StoryMill is today´s MacZot

Now I got Ulysses, StoryMill and Scrivener. Ulysses was my first but I did not feel comfortable with it. I love Scrivener, but I think StoryMill will help me with my novel. Scrivener is great for writing my colums, interview and such.

Well. Back to work—

I would just like to add, for the sake of clarity, that Scrivener was primarily designed for novel writing, though (which isn’t to say that you may find it more useful for other things personally). A recent MacUser review described StoryMill as being best for novel-writing and Scrivener best for business-writing. StoryMill is a fantastic app and Todd (the developer) is a great guy, and I definitely recommend everyone try both of our programs and deciding which you prefer, and if StoryMill works best for you when it comes to novel-writing, I say go for it - you’ll get a great app and good support, and I certainly wouldn’t try to persuade anyone otherwise. I just don’t want anyone to start to differentiate Scrivener as being intended more for business writing as opposed to apps such as StoryMill and Storyist etc - Scrivener is NOT intended as business software, although it can be used that way and I’m happy it is put to such diverse uses. I just don’t want it being seen as office software…

I wish you all the best with writing your novel in StoryMill, so don’t misinterpret my reply - I’m just wary of new users coming across the MacUser review and then this and thinking that Scrivener is not intended for novel-writing, which it absolutely IS. StoryMill is definitely a superb alternative, though, which will certainly suit some users better than Scriv.

All the best,

i tried storymill about 2 months ago (give or take) and was really let down by it…

maybe it was just because i was using the demo…

i’m glad it sucked though… i couldn’t do what i do now without scrivener!

but whatever works for you…

I tried StoryMill a few months ago and, while I found it revolutionary compared to my previous approach to writing (i.e. staring at an empty text file and flipping through my pages of handwritten notes until I figured out where to start) I nevertheless found it lacking - which is why, newly aware that such software existed, I went looking for something more suited to me. That’s how I found Scrivener. Since then it’s become one of my favourite applications.

It’s interesting to hear other people’s perceptions of StoryMill as compared to Scrivener, and I’ll offer mine for contrast. StoryMill strikes me as being more of a playwright’s tool than anything else, because of the way it’s organised.

In StoryMill the text is meant to be divided into chapters and then subdivided into scenes. There is also a section for background info such as character bios, location details, etc. The segmented approach to writing was new to me, and I found it helpful, but I don’t think in “scenes”; I think in blocks of text which are sometimes defined by theme, sometimes by time, sometimes by place, sometimes by relation to a certain character, etc. I found myself spending a lot of time trying to adapt the predetermined organisation structure to the way I think. I also found it immensely frustrating that StoryMill doesn’t (yet) have a function to view your entire text all at once. Eventually, I decided to see if there was something out there that would work better for me.

I love that Scrivener gives you the tools to build your own organisational structure. With the ability to construct a hierarchy of documents and folders, I can divide things up by whatever criteria I like, and I find that determining that structure myself is a valuable brainstorming tool. I also love the outlining and corkboarding functions, and the ability to see all of my text or any combination of various parts of my text in scrivenings mode. Footnoting and annotation are invaluable both as a means of referencing, and as a vehicle for asides, mental notes, etc.

I bought Scrivener with fiction writing in mind, but I’ve also begun to use it for other things. I’m a law student, and Scrivener is a fantastic tool for research papers (although I still take notes and make summaries in an outlining program, my indispensable CircusPonies Notebook). I also translate prose and poetry from Latin to English, and it’s very well suited to that for various reasons which I won’t go into here. The same flexibility that makes Scrivener the right fiction writing tool for me also makes it useful in a number of other contexts.

Since this is my first post (I am a notorious lurker and didn’t even register until a few days ago) let me take the opportunity to say thank you. Both StoryMill and Scrivener are fantastic programs, but this is the one that works for me. I can’t imagine working without it, now.

Popular fiction is usually written in scenes and chapters, much like the setup for Storymill. Literary fiction, while it may or may not have scenes, per se, is usually more narrative in design and execution, so the structure of Storymill might break down for that. (All imo, of course.) :smiley:

I think Scrivener’s flexibilty makes it superb for all kinds of writers, and is especially valuable for a writer who works on more than one kind of writing.

That said, though, I think that Scrivener’s flexibility is exceptionally valuable for me because I can set it up to work the way I want it to - and all without having to write the Next Great Writing App myself. :laughing: I feel lucky (and relieved!) that Keith decided to take that task on himself.

Just to clarify: you don’t need to use scenes to organize text in StoryMill (or even use them as “scenes”). If your story doesn’t have easily identified segments, then you can just write it in the chapter and never worry about the scenes except for outlining (if that).

It is a bit weird that people are claiming that StoryMill is better for fiction writing and Scrivener for non-fiction. I’d say Scrivener is easier to use for non-fiction, but that doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate for fiction. StoryMill is only better for fiction if its organizational structure makes sense to you, but as Plette and Studio717 pointed out that doesn’t apply for everyone by a long shot. One of StoryMill’s big strength’s is that you don’t have to spend any time/effort on organization. Scrivener’s strength is that the organization is much more flexible.

Reviews tend to oversimplify software comparisons, unfortunately. So it goes.

Keith, I’m sorry, I do know Scrivener is intended for novels. I love my Scrivener and use it alot for my journalism and other creative writing. The MacZot offer was too good to pass, and StoryMill have some extra features I like. But I guess most of it can be done in either program. Ulysses is a different beast, not so easy to use for my projects, but I’m gonna keep it. I did not mean to say anything bad about Scrivener. I do love it and use it on a daily basis. And I wouldnt be too surprised if I wrote a novel with in the future. :smiley: