Storywriter Pro Quickstart Guide
Welcome to the Storywriter Pro Quickstart Guide. On this page you can find everything you need to know to get started with Storywriter Pro. Adding chapters and scenes, exporting, navigating the software and more.
You can use the table of contents to jump to a specific section.
Table of Contents
A Quick Overview
First, let’s take a look at what the software looks like when you open it up.
There are three areas to focus on: The navigator, the writing area, and the menu bar.
The navigator: This is the area to the left (with the logo). When you start adding chapters and scenes, this is where they’ll go.
The writing area: The big area to the right is the writing area. This is where you’ll write you’re story and write your notes.
The menu bar: At the bottom of the navigator, you have the menu bar. The menu gives you access to setting, statistics, characters, chapters/scenes, shortcut keys.
We’ll go through all of these in more depth moving through the quickstart guide.
Chapters and Scenes
Chapters and scenes provide the structure for your story. In Storywriter Pro, they work as a hierarchy. Chapters are they top layer and then scenes. This means that all scenes belong to the chapter above them.
Adding Chapters and Scenes (Option 1)
To add a chapter or a scene, click the plus sign in the menu bar. This gives you two options: ‘New Chapter’ and ‘New Scene’. Adding chapters and scenes this way will always place them at the end of your chapter/scene list in the navigator.
Adding Chapters and Scenes (Option 2)
Once your story grows, you might want to add a scene or even a chapter somewhere in the middle of the story. You can do this by following option 1 and then move the new scene or chapter to where you want it.
Or you can simply right click any existing scene or chapter and add a scene/chapter above or below.
Renaming Chapters and Scenes
Chapters and scenes that are added to your story will simply be called ‘New chapter’ and ‘New scene’ by default. You can rename them by right clicking them and picking the option ‘Rename’.
Chapters, Scenes and the Writing Area
Chapter cards and scene cards have different writing areas.
Chapters: Chapters have a simple writing area. This is for note taking. You can write anything you want here. It could be very useful in the outlining phase, if you just want to start by adding chapters and add scenes later. You could write down all the things you want to happen in the chapter.
When exporting your story, your chapter notes will not be part of the export.
Scenes: Scenes have two writing areas: ‘Story’ and ‘Outline’. The ‘story’ writing area is for writing your actual story. This is where you write the scene. The ‘Outline’ area is for note taking and works like the chapter writing area.
When exporting, all your ‘Story’ areas will be compiled into one big document. The ‘Outline’ areas will not be part of the export.
Moving Chapters and Scenes
You can easily move chapters and scenes around as you please. Simply click the chapter or scene you want to move and drag it to where you want it.
If you’re moving a chapter, you’re moving all the scenes belonging to that chapter as well.
Deleting Chapters and Scenes
You can delete a chapter or scene by right clicking them and chosing the option ‘Delete chapter/scene’.
Be aware that deleting a chapter will delete all the scenes within that chapter.
With the character function you can create character bios, organize your characters in groups, and create and use templates to give yourself a quick starting point.
Click the character icon at the bottom of the navigator to get to the character page.
Adding Characters and Groups
There are two ways to add characters and groups to your project.
1: Click the plus sign at the bottom of the navigator. Choose to add either a character or a group.
2: Right-click an existing character or group and choose to add a new character/group either below or above the character/group you’ve clicked.
Naming Characters and Groups
Right-click any character or group you’ve added and choose ‘Rename’. You can now type in the name of your character/group.
When adding a new character, the character page attached to your new character, will have the title ‘New character’. This will be replaced automatically with the name you give the character in the navigator.
Adding Character Information
Use the plus sign on the character page to add a information field. These information fields consist of two text areas separated by a devider. The top text field is to name the type of information you’re writing down. E.g. Age, description, strength, weakness, etc. The bottom text field is for writing the actual information about the specific character.
You can add as many fields you want.
Use the arrows to the right on the information field to move it up or down. Use the ‘X’ to delete the field.
You can set up, save, and load templates for your characters.
Setting up templates: Add all the information fields you want in your template and give them names (Age, background, strength, weakness, etc.). If you’ve already filled out the information in these fields, then that’s okay. When saving a template, the software will only save the information fields and their names, not the information you’ve filled in.
Saving a template: Click the plus sign on the character page where you’ve built the template you want to save. Then click ‘Save as template’. Give your template a name and save it.
Loading a template: Click the plus sign on the character page where you want to load your template. Then click ‘Use saved template’. Choose the template you want to use and click ‘Load’.
If you want to delete a template, go to the ‘Use saved template’-screen. Click the ‘X’ next to the template you want to delete. Finally, confirm you want to delete the template.
You can save up to 5 templates at a time.
We’ve tried to set up shortcut keys that allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard as much as possible.
You can find a list of the available shortcut keys by clicking the help icon at the bottom of the navigator.
List of Shortcut Keys
On Mac you’ll use ‘Cmd’ and on Windows you’ll use ‘Ctrl’.
Cmd / ctrl + t
Toggles toolbar visibility. To keep the writing area clean and focused on writing, you can toggle the visibility of the toolbar on and off.
Cmd / ctrl + .
Scales the editor/writing area up.
Cmd / ctrl + ,
Scales the editor/writing area down.
There’s an indicator in the top right-hand corner showing the zoom percentage. 100% is standard.
Cmd / ctrl + j
Selects previous scene/chapter in the navigator.
Cmd / ctrl + k
Selects the next scene/chapter in the navigator.
Cmd / ctrl + l
Toggles between Story and Outline modes.
Cmd / ctrl + f
Toggles fullscreen mode on and off.
Exits fullscreen mode.
Click the gear icon in the menu bar to get access to the setting options (picture below).
In the setting options you can control a lot of different things. Let’s take a look:
Can can export your story to either PDF or DOCX (Word).
Storywriter Pro compiles all the ‘Story’ documents from your scenes into one long document.
Scenes will be separated by an empty line and a new chapter will start on a new page.
Activate Software (Demo Mode)
You can activate your software below the blocked export options (demo mode).
We offer ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ mode as color schemes. You can also choose to set color scheme to ‘System’. If you do so Storywriter Pro will follow the settings of your OS.
The editor font is the font used in your document. You get 4 options of serif fonts (Crimson Text, EB Garamond, Merriweather, Source Serif Pro) and 4 options of sans serif fonts (Lato, Montserrat, Noto Sans, Source Sans Pro).
You can set the font size of normal text, heading 1, heading 2, heading 3.These settings will be applied throughout your project.
Default Text Alignment
The default text alignment controls your entire project. If you choose ‘left aligned’ all text will be left aligned by default. If you want some text to be centered, e.g. ‘Chapter 1’, use the alignment option in the toolbar (Cmd/Ctrl + t). That option will only affect the specific text you wish to align.
Your license key allows you to activate two computers. If you buy a new computer, you can deactivate your license on your old computer here. This would allow you to activate the license on your new computer.
Version and Checking for Updates
You can see the current version of the software you’re using at the bottom of the setting menu. You can also check for available updates.
You can check the statistics of your project by clicking the graph icon in the menu bar.
You can get statistics for the following things:
Words: Number of words in your story (‘Story’ documents only).
Characters: Number of characters in your story (Letters and spacing) (‘Story’ documents only).
Chapters: Number of Chapters in your story.
Scenes: Number of scenes in your story.
Reading time: An estimate of how long it takes to read your story. The calculation is based on the average reading speed of 250 words per minute.
Pages: An estimate of the number of pages your project would have as a finished novel. The calculation is based on words/page average in novels of 280 words per page.
The sprint feature allows you to set goals to add some extra motivation. You can set goals based on time or based on word count.
You can find the sprint feature on the statistics page. Click the graph icon at he bottom of the navigator. Below the stats of your project, there’s a button that says ‘New sprint’. Click it to set up your sprint.
Setting Up Your Sprints
There are two types of sprints you can use in Storywriter Pro:
Sprint based on time: With this type of sprint, you set a time you want to write for. If you want to write for an hour and a half, you type in 1-3-0 and click the start button.
Sprint based on word count: You can also do a sprint based on a word count target. Simply type in your target number and click start.
Ongoing sprints will show up below the ‘New sprint’ button. This box will show you how many words you’ve written or how much time is left on your sprint.
You can only do one sprint at a time.
When your sprint is completed, you’ll get a pop-up with information on how many words you’ve written and how long it took you to write them.
To delete a sprint, click the ‘X’ on your ongoing sprint and confirm you want to delete it.