Mon, 05 Dec 2011 StoryMill review
If you like to plan with precision, this could be the ally to launch your literary assault
- Manufacturer: Mariner Software
- Pros: Clean, friendly interface; powerful organisational features; innovative Timeline view
- Cons: Some minor bugs; Timeline not all it’s cracked up to be; fewer features than some rivals
- Price: £34.99
- Star rating:
StoryMill is an application that will help you build your novel from individual scenes. Once written, you can rearrange these scenes, either from the sidebar or its Timeline.
Metadata for each scene appears in a resizable pane below your text. Here, you can add notes, images, web links, and keyword tags. You can also interlink each scene with the program’s separate lists of characters and locations, mark whether the scene belongs to a particular storyline, and create start and end dates for it in the Timeline view. If this extra information bothers you, simply slide the metadata pane down to nothingness.
Several clever features help StoryMill stand out from its rivals. The word frequency calculator, for example, helps authors stay out of a linguistic rut, while the imprecise but still welcome cliché detector, flags overused phrases.
StoryMill offers plenty of highlighting and annotation tools. With its handy snapshot feature, you can also save and compare multiple versions of the same document, and restore previous drafts if you end up liking them better.
Cross- reference each scene with your characters, locations and storylines
The Timeline is an elegant and clever concept, but its execution fell short of its aims. Using multitouch commands, you can scale your timeline from centuries down to hours, and stack your scenes according to storylines.
StoryMill can translate your text to Word, PDF, RTF, or other common file types. You can even build your own templates to decide which elements you export, and in what order.