Tag archive: writing

StoryMill on sale today only

StoryMillStoryMill, my favorite creative writing software that incidentally features tagging, is on sale today March 7, 2008 only for $24.95 at MacZot (50% off the boxed price). This is a great deal; if you’re a fiction writer, I highly recommend taking a look at StoryMill.

People inevitably end up comparing StoryMill to Scrivener, but they’re really very different tools. Scrivener uses the metaphor of a 3×5 index cards and then makes you create your own structure. StoryMill uses the metaphor of scenes within chapters, and provides a structure, which for me at least makes writing easier since I spend less time worrying about how to organize things. StoryMill’s timeline feature is also the only one of its kind in creative writing software at the moment. If you’re a writer, this isn’t a sale you want to miss.

VoodooPad update 3.5

VoodooPadAlthough not strictly tagging software, VoodooPad has been updated to version 3.5. This update brings a large number of bug fixes, and includes several new features such as the ability to open images in an external editor (such as Flying Meat’s own Acorn), the ability to edit pages and sort results in the search window, and several improvements to the web export for both the standard and pro versions.

For details, see the release notes. VoodooPad is a desktop wiki program that offers a very powerful way to take notes and jot down ideas while having them silently and automatically link themselves to one another. It also offers tagging, although the feature is not particularly well-integrated into the program.

StoryMill update: 3.0.1

StoryMillStoryMill, the creative writer’s workshop once called Avenir, has been updated to 3.0.1. This minor update introduces some new features, including the ability to edit scene text in the scene editing window (previously you could only edit the scene’s notes), and fixes several bugs including some problems with the new timeline view.

The update is available via the in-program auto-updating or from Mariner Software’s download page. Unfortunately, release notes are only available via the ReadMe bundled with the download.

StoryMill 3.0 released

StoryMillMariner Software today released StoryMill 3.0 at MacWorld. StoryMill (previously called Avenir) adds a new timeline view for tracking scenes in chronological time as well as narrative order, provides vastly improved customizable export templates for exporting text from anywhere in the project, integrates scene text and chapter text, and like Avenir before it still uses tags and smart views for powerful and simple organization. If you are a writer, I strongly recommend StoryMill; although its structure is most conducive for fiction and creative non-fiction, it is an excellent piece of software and provides powerful features that can help with any writing project (not to mention that as of its release, no other creative writing software on the market for Mac has anything like its timeline view). StoryMill is available as a download version for $44.95, and owners of Avenir can upgrade for $14.95. A boxed version is forthcoming, and will cost $49.95.

In related news, if you’ve been wondering why there haven’t been many updates to Tagamac over the last week or two, feel free to blame StoryMill; I was contracted by Mariner to write the all-new documentation for the program and as the deadline approached it ate up the free time that would otherwise have gone towards a new article or two. (Plus there weren’t any tagging software updates, so I haven’t had any news to post.) Now that sweet freedom beckons, however, I’m hoping to bring you some more articles on tagging to start the year off right and help you meet that New Year’s resolution to tag more. You made that resolution, right?

Scrivener update: 1.11

ScrivenerScrivener, the poster child of Mac writing apps, has been updated to version 1.11. This maintenance update includes a large number of bug fixes, including numerous Leopard fixes, word count oddities, issues with upgrading pre-1.1 documents to 1.1, problems with tables, and many, many more. Widow/orphan control has also been completely removed from the program because it was causing too many difficult to quash bugs (and is fairly silly in a program that doesn’t offer page layout).

For the full story, check out the Scrivener release notes.

Avenir rebranded as StoryMill

AvenirMariner Software in conjunction with Return Self Software have officially announced that Avenir 2.3, Tagamac’s choice for writing software, will be rebranded in January 2008 as StoryMill 3.0. StoryMill will cost $44.95 (or $49.95 for a boxed version), and will be available to current registered Avenir users for a $15 upgrade fee. Although Mariner Software is taking over distribution and QA for StoryMill, Todd Ransom, the original Avenir developer, will be retaining creative control over the program. Todd expects to release a StoryMill beta shortly.

StoryMill 3.0 is definitely a piece of software to keep an eye on, as besides being a complete rebranding with Mariner’s greater resources at its disposal, it is also a large update to Avenir in its own right and will include the hotly anticipated (at least by me and other Avenir forums lurkers) timelines feature, along with a number of others.

Scrivener update: 1.1

ScrivenerAlthough I personally find Avenir more to my taste (if only for its superior tagging and amazing annotations), Scrivener’s open-ended index-card way of working has made it something of a celebrity among writing applications. Tagging may take a back seat in Scrivener, but it’s certainly available once you’ve gotten over the initial mind-boggling deluge of features, and now Scrivener has received a fairly major update to version 1.1. I’d try to summarize the changes, but frankly I can’t. The release notes list 261 feature changes, bug fixes, and so forth. The change newbies to Scrivener (or those who tried it in the past and want another shot) will find most interesting is that the trial has not only been reset (so that you can try it again if you tried it in the past), but now it gives you 30 non-consecutive days to try the program (only counting days when you launch it).

Scrivener 1.1 is available from the Scrivener website or through the in-program auto-update and is an update well worth downloading.

Avenir update: 2.3.7

AvenirAvenir, Tagamac’s choice for writing software, has been updated to 2.3.7. This point release fixes a bug with annotations and brings full support for Leopard. Leopard introduced a bug in how Avenir dealt with tags that prevented projects with tags in them from opening, which has fortunately been fixed.

Although the update is not currently showing up in the program’s auto-update, if you’re running Leopard you should grab it from the Avenir forums.

Notae update: 2.2.1

NotaeHot on the heels of the recent 2.2 update is Notae 2.2.1. This minor update addresses a small number of bugs that made it through into 2.2. For more information, see the 2.2.1 blog announcement.

The developer also wants to reinstate support for French and German localizations, and is looking for someone fluent in English and French or German who would be willing to translate the dozen or so strings that have been added since the program was last localized. If you are interested, feel free to jump over to the Code Poetry website and contact him.

VoodooPad update: 3.2.2

VoodooPadVoodooPad, everyone’s favorite wiki-style idea repository, has been updated to version 3.2.2. This minor update is mainly made up of bug fixes for all three flavors of VoodooPad (lite, standard, and pro) without adding any new features. The update is available through VoodooPad’s in-program auto-updating, or you can always download the most recent copy from the website if for some reason you don’t like Sparkle.

For more information, please see the VoodooPad release notes.