Plot Builder - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Plot Builder

CNET Editors' review

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.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews

Results 1-3 of 3

  • 5.0 stars

    "Pinch me...am i dreaming?"

    September 7, 2009  |   By LulaKK

    Version: Plot Builder 2.1

    Pros

    - Inexpensive (especially for teachers and students)
    - Doubles as a writing device and organizational tool
    - Allows one to record notes and ideas for future reference
    - Teaches you to write in industry standard format as you go

    Cons

    - No Mac version

    Summary

    As a teacher, I am always looking for products to recommend to students. This is an inexpensive product that automatically formats your screenplay or novel as you go, allowing you to learn correct industry standard formatting as you write.

    I also LOVE having everything in one place. There is no longer a need for a million sheets of papers with ideas on them. Nothing gets lost.

    This is a writer's dream program: inexpensive and easy to operate.

    Reply to this review

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Spielberg Eat Your Heart Out!!!"

    September 5, 2009  |   By njuice28

    Version: Plot Builder 2.1

    Pros

    -Quick setup
    -Free Trial lets you see how it works before you commit to buying
    -Takes a lot of hassle out of the formatting of the screenplay and allows you to focus more time on developing the story and characters

    Cons

    -Is not a well known program
    -No Mac version( I am planning on getting a Mac soon, so this is somewhat of a disappointment)

    Summary

    This is a very nifty product that allows the modern day screenwriter to write on the go.
    I had friends recommend Final Draft, which retails for around $249, but I did a little research and tried plot builders free trial. Needless to say Plot Builder meets my needs and for about 200 bucks less.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "No more lost notes or ideas! I can Organize and Write!"

    September 4, 2009  |   By sowhatwilson

    Version: Plot Builder 2.1

    Pros

    -No Pesky templates
    -Easy to organize new notes and ideas
    -Automatically formats a Novel or Screenplay into correct industry standard format
    -Excitement graph gives portrays visual of story progression
    -Inexpensive compared to other writing software

    Cons

    -No mac version but they say one is in development

    Summary

    Even before I started writing, I had loose notes with story ideas scattered around my home. Not any more... Now when I have an Idea, I just open up Plot Builder and add a quick note. As an organizational tool for a writer, Plot Builder is spot on.

    And not only is Plot Builder great for organization, you can write your entire screenplay or novel manuscript in correct industry standard format.

    As a screenwriter, I found the screenplay operation the easiest to use out of all screenwriting software I have ever used. I also played around with the novel writing and found that even easier to use.

    There is this "excitement graph" over a three-act time line on the main page of plot builder that starts at introduction, builds to climax and ends at resolution. The ability to place the screenplay scenes or novel chapters on this graph is quite ingenious.

    Any writer whether they write screenplays, novels, plays, magazine articles or whatever, will not be disappointed in the product.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (4) (0)

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Plot Builder