@Darren – To get a little more specific about Styles in AS:
There are many other ways to approach this, but what I imagine would be compatible with the look and feel of AS and also extremely useful for me would be a row of buttons on the Word Processor tab, perhaps called S1 through S4 (S6? a few more would be OK). These same commands would appear in the context menu of a Scene or a Note. By Alt-Click or Double-Click (or whatever), one could assign font and paragraph properties to any button, and then apply those settings with a single click, or a single choice from the context menu.
That would fulfill my need for Styles quite elegantly, and barely extends the style management already in use for default Scene and Note settings.
One additional functionality, however, does add some engineering (internally tagging a paragraph with its assigned style) – making these styles global to the document. While bringing existing work into AS, I have spent a lot of time conforming the text to the current default Scene paragraph style settings. Many times I’ve dearly wished for a command to “reset entire Scene to default style.” It’s only an issue while importing and conforming old material into a new AS project, but it can be a lot of work with hundreds of pages of text. And rough draft novels easily run to several hundred pages. This style conversion could be done without having to tag paragraphs internally, but there are some fairly common scenario in my work flow that call for temporary highlighting of numerous discontiguous blocks of text:
Ex. 1 – Highlight all of a character’s “internal thoughts” by italicizing them. Later, perhaps, elect to put “thoughts” inside square brackets, and remove the italics.
Ex. 2 – Dozens of chapters begin with a quotation centered between wide margins in a large font. It’s helpful to see these quotes in context.
Ex. 3 – Throughout hundreds of pages, scores of paragraphs require revision. Highlight them, and then revert to “body style” when revised.
Ex. 4 – Scrolling through long passages, certain blocks of text are connected by continuity factors (place, time, sequence, weather, characters present, etc.). One must repeatedly scroll back and forth through the ms to review continuity in these areas. Making them stand out in some way is extremely helpful.
Ex. 5 – Color coding certain aspects of a character, or certain characters, or locations, or settings, or events, or any number of different aspects of story structure can go a long way to maintaining control of a complex plot. For this reason, a few more Style buttons would be preferable to a few less . . .
These are some of the reasons I use Styles in fiction. There are many others. If a simple set of global (tagged) styles can be implemented, their usefulness extends quite far beyond the usual “word processing” uses. For example, if I’ve assigned a style to a character while reviewing her role in the story, I can then change the style to match Body style, and the highlighting goes away. But I can still find every one of those locations again if the Search function allows me to specify one of the 6-8 Styles. (Whoops! My request crept up to 8.) In fact, thinking long-term, a simple Style / Tag system could be endlessly useful for keeping track of a lot of things in fiction that’s complicated.
If all this overshoots the intended scope of AS, then so be it. These are still needs that I have for managing the development of stories and novels, and I think they’re worth considering for this or some other app.