Author Topic: Storyshop vs. Scrivener  (Read 1394 times)  

Online ET

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Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« on: January 03, 2018, 03:32:59 AM »
I've seen Sterling & Stone's Storyshop mentioned in several old threads, but does anyone have any recent experiences with the software?

I noticed a big improvement in my planning capabilities when I made the switch from Microsoft Word to Scrivener. (I always outline, even if I reverse outline.)

Story shop seems to more or less duplicate Scrivener's outlining functions; but it seems to do so in a more intuitive manner. (I also like the fact that I can access Storshop from different computers, so long as I have an Internet connection.)

Any feedback on the software (based on actual experience using it) would be appreciated. Thanks.

Offline Caimh

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 05:15:02 AM »
I've just finished writing a book in Storyshop and I really enjoyed the experience and I'll be using it again. It isn't without its flaws but what I really like about it is that the subscription model means there are developers actively working on improving it all the time. It is browser based which can be very handy when going between multiple devices like I do. The only downside of that is that it currently doesn't work off-line but they've acknowledged that needs to be changed. The character development stuff is a big step-up from Scrivener for me. It was also way easier to export the file when I was done which I always found torturous in Scrivener.

Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 05:25:03 AM »
I think I'd be extremely worried having a program that wasn't under my personal control, i.e. on my laptop. I keep all my files in the 'cloud', but I've never liked subscription models because you end up paying considerably more for your software that way. Yes, you have programming ongoing, but you get that in updates to a software program that you purchase for your personal use. As it is I use Jutoh and Writer's Cafe, both produced by Anthemion. The latter is an excellent nuts&bolts scrivener. You might want to look at it as a more secure alternative to your browser-based software.


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Offline Steve Voelker

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 08:12:19 AM »
I tried writing my last book in Storyshop.

The character building features are probably the best of any software I've used. The outlining was just okay. I much prefer the notecard method from Scrivener. Although it was cool to be able to link to people and places in Storyshop. When it came to the actual writing, I ended up going back to Scrivener. Storyshop just wasn't stable enough. I don't like the idea of my writing being strictly cloud-based. I work on relatively new computers (1-3 years old), and I have extremely fast, reliable internet (Gigabit from Verizon), and I still ended up losing some of my work. Never much. Nothing longer than this post. But if this post got deleted right now, I probably wouldn't bother retyping it. :)

I'm also not a fan of the subscription model, which was why I ponied up for the lifetime license. I don't regret it, because I saw it more as a way to support the SPP guys. I've gotten some good advice and many hours of entertainment from them over the years. But if you are just looking for value for a writing program, there are better ways to spend your money.

Overall, Storyshop has a ton of potential. But as of right now, I'd say it's not quite ready to be anyone's only writing program.

Online ET

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 11:16:44 AM »
Thanks, Steve. I went ahead and purchased a one-month subscription. (It's only $9.99...Some people spend more than that on a single trip to Wendy's.) My conclusions are somewhat similar to yours so far, with a few variations.

One immediate problem I discovered is that you need to have MS Word to open the downloaded manuscript in .docx.

I'm a Mac guy and I only use Apple Pages and Scrivener. (This isn't an ideological thing against Microsoft, mind you; it's just that I don't like the idea that in order to use StoryShop effectively, I have to purchase MS Word, when I don't need it for any other purpose.) Apple Pages opens most docx files, including very old MS Word files. But the help desk at StoryShop informed me that only MS Word will open and edit the docx files from StoryShop. I experimented and found this to be true.

I like the Cloud-based setup, whereby you can work on the same document on different computers. This was a major attraction for me. But the MS Word thing may be a deal-killer for me.

I agree with you: The program has a lot of potential, but it will need to go through some more improvements before it will be truly usable for me.

With that in mind, I'll likely cancel my subscription.



I tried writing my last book in Storyshop.

The character building features are probably the best of any software I've used. The outlining was just okay. I much prefer the notecard method from Scrivener. Although it was cool to be able to link to people and places in Storyshop. When it came to the actual writing, I ended up going back to Scrivener. Storyshop just wasn't stable enough. I don't like the idea of my writing being strictly cloud-based. I work on relatively new computers (1-3 years old), and I have extremely fast, reliable internet (Gigabit from Verizon), and I still ended up losing some of my work. Never much. Nothing longer than this post. But if this post got deleted right now, I probably wouldn't bother retyping it. :)

I'm also not a fan of the subscription model, which was why I ponied up for the lifetime license. I don't regret it, because I saw it more as a way to support the SPP guys. I've gotten some good advice and many hours of entertainment from them over the years. But if you are just looking for value for a writing program, there are better ways to spend your money.

Overall, Storyshop has a ton of potential. But as of right now, I'd say it's not quite ready to be anyone's only writing program.

Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 12:20:40 PM »


I like the Cloud-based setup, whereby you can work on the same document on different computers. This was a major attraction for me. But the MS Word thing may be a deal-killer for me.


On a small note of interest. I use Jutoh with a cloud-based file. It has the ability (it's built-in) to operate from a memory stick AND still access the cloud.

This might represent an option for you, or others that read this thread. In addition, I have never lost a single word typed into Jutoh that hasn't been 100% recovered after a crash.

I've always hated cloud-based data, but these days I'm learning to love it's versatility and (because I keep parallel clouds) total reliability.


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Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 12:31:16 PM »
Scrivener has a very generous license. You can install it on several - I think up to five? - computers at the same time, and sync it through Dropbox. And, of course, Scrivener is only $45 for the program, rather than $10 a month.
     

Offline evdarcy

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 01:09:09 PM »
If you're after cloud-based storage kind of thing, I save all my Scriv files to Dropbox. Then I can access them on any device I have Scriv on. Granted, I need Scriv to edit them, but it does mean I always have access to my most up to date file on whichever computer I'm on.  I know Dropbox isn't exactly cloud-based as it also saves to your hard drive and syncs your devices that way, but it works. :)

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Online ET

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 05:54:28 AM »
If you're after cloud-based storage kind of thing, I save all my Scriv files to Dropbox. Then I can access them on any device I have Scriv on. Granted, I need Scriv to edit them, but it does mean I always have access to my most up to date file on whichever computer I'm on.  I know Dropbox isn't exactly cloud-based as it also saves to your hard drive and syncs your devices that way, but it works. :)

Thanks, Steve, Tobias, EvDarcy, et al.

What I was really looking for was a Cloud-based way to use Scrivener on multiple devices. I hadn't had any experience with Dropbox, but I've since set it up and it works perfectly with Scrivener. On both my iMac and my MacBook Air.

As for StoryShop: I'm bailing for now, but I'll give it another look-see in a few years.

Online SuzyQ

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 11:49:15 AM »
Scrivner makes me want to claw my eyes out!

Online ellenoc

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 12:58:24 PM »
Threads like this one about Scrivener years ago made me switch to Scrivener. There were even screenshots of how others used it, and it made me realize how much easier revisions I had just struggled through in a 90,000-word book that was all in one document would be with Scriv. I use it only in a pretty basic way but love it.

So I check out threads like this one when I see them in case they feature something I'd like even more, although I can't imagine what it would be.

Horses for courses, SuzyQ.


Offline Victoria LK

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 01:04:07 PM »
I' seriously thinking of using it to create Series Bibles. It looks like it can hold so much more than scrivener for characters and I like the way you can see how one character relates to another. I would probably use it combined with scrivener. Besides, I have gotten so much good info from these guys, I don't begrudge the $9. I'll just skip a couple trips to Starbucks and make my own coffee! Also it's another storage space off my computers, which always seem to have problems at the worst possible moments!

Online ET

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2018, 01:27:58 PM »
I' seriously thinking of using it to create Series Bibles. It looks like it can hold so much more than scrivener for characters and I like the way you can see how one character relates to another. I would probably use it combined with scrivener. Besides, I have gotten so much good info from these guys, I don't begrudge the $9. I'll just skip a couple trips to Starbucks and make my own coffee! Also it's another storage space off my computers, which always seem to have problems at the worst possible moments!



StoryShop is definitely worth looking at *if* you have Microsoft Word. Just know going in that MS Word is a practical necessity if you want to use StoryShop.

The "beats" concept that Sean Platt et al talk about is incorporated in the outlining function of StoryShop. In this regard, it can best be described as "similar to Scrivener only different".

By all means check it out. The plotting functions are very robust.

I probably would have stuck with StoryShop for at least a book or two if I'd been able to open the docx files in Apple Pages. But when I considered the extra $6.99 monthly cost for an MS Word subscription, I balked, and opted for the Scrivener + Dropbox method described above.

I, too, am a fan of Sean, Johnny, and Dave.

Adam, the StoryShop help desk guy, told me that they plan to rectify this limitation at some point in the future, so that the docx files have the usual compatibilities. (You can open most any docx file on recent versions of Apple Pages.)
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 01:33:45 PM by ET »

Offline It's A Mystery

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 01:58:38 PM »
Ulysses beats them all for me.

Offline Dennis E. Taylor

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 02:12:01 PM »
I've been a computer programmer and I.T. guy most of my life, so you'd think I'd be all gung-ho for software. Turns out, though, I'm a bit of a Luddite. I've tried and abandoned more software than most people have ever owned--including Scrivener. Now, don't get me wrong, Scrivener is nice software, and I didn't curse at it and throw it against the wall. But there's a cost to learning new software and either converting all your existing data or maintaining your existing data in whatever 'legacy' format it was created in. You have to balance this against the benefits that the new software will give you.

For this reason, I do pretty much everything using Word, Excel, and OneNote. It does the job well enough for me, and I've become quite expert at these apps over the years.

Now, YMMV, so I'm not advocating any particular strategy. Except this: Know the difference between a feature and a benefit, and make your decision based on the benefits that those features will give you, not on the features themselves.

Offline Dragovian

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2018, 11:19:40 PM »
I use Storyshop for planning/character development (I have the lifetime license), and Scrivener for the final outline and writing. I'm nervous about writing in a  purely cloud-based environment (Scriv saves to Dropbox so I have a cloud-based backup, though).


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Offline notjohn

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 03:11:04 AM »
I've been a computer programmer and I.T. guy most of my life, so you'd think I'd be all gung-ho for software. Turns out, though, I'm a bit of a Luddite. I've tried and abandoned more software than most people have ever owned--including Scrivener. Now, don't get me wrong, Scrivener is nice software, and I didn't curse at it and throw it against the wall. But there's a cost to learning new software and either converting all your existing data or maintaining your existing data in whatever 'legacy' format it was created in. You have to balance this against the benefits that the new software will give you.

For this reason, I do pretty much everything using Word, Excel, and OneNote. It does the job well enough for me, and I've become quite expert at these apps over the years.

That's a very sensible take. I converted to computer-based writing in 1982 when I bought an Olympia electronic typewriter with a CPM extension with a 5.25-inch disc drive. Every disc had the complete WordStar program on it. WordStar came with five instruction manuals and reference books, plus a two-week(?) course for the secretaries who were expected to be its main users. (Well, I am reasonably sure it took me two weeks to get through the course. My daughter, who was a freshman in high school, simply began banging away, using the backspace and delete keys in lieu of WS commands, but in a few months she was as good as I was.)

WordStar was simply SO GOOD that I have never let it go. I bought the last version to be released, about 1991, when I also bought a 286 DOS computer from a guy in California who built them for sale by mail order, as was routine in those days. I have successfully booted that same program through every iteration of Windows down to 64-bit Windows 10, even though it's theoretically impossible to run a DOS program on a 64-bit computer. (The gamesters figured it out, and wrote VDOS to enable it. I suppose that stands for Virtual DOS.)

Alas, WordStar didn't know about curly quotes and em and en-dashes, and besides, editors expected to see Word docs. So I got Word, a Microsoft add-in that enables Word to read *.ws7 files, and another add-in that provides most WordStar editing commands to function in Word. So to this day I compose in WordStar, open the more or less finished version in Word, convert the quotes and dashes, and carry on! I could of course compose in Word, but it is not a very friendly program, and it's just not as fast as DOS WordStar. And it's not as easy on the eyes as that gorgeous gray-on-blue. Switching from a Windows screen to the DOS screen is as relaxing as sliding into a well-worn leather lounge chair. I can work for hours in that environment.

Besides, WordStar has a "non-document" mode -- it's a text editor, too! So I write all my web pages in it.

Quote
Now, YMMV, so I'm not advocating any particular strategy. Except this: Know the difference between a feature and a benefit, and make your decision based on the benefits that those features will give you, not on the features themselves.

Indeed!

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Offline whistlelock

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Re: Storyshop vs. Scrivener
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 05:35:59 AM »
cloud based + subscription model = nope.