Any chance of an auto-corkboard layout?

Windows 10

[Next version] :slight_smile:

I have used Scrivener for years and I am quite attached to the Corkboard layout of scenes. WriteItNow tried something similar but their version falls short of Scrivener’s as it is not freeform and is restricted to a line for each chapter. Papyrus Autor does not have the same thing at all in the Navigator.

I know we can manually create one with the board at the side, BUT that is not what I need. I like being able to see the scene list, which looks great (more informative than Scrivener), but sometimes I just need to see it all on virtual index cards with synopsis (Abstract). I can then see the flow of the story better, using colour coding and so forth and move the cards around which then re-orders the scenes in the main project.

Maybe I am the only one who works that way, owing to the fact that I wrote my first novels many years ago using actual index cards for the scenes and plot.

The automatic corkboard/card view is the only thing that Papyrus is lacking for me. I am going to try creating a novel in it next month and I will see how it goes, but I just love that corkboard view. (I have a 50" monitor so I can see everything at once if I need to.)

Hopefully it can be done simply, with an extra optional button added to the menu, extrapolating all the data from the scenes list (Navigator) like Scrivener does.

(EDIT: Added a couple of terms used by PapyrusA to make things clearer)

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Hey, welcome to the Community!

In Papyrus Author you can add synopsis to your chapters and scenes, and view them in the Navigator (and The Organizer). If you can’t see the ‘Abstact’ tab in your Navigator, click the ‘Toggle tabs’ button on the lower right corner.

You can choose what info to view in the Navigator by left-clicking the ‘Navigator Display’ text on the footer of the Navigator

I’m not familiar with how other software does chapter/scene Abstracts, but let me know whether this method helps you out!

Thank you, Sam. Yes, I saw that it can do this with abstracts, Scrivener does the same thing.

I am sorry if I am not explaining this well. Scrivener has a button at the top that allows me to click it and switch to a “CorkBoard View” where are the scenes are displayed on virtual index cards and each card contains the Abstract of that scene.

There does not seem to be a way for me to upload a picture, so I had to find one which I can link as an example. Scrivener Corkboard

I don’t know if that link will appear in the post, or if it will have to be clicked, but it shows someone using Scrivener the way I use it, with the Navigator information displayed on Virtual Index Cards, simply by clicking that central button at the top of the screen.

I hope this makes things more clear. :sunglasses:

That’s really useful in Scrivener, especially when I can move them around and colour code.

This would be good to have.

Thank your for the feedback. We’re always looking for ways to expand and improve Papyrus Author.

In Papyrus Author we have The Organizer, where you can manage your whole book in one view; chapters, scenes, events etc. It’s a different way of working, but you can go to as much or as little detail as you like.

We have a great tutorial video on how to use the Organizer on our YouTube page.

Thank you, Sam. I have watched all the PA videos by Ben, and a few of the German videos.

As I said above, my mind works best with a corkboard. I started out, as I mentioned, learning to organise my stories using actual A6(ish) pieces of cardboard, highlighters, pins and a large wooden board on the wall. A scene title and abstract on the front, 10 plot points on the back.

My brain is actually experiencing a disconnect owing to the lack of an Index Card view. It may sound funny, but lots of authors work from real or virtual index cards and would probably all feel just as lost as I do without them.

In Scrivener, I use the corkboard to lay out my scenes (as index cards) in order, with Titles and Abstracts first, then adding more detail. I then move that outline to a new area in the Navigator and run two screens.

The first screen contains the Abstract and the contents of the colour-coded virtual ‘index card’ I am using, where my Abstract is broken down into 10 plot points per chapter.

The second screen is my writing screen where the actual text of the Chapter/Scenes will appear. I then write each part of the scenes, referring back to the outline plot points as I go, aiming for c.300 words every 5 minutes per plot point.

The PapyrusAuthor Organiser obviously does not provide that visual corkboard, it is simply a list like the Navigator in Scrivener, but unlike that Navigator, it cannot provide me with a virtual index card view by the click of a button.

I can see the power of your software, and I have already used it to revise/edit/etc a 3.5K word short story just to try it out, but for a novel it will be different.

For an engineering document, a university essay or even a software proposal the Navigator/Organiser would work fine. For a complex work of fiction, for me, it does not do what I -need-.

I am impressed by the integration of so many tools into the package. Editing was easy. Publishing was easy. BUT, creating new fiction in it, so far, is not.

Obviously, the majority of your users do not create the same way I do.

I could create the things I use on Scrivener on one screen and then write in PA, but that defeats the object of finding a unified tool. I currently use Scrivener, Aeon Timelines and ProWritingAid. I then export to HTML and hand-code the eBook for KDP so I can have drop-caps, etc., using my own CSS.

I have tried many other writing software systems over the last 20 years, but none do exactly what I want yet.

PA would still fail to replace Scrivener simply because of the lack of a corkboard. My only benefit would be no longer using ProWritingAid, BUT since the subscription to PWA is less per annum (c. 60UKP) than PapyrusAuthor (c. 180UKP) would cost me, I cannot justify the extra expense unless it replaces ALL my other tools.

I am seriously looking for a tool such as yours with the added functionality of a corkboard, since I will have to repurchase Scrivener sometime in the next few months once V3.0-PC comes out of beta. Now would be an ideal time to switch.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ben’s videos, they were clear and informative, as were your German videos. I will watch the software and, if a corkboard is added, will be willing to try it out. All professional writers want to streamline their process and get rid of anything that causes time-loss or fiddling, so we can concentrate on creating books.

Thank you again for your replies.

I emphatically agree with SP. I’ve been a writing professional for over 30 years, and used 3x5 cards for organizing long before I ever touched writing software. Scrivner’s corkboard functionality (and LifeWriter now too) both have something along these lines and I’m honestly surprised this isn’t part of Papyrus. It’s simple and it makes it so much easier to organize (and reorganize) a plot structure. Your Organizer, to be honest, is seriously clunky. It suffers from programmer syndrome. I’ve seen it a lot while working in the computer gaming industry. Programmers like to create tools that are easy for them to create, and not necessarily made so to reflect how designers- or in this case, how writers - actually work. You seriously need to implement your own version of Corkboard. The lack of it is a major flaw in your product at this point.

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I agree that is one of the reasons I won’t buy Papyrus, it’s a real shame because it seems to be much user-friendlier than Scrivener, I also like the colour format of it.