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Storybook Pro 4.0 is out

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Posted by Dr Andus
Jun 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

 

Here are the new features:
http://www.novelist.ch/joomla/index.php/en/release-notes

Full price is $34.90, upgrade $23.38.

 


Posted by Pavi
Jun 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

 

Hi, I think Martin has added a lot of good features here. Just to point out, two of them were suggested by yours truly (although possibly others), those being “Informative scenes” and “Dates not required for scenes”.

So development is absolutely driven by user input! I will test this out, but is seems like a great tool got even better.

Best,
/Pavi

Dr Andus wrote:
>Here are the new
>features:
>http://www.novelist.ch/joomla/index.php/en/release-notes
> >Full
>price is $34.90, upgrade $23.38. 

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

 

Has anyone here been using Storybook Pro 4 on a consistent basis for a prolonged time? I’m just wondering how stable it is with a large amount of text and variables. Has anyone lost work with it? Would you use it for mission critical parts of your writing project?

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Oct 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM

 

Dr Andus wrote:
>Has anyone here been using Storybook Pro 4 on a consistent basis for a prolonged time?
>I’m just wondering how stable it is with a large amount of text and variables. Has
>anyone lost work with it? Would you use it for mission critical parts of your writing
>project?

I’ve been looking for a solution for plotting multiple story lines in a top-down manner, possibly with a single-screen overview (yes, still for my dissertation…). I had high hopes for Storybook Pro v.4, as I was particularly impressed with v. 3. However, after having spent some time with v. 4, I’m disappointed.

It still has some interesting features, and the chronological view with the multiple strands is really what I’m looking for (except I don’t need it to be chronological), as well as the ability to shuffle scenes and chapters around, like index cards. So it’s some kind of an intelligent corkboard I’m looking for.

I’m disappointed with Storybook 4 because it turned out to be rather unwieldy (I agree with Wendy Christopher’s comment below this post: http://mythicscribes.com/writing-tech/novel-writing-software/). E.g. you have to keep refreshing the views manually for individual panes when you change content, which really feels like returning to the early 90s.

I also don’t get why the developers don’t make all the parameters editable, such as “locations,” “items,” etc. I can’t see why you shouldn’t be able to customise these for your categories of choice for plotting non-fiction writing. I realise that “dates” and “gender” have been made editable in v.4 , but there are still far too many unnecessary rigidities (as this review points out about the previous version: https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/507820-nonlinear-writing-on-linux-with-storybook)

I haven’t had a chance to try all the novel plotting software out there yet, but many of them don’t seem to be able to offer you a complete overview of all your “index cards” of scenes and chapters in one total view. This is the bit I don’t like about even Scrivener or SuperNoteCard. They won’t let you see all the cards laid out, only the ones at a particular level of the hierarchy.

In the end I’ve decided to reconstruct Storybook’s “chronological view with multiple strands (plot lines)” in TreeSheets and I’m very pleased with the result. The speed at which you can work in TreeSheets is quite amazing. I also tried OneNote for this but TreeSheets is faster and the end result looks more organised. You can cram a lot of information into a 22inch screen monitor, and the full-screen mode is just wonderful.

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Oct 13, 2012 at 07:58 AM

 

Dr Andus wrote:
>I’ve been looking for a solution for plotting multiple story lines in a top-down manner, possibly with a single-screen overview
>(yes, still for my dissertation…).

For the record (since you solved all this with TreeSheets my advice would be that you ignore all CRIMP siren calls) one might want to try StoryView / Outline 4D which I mentioned in the Celtx thread. Take a look at the screenshots in http://www.screenplay.com/p-77-outline-4d.aspx under “Print an impressive map of your project”

Of course, you can probably do something similar with TreeSheets with the help of a suitable printer utility to break a single huge page into many regular-sized ones.

>I also don’t get why the developers don’t make all the parameters editable, such as “locations,” “items,” etc.
>I can’t see why you shouldn’t be able to customise these for your categories of choice for plotting non-fiction writing.

I agree and it’s the main reason I have not upgraded to Storybook 4.0. At the same time I understand their point of view. At the end of the day they are aiming for the fiction writing market. Providing a service to a specific target group is not just about the features one puts in, but also about those that one leaves out.

So my verdict has been that I’ve been trying to twist a tool into being useful for something it was not meant to be. And I have no right to complain if it’s not working well in this respect.

>I haven’t had a chance to try all the novel plotting software out there yet, but many of them don’t seem to be able
>to offer you a complete overview of all your “index cards” of scenes and chapters in one total view.

Again, check out StoryView / Outline 4D.

>In the end I’ve decided to reconstruct Storybook’s “chronological view with multiple strands (plot lines)” in TreeSheets and I’m very pleased with the result.

I believe you did the right thing. A specialised piece of software is worth its price (financially, but also in the time required to learn it) if it can offer a significant competitive advantage. If it can’t, then it’s much more efficient to master a flexible generic tool like Excel, TreeSheets, Bonsai or Brainstorm, where your investment in time and money will be paid back manyfold.

>The speed at which you can work in TreeSheets is quite amazing. I also tried OneNote for this
>but TreeSheets is faster and the end result looks more organised. You can cram a lot of information
>into a 22inch screen monitor, and the full-screen mode is just wonderful

I can only agree. TreeSheets is simply remarkable.

 


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