You’ve gone down the storytelling rabbit hole but quickly got overwhelmed. You’ve binged-watched videos on YouTube for hours instead of writing the story you had planned.
If you find yourself struggling with plot issues, overwhelmed with the writing process, and feeling scattered and spread across different platforms like Scrivener, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, as well as paper planners and journaling apps, I promise, there is a better way.
Story Vault offers you a way to unify your story elements, projects, files, ideas, and tasks all in one easy-to-find place.
You may have heard of something called a story bible––a helpful tool writers use for recording and remembering information about their plots and characters.
Story Vault is something like a story bible but with extra special sauce!
It’s a brand new way novelists are worldbuilding fiction. It’s your second brain.
Story Vault is a Notion template that keeps all your story elements in one unified place so that you don’t have to remember them.
Instead, you get to focus on finishing your projects quickly and as simply as possible.
It’s the template I use every single day to manage projects, track word counts, create plot time lines, do big strategic marketing planning, task management, and build my second brain; everything has a place, and nothing gets lost.
For the last year I’ve been consulting with authors, helping them use Story Vault to build out their projects, business productivity systems and workflows.
As part of this work, I’ve seen the most common challenges, hiccups, and missing pieces that most authors struggle with when trying to plan and write stories.
If you’re ready for an integrated publishing and personal productivity system you’ll actually stick to, unlock your Story Vault today!
I include a set of template bundles which layer in templates based on specific paths and use cases. The templates included are a near replica of my own setup, and everything you need to adapt and build on these templates is included.
Authors like JK Rowling creates story bibles like this. Story Vault expands the concept and takes it the next level! From character creation to worldbuilding to plotting, Story Vault has everything you need to tell timeless stories that improves the lives of those who read them, leaving a legacy of impact that will be shared and remembered.
Your place to info-dump character backstories, development and arcs. As well as small details such as how your protagonist takes her coffee. Or bigger details like special powers and abilities.
Build relationships between your characters and the rest of your story world so you can easily keep track of who knows who, and what information, and when; which characters are related; and whether or not a character appeared in book three of your sprawling 12-book series. No more searching for those small but important details ever again.
Plan out your plot and character arcs to get an overview of how your story is structured. This helps you find faults in your plot you’ve never considered before and means you’ll avoid plot holes, and you’ll always know where tension might be lagging, and places where the action is too loose or too tight (if you have a huge cluster of events taking place in one hour, for example).
Perfect for connecting a series of novels together. Build narrative timelines filled with story events, each of which are linked to the relevant characters, locations and any other story element you need to see a connection.
This means you’ll know which character’s played a role in which event; what happens in what order (like if a villain knows the heroes are coming before they decide to go, that kind of thing.); who’s together at what times; where every character is when important events occur; and show when a character’s been out of the picture for too long –– like if a villain seems to spend a lot of time sitting around doing nothing.
Build magic systems, political systems, belief systems, cultures, languages and technological systems, each of which are linked to the relevant characters, locations and groups who use them.
This keeps your story consistent while also allowing you to spot gaps in your worldbuilding –– like if your villain aims to take over the world but is only having a real impact on your small band of heroes, while the rest of the world isn’t particularly bothered.
Build creatures and species to add depth to your world and link them to the relevant locations in which they inhabit––and even characters if your creature plays a specific role.
This means you’ll be able to easily reference what was the name of that dead pet hamster your protagonist buried in chapter three of book 6.
Create a small town, an island, a planet in outer space, a house in a town or a farm, a dungeon, a subway station, a coffee shop. Write location histories, upload interior layouts of buildings and exterior layouts of landscapes. Link them all to the events that take place in that location. Tag a location as a character’s birth location or place of current residence. Link languages to the locations in which they are spoken.
This helps you preserve accuracy and provide realism when your characters revisit a location because you’ll maintain consistency with things such as outdoor foliage and ensure a grove of evergreens mentioned during a picnic scene grows as time passes in your story. Plus, you can even embed Google Maps for extra detail in your worldbuilding.
Create mcguffins, clothing, accesories and other objects that serve a purpose in your story. Link them to the relevant characters to maintain consistency.
This means you never have to worry about forgetting what color and model of car your protagonist drove in chapter one of book 2. When your protagonist gets into her car, you won’t have to skim through one hundred pages of text to find out what kind of car it was. You can turn to your Story Vault.
Store all your metadata, product descriptions, front matter, back matter, back cover copy, press kits, and anything else that goes with the production of your book for easy access.
This makes it painless to quickly copy and paste your data when uploading your book to multiple retailers, your website, social media, and sharing with book reviewers and book promotion websites.
Create and store pertinent new ideas. Whether they are broad plot concepts, a list of quirky character names to select from, potential book titles, snippets of scenes, random bits of dialogue, or a clever turn of phrase that just popped into your head. Tag your notes for easy reference and link them the relevant project.
This ensures your notes will never get buried and lost ever again, saving you from the agony of losing a cool idea, and helps you remember context as you add depth and texture to your book. If you’ve collected pieces of dialogue, you can weave them into the narrative. If you’ve been gathering bits of description, you can drop those in to create mood.
Found an interesting article about available fabrics of your story’s era that you want to refer back to later? Use the web clipper to copy it into your vault before it disappears from the Internet, leaving behind the dreaded “404 Page Not Found”. Tag the article for easier reference and link it to any relevant character, location or other notes.
This assures that your research never gets buried and lost forever (like browser bookmarks, “read later” apps or other note-taking software). It will easily resurface exactly when you need it for your story, avoiding the wasted time and effort of searching for it all over again.
Track your wordcount output daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly with Story Vault’s automatic word count trackers.
This ensures you will know exactly how far you’ve come in your writing journey and will allow you to evaluate your habits so that you can make improvements and perform even better going forward. Are you more productive when writing in your favorite coffee shop or your bedroom? Does your writing quality increase in the morning or at night? Story Vault has the answers and will keep you informed about your writing habits every step of the way.
Create a writing schedule and make plans to worldbuild, brainstorm a scene or spend time doing some research. Your “Action Zone” database is perfect for holding yourself accountable for any goal that you seriously want to achieve like publishing a book this year; or for any habit you want to build such as: write for 2 hours every day, or spend 1 hour this weekend reading a new book.
With Story Vault, you will always have a plan and will always know what step to take next to bring you closer to reaching your publishing goals.
While each of the above databases may have it’s own internal tagging system, you also have the option of applying universal tags called Super Tags.
This allows you to tag anything within your entire Story Vault for extra efficiency in linking your story elements together, making it even easier to find any information you’re looking for. You can create all kinds of unique tag hierarchies using parent and child tags of your own design, which means you always have total control of how your content is organized.
Story Vault is available for a one-time payment.
No subscription needed.
You also get these cool bonuses from Notion!
Your Story Vault is an easily searchable archive. As soon as you begin typing your query in the search box, results will begin to populate.
And with the advanced filtering and sorting options, only the most relevant results will surface which means you’ll never lose a single detail ever again.
Everything in Story Vault is fully customizable. It’s like a wiki on steroids. Each page is optional. If you don’t need a particular feature, simply remove it to avoid clutter. Need a brand new feature that’s super specific to your needs? Create it, easily and instantly.
The beauty of Story Vault is that it’s not a static system. It’s a dynamic thing that grows with you and encourages continual improvement of not only your creative processes but your entire self.
You’re going to want it to do something that it’s not built to do yet. That’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity to iterate and improve.
Story Vault is designed to expand and adapt according to your needs and not someone else’s idea of what your preparation should look like. You should always be able to do exactly what works best for you and your projects.
Place an image anywhere you want. Why not. Resize and arrange your images as you like. There are no file size limits or restrictions on which pages you can upload your images.
This means as you story-board your scenes or design your thematic mood board, you’ll maintain a visual aesthetic that pleases your eye, keeping you inspired and motivated to live totally immersed in the world you’ve built and complete your story with insane attention to detail that builds trust with your readers.
Download all your pages from the cloud as PDF, HTML, Markdown or CSV (for databases), and any files/images you’ve uploaded so you can stick it in a three-ring binder to keep at your desk.
This ensures you have the peace of mind and security of a physical story bible that you can carry anywhere for brainstorming sessions and have an offline backup just in case the machines decide to turn on us.
Story Vault is not overly complicated or elaborate. It gets out of your way so that you can plan your story as quickly and simply as you can which means you can finish more stories faster and with less effort because your “second brain” remembers all the details so you don’t have to.
Your Story Vault can be private or as public as you choose. You can publish your vault to the entire world, or only invite selected friends to view it, or you may keep it all to yourself.
Permissions for groups and individuals allow you to effectively collaborate with your editor to check your book for continuity so that you don’t annoy your readers; invite a superfan to assist you in making sure that everything you’ve created for your previously published books goes in your Story Vault for future reference; or bring co-authors and ghostwriters onboard to work on a project together, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Each team member or guest you invite will only be able to view, comment or edit the pages you want them to have access to.
Every change made to a page creates a separate version. Plus, a new version will be captured every ten minutes while you’re making changes and two minutes after you stop. And you can view and restore past versions of any page going back 30 days.
This means you can literally time travel and undo the distant past without causing a paradox.
As with any work, there will probably be a time you want to get rid of it — often followed by a time when you want to get that work back.
Story Vault archives your deleted pages in the trash bin until you click the big read button to permanently delete them.
Story Vault is a template built on the Notion platform and Notion supports both Windows and MacOS, all major browsers, desktop and mobile. No download needed. Although, you have the option of downloading the desktop app and the mobile app.
You should choose the software that is the best fit for you; the one where you feel the strongest connection to its features and what they mean to you and your writing journey; and ultimately, the one that gets you actual results.
Authors are discovering that with Story Vault as their “second brain”, they are having an easier time keeping their world, outlines, notes, and book ideas organized.
This means your imagination will blossom and you’ll grow even more creative because you’ll avoid feeling cluttered and overwhelmed. And you won’t be wasting your valuable writing time looking for your files because you’ll know where everything lives.
I’m not saying Story Vault is necessarily your best solution, but I can say that after years of procrasti-productivity and trying to find “that one system that finally works,” NOTHING else has quite compared to new habits I’ve been able to develop now that I’ve created a piece of tech that works the way a creative brain works.
I totally get it! If this truly is a make-or-break moment for your financial situation, I’ll make it easy for you: X out of this website.
I grew up on welfare so I’ll never be one of those people who tells you to max your credit card or borrow money from a friend to purchase this app.
I’ll give you a virtual hug, an air kiss, and send you on your way with love!
If that’s not you, and you’re just feeling some garden-variety investment anxiety, let’s talk.
I understand you want to know if you’re getting your money’s worth. You want to feel secure in your decision-making process.
Is Story Vault actually worth the asking price or can you get a better return on your investment somewhere else?
The short answer is: you get to make up your own mind.
I’m not going to try to pitch you a load of bullshit about how great Story Vault is because it’s just too easy for me to say Story Vault is great value. And if you’ve fully watched the demo and read through all the features above, you have a pretty good idea if this is for you or not.
If you’re just starting out, or going through a ‘lean’ period, you’re going to be more cautious with your cash. I understand that.
Which is why I’ve spent a lot of time thinking through pricing. It needed to be enough of a premium that authors would be motivated to really make use of the software and act in a way that’s beneficial to their publishing journey, but not too much money that it became cost prohibitive to the people who would benefit from it the most.
So, it’s not a monthly subscription (yet). If you purchase today, you own it for life.
The truth is, some people spend more on coffee in a year. Other people buy investments in their future.
Both both both. If you’re previously published, Story Vault can help you do it faster and with less mental energy.
If you’ve never written anything in your life (not even a blog post), well, I understand that everyone has to start somewhere. And there’s no better place to start than with Story Vault.
Whether you’re a planner or a pantser (or even if you don’t know what that means), you can add details to your Story Vault before you begin writing your manuscript, during the writing process or after you’ve published so that the next book in your series is connected by the strongest threads possible.
Yes, definitely. Here is a partial list of the types of people who are not a good fit for Story Vault:
It’s taken me several months to build Story Vault to a point where it seemed viable to release to the public. I’ve spent many hours managing how everything links together and organizing it into the most simplest structure possible. And I’m constantly adding new stuff, pruning the garden, and making enhancements every day.
This means all the busy work of creating the actual framework has been done (and is still being done) for you.
All you have to do is focus on your project. And fair warning, you may spend a few days/weeks playing with the possibilities.
I promise it’s worth it. Whatever time you spend on it, you win it back later by having everything sorted out from start to finish.
I can honestly say that even with all the time I’m investing in developing Story Vault for authors, I feel like it has easily doubled my writing productivity. Now instead of Netflixing in the evenings, I’m playing in Story Vault because it’s all so easily VISIBLE.
It’s much harder to lose track of ideas in this space.
Yes, you must manually enter your daily word count. The weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly word count trackers will pull from your daily input and update automatically. The progress bar attached to your project will also pull information from your daily input and will automatically display the percentage of overall completion towards your project. This means you can see how much you’ve written for all your books on one single page.
No. Story Vault does not have map-creation functionality. But when you create your maps elsewhere, you may upload and embed them in Story Vault for easy access, consolidating your files, and for backups.
As a member, if you want me to create something that doesn’t exist yet, all you have to do is ask 🙂
All updates are currently free for life!
However, in the near future, updates will only be accessible through a monthly subscription.
But, when you purchase today, you will make sure you get locked in to free lifetime updates.
I’ve heard of some authors who are writing their novels using Notion (the platform on which Story Vault is lovingly built upon). But, I’m not able to recommend it personally because I write my manuscripts using a word processor.
Story Vault is a planning and worldbuilding tool, not a word processor – so I recommend a program like Scrivener, Word, Google Docs, or Storyist when it comes time to actually write your manuscript.
It’s important for you to understand that Story Vault is not software that you download and install to your computer. Instead, it is a template that allows you to build your story world directly in your favorite browser, which is made possible through a software platform called Notion.
Notion.so is the name of the web-based tool used to streamline the function of several different online tools that are typically used for collaboration.
In plain language?
Notion is an app that will change the way professionals organize everything by bringing all the tools that they need to one place. It’s a tool that is founded on the premise that users should be able to build whatever they need to when using it.
Bottom line: Story Vault would not be possible without Notion.
If you don’t already have a Notion account, you will be prompted to create a free account with Notion when I send you the link to download your copy of the Story Vault template.
The template also comes with detailed instructions on how to use it.
And rest assured, the entire onboarding process takes less than 1 minute.
You’ll be building your story in no time!
No. You don’t have to pay for Notion to use Story Vault.
Notion’s free tier will not restrict Story Vault.
Notion’s paid tier would only come into play on 2 occasions:
Otherwise, you can fill Story Vault with unlimited text, images, pages and embeds using Notion’s free tier with no restrictions on Story Vault’s functionality or features.
Notion is a great tool in it’s own right even without the Story Vault template. Besides using it to plan my fantasy novel series, I also use Notion for other things like tracking the books I’ve read, automatically clipping and saving text I’ve highlighted in Kindle, and monitoring my ever growing list of digital subscriptions.
But I understand that Notion is not for everyone. If you’re not sure if Notion is the right tool for you, you might want to explore some of the YouTube videos that go over some of Notion’s core functionality.
Notion is excellent if you find your existing tool stack limited and fragmented, and are seeking more control over how you visualize your story and day to day execution. Think of Notion as a giant box of Lego pieces where you get to decide how you want it to look and function, vs a pre-made Lego “kit.”
If you want something that just “works” out of the box without any effort, Notion may not be the best tool for you! That said, Story Vault is intended to give you a massive head start.
No. Just login with your browser, start typing, and you’ll be worldbuilding instantly! That said, you do have the option of downloading a desktop app and a mobile app for an on-the-go experience.
Yes! If you have questions specifically about Story Vault, you may:
In addition to the above, Notion provides a robust support guide that will get you oriented with the software side of things.
Yes! Your intellectual property is yours. You own the rights to all work you produce with Story Vault.
I stand behind Story Vault, and your satisfaction with it is important to me. However, because Story Vault is a digital product delivered via Internet download, I offer no refunds.
The reality? Once you start building your vault, you’ll be thinking of a different r-word: Referral. 😉 #nailedit
That said, I am invested in your satisfaction and will jump through flaming hoops to solve your problems. If you’re not 100% sure about Story Vault, please watch the demo video, see the FAQ, email me, text me and ask any questions you have beforehand to know if this is the right product for you.
Hi there, I’m Michael Martin!
And let’s just cut to the chase:
A few months ago, I was desperate to finish my fantasy novel when I got stuck in a rut and couldn’t see the whole picture.
Parts of my story seemed invisible and fell through the cracks.
My sad little manuscript sobbed in a corner, screaming of plot issues, pacing problems and ideas that were just straight up pooh-pooh.
But the worst part, I felt so scattered across a ton of different writing tools and tech, I abandoned the project in frustration.
There are more half-finished manuscripts sitting around on peoples’ computers than all the books ever published in the last 50 years combined.
And mine dove into that pile of burning carcasses with a harsh and upsetting thud.
I had lost 10+ years trying to gather my story together with various combinations of software like:
Evernote, OneNote, Bear, Google Docs, MS Word, PageFour, ConnectedText, yWriter, and many more!
Trying to mish mash all these different components together, unsuccessfully.
It all started in 2009 when I made this goofy YouTube video about which writing apps helped me spend more time writing the actual novel and less time procrastinating:
Then in 2018, I posted an updated video:
Each system was powerful on its own, but I didn’t have a master process that pulled them all together in a cohesive, consistent way.
I was in limbo, and I knew it was affecting my ability to focus on writing and publishing.
So, you can imagine, at this point, I didn’t anticipate that more software would ever be a solution to my problem.
I had stopped searching.
My last resort was to create the perfect system for myself, specifically designed for a novelist, a storyteller, and the non-linear-thinking brain of a creative type.
And to my astonishment, I accidentally stumbled my way into doing exactly that.
My writing life changed when I learned how building a second brain could help me get more writing done, finish more books and publish faster with less effort.
And look, I’m not saying it’s the ONLY way to boost your creative output – but it works for me 😃
I can honestly say, I feel like it has easily doubled my writing productivity. It offers different perspectives, opens up opportunities, and makes me realize things I didn’t see before.
Story Vault is a brand new “second brain” that helps authors link characters to the items they use, to locations they dwell, to plots they play a role in, to research you’ve gathered, to potential future books they might appear in, and to… literally anything else you want.
Story Vault promotes my old ideas to the surface at the right moment so I can add layers of depth to my stories. This keeps me writing consistently and helps to conquer writer’s block because I feel like I’m swimming in a wealth of story ideas. I have way too many ideas now and will never be able to write them all. So, I just pick the ones that excite and inspire me the most. It’s a great problem to have.
It also “see’s” connections between characters that I never anticipated, and spots holes in the plot that I overlooked which helps me choose the most powerful POV, maintain tone of voice, and craft better scenes.
It creates links between characters and the items they use, the locations they dwell, the plots they play a role in, the research I’ve gathered, the potential future books they might appear in, and… literally anything else I want.
And it remembers these things so I don’t have to.
This helps me maintain consistency in my worldbuilding and makes the editing process a breeze.
It even assembles all my projects in one easy-to-find place so I can see the entire picture of my writing life at a glance, and tracks my vision and ideas in a creative non-linear way.
All without restricting my writing process.
I’m now writing consistently with an extra boost in confidence that shows up in my stories.
I get to focus on finishing my projects quickly and as simply as possible.
If you’d like to be able to get more writing done, finish more books, and publish faster with less effort, click the giant button to purchase Story Vault today and get started building your story empire!
Here’s something else I want you to know. I sincerely want to help you!
Maybe money’s tight… or maybe you don’t believe in yourself. Or maybe you have a spouse or a business partner who doesn’t believe in you right now. And that’s okay.
I believe in you and your desire to write a great book and publish it… because you wouldn’t have read this far if you weren’t serious about making a change.
And because you’re serious, I want to do everything I can to put Story Vault in your hands… because I know it’s going to work for you.
Story Vault is already helping many authors turn their ideas into professionally published books.
But there are still hundreds of potential authors who don’t know that it can help them.
That’s where you come in.
I’ve found the best way to reach authors is through an introduction from someone they trust.
All I want you to do is refer friends who could benefit from using Story Vault. And if they buy Story Vault using your link, they’ll get $50 off Story Vault and you’ll earn $50 for each referral.
This means if only 4 people purchase Story Vault with your link, you will earn $200 in cash referral fees, which amounts to a free copy of Story Vault.
And every referral you make after that is pure profit.
It’s not too good to be true. I understand that not all authors have the money up front to get started with the publishing process so I offer this generous referral program to help them get momentum in their journey.
This is the only referral program of its kind in the entire publishing industry.
For comparison: large scale publishers and software developers in the publishing industry are offering affiliate commissions at a rate of only 15% or less.
So, in this way, our incentives can be aligned.
If you want to help authors publish great books and earn a referral fee and get Story Vault for free, please fill out this form to apply.
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