the task at hand or give headaches to those upgrading. We like the new full-screen view, which works particularly well on a MacBook, focusing the eye of creative writing. A new collage mode let's you assemble collages of images and text to visualise the relationships between your story elements.
New navigation enhancements and a tweaked layout makes Storyist 2 even easier to steer through the various elements including characters, settings, plot, notebook and the like. Various views - Unified Views, Split Views and Multiple Windows for those lucky enough to have multiple monitors - offers further scope for customisation and clarity.
These and other enhancements effectively ensure all your ponderings, plotting and actual writing can stay within one application. If you’re close to your Mac, Storyist can make jotting down notes and ideas on the back of an envelope pretty much redundant. A jumble of thoughts all start to make sense when you collect them in one place.
As we mentioned, along with text and file formats you can also import images, such as location scenes, characters or any form of visual imagery that inspires you. Virtual colour-coded index cards, images or icons on a virtual corkboard add the options to view, edit and move story or plot elements.
Storyist 2 still requires the user to develop an understanding of how the software works, and while it’s not a steep learning curve, a certain level of dedication is required. A free and extension User's Guide from the Storyist website is a must-read before downloading. Supporters of small Mac developers should note the team behind Storyist has already fixed a few bugs in version 2 with a software update.