Working with Storyboards
Storyboards give you a visual overview of elements of your story. You can use them to
- View and edit your story elements (sections, scenes, plot points, characters, settings, and notebook entries) as index cards and photos on a corkboard.
- Specify the details of and the relationships between story elements as a collage on a virtual desktop.
You might use storyboards at the start of your project to get all your ideas down and organized before you start writing, or after you’ve completed a draft, to summarize and view the arc of your plot or characters.
Storyist provides two types of storyboards:
- Corkboards—Used for folders or heading-level text items (like chapters or acts). A Corkboard is a virtual bulletin board you can use to see the structure of your story.
- Collages—Used for individual items (like a section or a scene). A collage helps gather the items related to the section or scene you are currently working on to keep them close at hand. These items can be images, comments, or other story elements.
To view a story element as a Storyboard, use the Project view to navigate to the element you want to see, and then do one of the following:
- Click the View as Storyboard button in the top right corner of the navigation bar.
- Choose View > as Storyboard from the main menu.
Adding Items to a Corkboard
To add a new item to a corkboard, do one of the following:
- Click the plus sign in the control bar at the bottom of the editor and choose the item you want to add from the submenu.
- Drag a file or image to the storyboard from the Finder or another application.
Specifying the Layout of Corkboard Items
Some writers find it useful to set up a fixed-size corkboard to visualize the act breaks of their story as they are writing. For example, if you are writing a screenplay and are planning to have approximately 60 two-minute scenes, you might arrange your corkboard to have four rows of 15 scenes (one row for the first and third act and two rows for the second act).
To specify the layout of a corkboard:
- Click the Action button. A pop-up menu appears.
- Choose Layout, then choose one of the following:
- Fit Width—The corkboard lays out the items to fit in the width of the view. If you resize the view, the storyboard automatically adjusts the layout.
- 3 Across—The corkboard lays out the items in rows of 3 columns.
- 4 Across—The corkboard lays out the items in rows of 4 columns.
- 6 Across—The corkboard lays out the items in rows of 6 columns.
- Other—Brings up a dialog that allows you to specify how many columns the storyboard should use. In the example above, you would enter 15.
Adding Items to a Collage
Adding items to a collage is a simple as dragging them from the Project view to the collage.
You can arrange the items in the collage by dragging them to the desired location.
Adding Section and Scene Sheets to a Collage
When you drag section or scene sheets to the collage for a section or scene, Storyist displays a dialog offering to attach the sheet to the section or scene.
If you choose to attach a sheet to a section or scene, Storyist transfers the title and synopsis from the sheet to the index card and keeps the titles and summaries synchronized so that updates to the title or summary of one will be reflected in the other. Attaching sheets in this manner reduces the overhead of keeping per-section or per-scene notes. Choose this option if the sheet you are attaching describes the section or scene you are attaching it to.
If you choose not to attach the sheet to the section or scene, Storyist will add the sheet to the storyboard, but keep the titles and summaries separate. Choose this option if you simply want to have quick access to a sheet for another section or scene.
The ability to have section or scene sheets in either an attached or an unattached state enables several story development workflows:
If you have ideas for scenes, you can create sheets for them, and develop the scenes before you start writing. Then, when you understand where your scenes belong in the story, you can drag the sheets to the scene’s collage and attach the sheet to the scene. Your notes are then transferred to the scene’s index card.
Once you attach a sheet to a section or scene, and any changes you make to the scene’s card will be reflected in the sheet. Similarly, any changes you make to the sheet will be reflected in the scene’s card, freeing you to focus on writing.
If you later decide that a section or scene no longer meets your original goals, you can detach the sheet from the scene (by deleting it from the collage) and optionally attach it to another scene.
Resizing Storyboard Items
You can change the size of the items on the Storyboard using any of these three methods:
- Drag the slider in the control bar.
- Choose View > Zoom and choose your option from the pop-up menu that appears.
- Click the Action (gear) button in the control bar of the Storyboard view, and choose View > Zoom. A pop-up menu appears:
- Zoom In—Enlarges the Storyboard items.
- Zoom Out—Shrinks the Storyboard items.
- Actual Size—Zooms to the largest size available for the storyboard item.
- Fit Width—Adjusts the zoom factor so that the view is one Storyboard item wide.
- Fit Page adjusts the zoom factor so that all of the selected items fit in the view.
If you are working with a collage, you can also adjust the size of individual items.
To resize a collage item:
- Select the item you want to resize.
- Click and drag one of the six resize handles that appear along the edges of the selected item.
Dragging a resize handle preserves the item's aspect ratio by changing both the height and the width simultaneously. Holding down the Option key while dragging allows you to change the height and width independently.
Changing the Representation of Storyboard Items
By default, Storyist represents characters and settings as images and all other items as index cards. You can change the representation of an item using the Action button in the control bar.
To change the representation of an item:
- Select the item(s) you want to change.
- Click the Action button, choose Display Selection As from the pop-up menu, and then choose one of the following representations from the submenu:
- Index Card—Displays the selected items as index cards.
- Image—Displays the selected items as an image.
- Image and Title—Displays the selected items as photographs. If the item does not have a photo associated with it, Storyist uses the default image for the item type.
- Icon and Title—Displays the selected items using the default icon representation.
- Comment—Displays the selected items as a comment.
Color Coding Index Cards
To get a better visual overview of your story, you can color-code your index cards. To change the color of an index card in a storyboard:
- Select the index cards whose color you want to change.
- Click the Action button in the command bar in the Storyboard view, choose Color from the pop-up menu, then choose a color from the submenu.