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StoryMill is all about writing novels, and its features keep longer projects on task. The app manages scenes, characters, locations, tasks, and research notes in its source list. Unlike Scrivener’s Binder, the source list doesn’t actually display individual items underneath each category. Those appear on a separate list, and clicking each category to see them seems like a cumbersome extra step. The actual writing is done in the main text/notes window. A pane for metadata completes the screen layout.
Novel-friendly StoryMill has fiction-friendly features and a clever “progress meter.”
Using StoryMill is straightforward. The text editor offers the usual styling options and full-screen editing mode. Other features include the ability to attach notes to any item in the source list; a rich set of metadata for each item; a list of characters and locations for each scene; tags; status; and a timeline.
Unique to StoryMill, the timeline allowed us to visualize the unfolding action. StoryMill also can handle nonlinear story lines that follow a particular character or subplot independent of the chronological timeline. Finally, smart views let us arrange and display specific collections of sources in unique lists. Completed projects are exported in multiple file formats.
The bottom line. No matter how sprawling your novel, StoryMill offers the necessary tools to write and manage the entire project—if you don’t mind a little clicking around.
Mac OS 10.5 or later
Easy setup. Good use of metadata. Unique and handy timeline feature.
Counterintuitive interface. No e-book exports.