A good story writing software, ideal for some writers but could be improved
I wrote a review about several months ago and gave a poor rating. It was due to the program’s continual crashing and losing information, which is what others complained about in the one start ratings that can be seen. That has now changed. This software is now stable, no longer crashing or acting up in other ways. The benefit of this program in comparison to some of the other story writing software is that it is easier to use the Scrivener (not that Scrivener is bad by any means) and has more functions than Ulysses (not that having less is bad). It is a matter of preference. One of the benefts about this software is the timeline feature. It really helps one ogranize their story, saving one from having to use spreadsheets or writing it out by hand. It is all kept within the program. Also, you can keep your research, photos, links, characters, etc. all within the story. There’s snapshots so you can go back to earlier work or just keep track of the changes that have been made. It is all intuitive, so you don’t even have to pull out a manual. You can start using it the moment you launch the software. My only complaint is that there are some bugs still left to be ironed out, which is why I did not rate StoryMill as great. A search cue is misaligned in the timeline feature. Also, I find that once I add a photo, the largest I can make it is still to small to view effectively. It is better to set a link to the photo than to attach it. I find that bothersome and would like a feature that allows the image to be opened for larger viewing. I would also like to see this software coordinated with Mariner’s other software, such as Persona. It would be great to just import a character generated there into StoryMill. There are some other niggling things that I think could be improved on, but for the most part, this is an effective story writing software.
Two Days of Data Lost After Consistently Using Cmd S and "File Save"
I downloaded and began using StoryMill 4.0.5 three days ago. I printed and read the Instruction Manual. Pretty basic. To save, it's the usual two options - Command/S or File Save. I’ve been going at my project enthusiastically and I’m a fanatic about saving. I save constantly because I go back through my material frequently, cutting and pasting data between Characters and Scenes. Everything was running smoothly and when I finished up this evening, I closed my project. I remembered one more thing. I opened the project I just closed and all of my work for the last two days is missing - GONE! I went to Time Machine and it, too only has the data from the first day. After losing so much, I checked the Mariner Software StoryMill forum and found that MANY people suffered this difficulty over a year ago and it still has not been fixed. I wish I had read the forum before I trusted this software with my book. Frustrated and angry don’t begin to describe how I feel.
Not seen an update since 2011!!
If a company cared about their software they would update it more often. Still lags behind all the rest! No epub export, no iCloud support, etc. Wish now that I would have save my money!!
Very Good for Long-Form Fiction
Storymill is good for both outline writers and inspiration writers. If you write by inspiration, letting the characters take you where they will, and if you were ever daunted by keeping track of all the details that make a novel so rewarding for the reader and so tricky for the writer, then this is your app. Did a minor character drop off the face of the earth for no reason, or somehow transmogrify on you? Ever realize that a chapter was in the wrong place? Ever forget that a character was tall and swarthy, or what his verbal ticks were? Ever loose track of plot threads? If so, Storymill is for you. If you write by outline, researching setting, culture, technology, and psychological quirks, leaving nothing to chance, then this is your app. Do you like to nail down the relationships between characters in your cast of thousands, set their physical features in stone, determine exactly how the plotlines intersect.? If so, Storymill is for you. You will have to actually put the effort into this app to make it worthwhile, of course, but if you are serious, all the work pays off. Whether you enter your info as you go along, or dilligently enter it and create your scene/chapter structure in advance, the info will all be there in one place. Mr. Harriman won’t become Mr. Harrison halfway through, and that gnarled scottish cotter or disreputable space dog that supplies the key plot element in the third chapter won’t mysteriously disappear from the local pub or spaceport bar in which he is supposed to be a fixture. You can easily enter the names of the characters in each scene and review their appearances throughout your manuscript.This is a very good app for a serious writer of long-form fiction.
Great concept, but scenes spontaneously mix up.
Been waiting for a fix to this problem… would rate 4 or 5 if this would stop happening:Major complaint is that after saving and closing a document on my desktop, the scenes spontaneously teleport to random chapters. I can only salvage my original formatting because I back up the file on my flash drive, and for some reason the flash drive keeps the file intact. I am constantly worried that my scenes (there are about a hundred by now) will get out of order permanently. I'm not looking forward to trying to fix them one at a time.