One writing app that I rarely see mentioned in lists of best writing apps is Storyist. I have used Ulysses and Scrivener but find myself using and preferring Storyist. It has an ease of use that I find appealing and is especially well suited for my Kindle Vella stories. It can be used for any serial fiction story.
Favorite Outline Feature
My favorite feature has to be the Outline view. I can switch from content view to list view in one mouse click. In this view, I can see a list of chapter and the sections (Storyist uses sections for scenes) within each chapter. I can see the word count by chapter and by scene.
You can only list titles, word count, status and a star rating. Such a small selection is actually a good thing. It keeps things super simple. The order of the columns can be arranged as desired.
The Right Status For Every Project
My second favorite is the customizable Status values. They are changeable per project. So, no matter the publishing platform or media, I can have the status settings fit each one. Since I’m writing for Kindle Vella, I’ve made the status field reflect Amazon’s available values.
- Needs Editing
- Beta : Pending beta reading results
- Final : Text is final but has not been posted to the platform.
- Posted – Draft : Text has been uploaded to Kindle Vella and has not been reviewed.
- Posted – Live : Episode has passed review and has been published.
- Posted – Scheduled : Episode will be reviewed and scheduled midnight EST of the given date.
- Blocked : Unfortunately, Kindle Vella is rather strict with its review process. Some chapters/episodes can be blocked for copyright, duplicated content or other criteria known only to Amazon.
Star Rating System
I plan to use the Star ratings to reflect the reader engagement level on the Kindle Vella per episode. Here’s the system I’m planning to use:
- 1 Star – Received 1-9 reader thumbs up from readers
- 2 Stars – Received 10-24 thumbs up from readers
- 3 Stars – Received 25 thumbs up from readers
- 4 Stars – Received 50 thumbs up from readers
- 5 Stars – Received 100 thumbs up from readers
It’s an optimistic set of star values. I would be thrilled with a three star average. An author can configure the rating values as they like.
Flexible Layout View
My third favorite feature of Storyist is something that was unexpectedly useful on the Kindle Vella site. This feature is the Layout toggle. On Storyist, I can change the content view to three settings:
- Draft : No page breaks, headings or other distractions
- Page Layout : Manuscript view displayed as continuous pages
- Page Layout – 2 Up : Manuscript view displayed as two pages side by side
When my text is in Draft view, I can simply copy and paste straight into the Kindle Vella editor. Any indentations are removed by the Vella editor. Paragraph spacing is fine. The only thing that isn’t pasted over is any text formatting such as bold or italic.
I can’t export by individual chapters or episodes to create Word doc files. But I don’t need to since I can copy and paste directly.
Export of the full story is possible. The supported formats include PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, text, ODT, Final Draft, Fountain, Scrivener and HTML.
Storyist Is Vella Effective
I’ve only begun to experiment and use all the available features. Other apps have the same or similar features. The simplicity of Storyist keeps me focused on my writing. I’m not spending time figuring out the interface or application settings.
I’m sure that there are more favorite features waiting to be discovered. If you’re a Mac or IOS user and write Vella stories or screenplays, take a look at Storyist.