Setting up Storyist for NaNoWriMo

Storyist for NaNoWriMo

So you've downloaded Storyist for macOS, read the Users Guide, and spent some time planning your novel. Great! Here are a couple of additional suggestions to help you get the most out of Storyist during NaNoWriMo.

Enter Your NaNoWrimo Word Count Goals

Storyist can track both your daily word count and your progress towards the magic 50k words goal. To set this up:

  1. Open your project (or create a new novel project from the Novel template).
  2. Click the Goals button in the toolbar.
  3. Enter your word count goals in the Project Goal and Daily Goal fields.
  4. Select the text files you want to include in your NaNoWriMo word count. You can keep your manuscript in one file, or spread it out over multiple files. For now, just check the My Manuscript checkbox. You can add additional files later if you want.
  5. Click the Done button.

Storyist Goals Popup Window

You can now use the Goals button to check your progress during the month of November. The Goals popover provides three ways to see your progress: the calendar view, the graph view, and the summary view.

Storyist Project Progress Calendar Storyist Project Progress Graph Storyist Project Progress Summary

Configure the status bar to show your progress

Storyist can also display your word count progress in the status bar. To set this up:

  1. Choose View > Customize Status Bar (or simply hold down the Option key while clicking in the status bar).
  2. In the Text File Status area, click the location (left, center, right) where you want the progress bar to appear and choose Project Progress from the popup menu.
  3. Repeat step 2 for the rest of the project item types.

Storyist Project View

The status bar now displays a progress bar for all project item types. Clicking on the progress bar brings up a popover window with your project info.

Create a Backup Plan

A good backup plan is an important part of any writing project, but it is especially important for NaNoWrMo. Here is what you need to know about backup support in Storyist.

Storyist automatically saves your project to disk every few minutes to help minimize data loss in case of power failure or other unforeseen circumstances. Autosave occurs every few minutes. If you're typing, OS X will try to wait for a pause in your activity before saving. Autosave also occurs when you switch to another app, when you close the document, and when you quit the application.

Storyist also makes periodic copies of your entire project. These copies are referred to as versions. Storyist creates a new version each time you open a project and every hour while you’re working on it.

All of these versions are stored on your local hard drive, though, so your backup plan should involve making copies of your work on another disk occasionally. There are a couple of options:

  1. Setup Time Machine. Time Machine automatically copies your files to an external drive (the drive can be attached to your computer or available on your network) so that if your hard drive fails, you have a backup disk from which you can restore your system. The versions that Storyist saves are automatically backed up by Time Machine, and you can browse your backups, even if they're on another disk, using the Versions Browser.
  2. Store your files in the cloud. Keeping your files in the cloud has the added benefit that your files are stored away from your computer, so if something happens at your home (theft, fire, hard drive failure), you still have copies of your work. Storyist can automatically sync with either iCloud or Dropbox. If your Mac is already signed in to iCloud, the easiest way to store your Storyist projects in the cloud is to place them in the Storyist folder in your iCloud Drive folder and edit them from there. Your Mac will take care of the rest.

Whichever method you choose, get it set up and test it out ahead of time so you can use November to write.

That's about it. If you have questions, please feel free to drop into the Storyist forums or send a quick email to the support address.

50k or bust!