Getting Started With Stories

Stories is a tool for ThirdScribe authors to present long-form storytelling on the web in a unique and artful way.  

To start writing a Story, the first thing to do is be logged in.  If you are not yet a ThirdScribe author, you can join here.

Once you are logged in, you will see the basic creation node at the bottom of the screen, which looks like this:

Stories-Creation-Tool

The icon on the left lets you access any of your drafts or previously published Stories, allowing you to access, edit, publish, trash, or otherwise change those individual Stories.

The icon on the right creates new Stories.  Simply click on it and it will prompt you to create a new Story by adding the title, as such:

Stories-New-Post-Title

Type in the title of your story, click “enter” on your keyboard, and you’ll be taken to a fresh page where you can start putting together your Story.

Writing Your Story

Upon a Stories’ creation, you will arrive on a page with a lot of gray blocks, the words “Once Upon a Time” and this slightly expanded tool set at the bottom of the screen:

Stories-Post-Management-Tool

The two right-most tools you already know, they are the post management and creation tools.

The two left-most tools are for editing the specific Story you’ve created or accessed (if coming back to continue editing a previous Story or draft).

The first tool on the left, which looks like a pen tip, is for actually composing or editing the Story itself.  Clicking this will access the post editing tools and allow you to type your story directly onto the screen.  More on that below.

The tool second to the left, which looks like a crossed wrench and screwdriver, allows you to edit the “meta” information of the post — like add a featured image, specify the category (sci-fi, education, cooking, etc), assign tags, and shift from draft to publish.  Clicking it will produce this nodal:

Stories-Meta-Nodal

Changing the Featured Image will fill that big gray block where the title is with the image you choose.

Now, back to that editing tool that looks like a pen tip…

Clicking on the Post Edit tool will allow the author to create their Story directly on the screen, much like the service Medium does.  Also like Medium, it opens up a new tool set specifically for post editing and formatting, like this one below:

Stories-Editing-Nodal

The icons represent formatting you can apply to text.  Simply select the text by highlighting it with your mouse and the choose the formatting you want to apply by clicking on the tool set.

Unlike Medium, Stories has a lot of powerful, and highly configurable, story elements you can apply to your Story.  You access these by clicking on the “+” icon at the far right.  Doing so opens up the Story Element Options nodal, like so:

Stories-Element-Nodal

The Elements are:

(Top row) Image, Character, Quote, Text, Chapter, Parallax Image, Audio

(Second row) Video, Map, Timeline, Document, Collection, and Gallery

To place an element, simply drag and drop the icon of the element you wish to place wherever you want it to go.

Using Story Elements

Inserting Story elements is a two step process.

First, you select and place the element you want to add to the Story, next you made all of the adjustments to that element using the right side element panel.  Each element has a slightly different panel to address it’s specific needs.

Here we’ll take you through how to add an image to demonstrate how this works.

First, place the image element via drag and drop.

Stories-Image-Drag

Once that is in place, you’ll need to access the settings panel to select your specific image and any options you may want (left, right or center; image size; image offset, etc).  You do that by clicking on the “gear” icon, like so:

Stories-Image-Settings-Select

Clicking on the elements settings opens up the settings panel on the right side of the screen.  You’ll see other options for the element there as well, including drag, copy, and trash.

The settings panel for the image will give you a lot of options for that image regarding its size, placement, alignment, and more.  You’ll know it when you see it, and it looks like this:

Stories-image-edit-panel

Saving and Publishing

The last thing you need to know is how to save and how to publish your story.

When editing a Story, you’ll see three colored icons at the bottom of the Screen – one on the left (a yellow “x”) and two on the right (a blue disk icon and a green pen icon).

Stories-Save-and-Publish

The “x” is to exit the editor — DO NOT EXIT WITHOUT SAVING!

Clicking the blue disk icon will save your Story.  I recommend clicking often.

The green pen icon will publish your Story, so hold off on that one until you’re ready.