My Writing Journey with Storyist

For a while now, I’ve been using Scrivener for my novel writing. Originally, I was using Google Docs in combination with Microsoft Word. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but at the time, I wasn’t a big fan of writing apps. I’d played with Scrivener in trial mode, and found it intimidating.

But, eventually, I did end working with Scrivener, and found the features to be quite useful. The only problem I had was that the app’s interface isn’t great, and cloud syncing wasn’t exactly built into the app. To achieve syncing in the cloud, you had to use Dropbox, which is fine, but the way it worked, especially between desktop and tablet versions of the app, was not ideal, killing my desire to work remotely on the iPad.

Then I came across Storyist.

Storyist is like Scrivener, with a more modern interface, iCloud syncing built in. After experimenting with the app a bit, I decided that if I was ever going to get my 4th novel completed, I needed to feel more confident working on my iPad, and I trusted iCloud syncing more than Scrivener’s clunky way of syncing projects in Dropbox.

It took a while to get my existing work into Storyist. Importing was a snap, but there was still some minor tweaking necessary. After that, it’s been great, but there are a few features I wouldn’t mind having.

Custom icons for projects.

In addition to finishing my fourth novel, I’m also dabbling a bit with my fifth. Expecting to continue to use Storyist for even more projects, it would be nice to have the ability to differentiate the files visually. Personally, I’d love to use each books cover as an icon. It’s a minor thing, but I think it would a nice way to easy see your projects at a glance in the app.

Better functionality for moving sections.

Unlike Scrivener, which lets you use multiple folders and files to organize your novel’s content, making moving things around a snap, Storyist keeps your work in a single text file, and incorporates chapter and scene/section markers that allow you to see your novel’s outline in the project navigator. You can move sections around with some ease in the desktop app, but not the iOS app. It’s a minor issue, but it would be nice.

Better research functionality

One of the most disappointing things I discovered importing my novel into Storyist was the lack of support for storing my book research. Several websites that had been saved in Scrivener for reference did not carry over, and unless I’ve failed to find the feature, Storyist has no comparable feature for storing web links or pdfs to quick reference. I can use other apps to store my research, but it would be nice for this to come to Storyist.

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