Plotting along

Demystify the writing process with this helpful program.

Plenty of people have aspirations of writing a novel or screenplay, and most of those people have a lot of ideas about the plot and characters of their masterpiece. Actually getting those ideas down on paper in a way that makes sense isn't always easy, though, and many potential writers get overwhelmed before they even begin. PlotBuilder is a simple program that breaks the writing process down into manageable steps, making it easier for writers to get started and keep going.

The program's interface is simple and intuitive, reminding us of more recent versions of Microsoft Office. The heart of the program's organizational structure is a diagram that displays the story's exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Running underneath this diagram is the division of the action into three acts, allowing writers to see how the acts should line up with the rising and falling action. PlotBuilder lets users create detailed character sketches, explore themes, plots, and subplots, and organize all the little story details that are floating around in their heads. Chapters or scenes can then be plotted along the diagram, helping to ensure that the story builds momentum and follows a structure that makes sense. The program's built-in Help file is well-written and thorough, explaining both the nuts and bolts of the program and writing concepts like premise and theme. Actually writing within PlotBuilder is very much like working in Microsoft Word, and we could easily imagine completing a creative work entirely within the program.

PlotBuilder has a 10-day trial period. It installs a desktop icon without asking but uninstalls cleanly. We recommend this program to all users.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of PlotBuilder 2.1.0. The trial version is limited to 10 days trial only.
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