So, you have decided to write a book? That's great! In fact, it's marvelous because your story deserves to be told and the world needs to read it! But whether you're a first time writer or a well-established author, sometimes outlining can be hard. And for those who plan, even if you only plan the most important points, it can be difficult to keep track of all that information! (Especially if you are old school and using paper or Microsoft Word!)
There are a ton of resources out there, and every once in a while, I'll share some with you so that you can share some with others. This week, we'll be talking about Plottr. Plottr is a visual book planning software!
Here Are Some Pros:
If you are worried about how to start, there are tons of informational videos right on the site! Also, on YouTube which is great if you want to get a glimpse of how it works before actually buying it.
For those of us who write on the go and mainly on their phones, there is an app!
There are tons of templates so that if you are new to plotting/outlining and the thought of taking it on by yourself is daunting, you can use one of their templates. Plus, whenever a new template is introduced, a handy-dandy video is posted to walk you through it.
Plottr lets you export your outline and story bible to both Word and Scrivener. So if you're doing a challenge like NaNoWriMo or #FinishUrBookFall, this is a great way to get the ball rolling on your project.
Unlike a lot of software that has the inexpensive option really be bare bones and practically nonfunctional, Plottr is pretty great. You can use it on one device online and off and really do everything you need to do, without feeling as though you are missing something.
It's available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. This is great considering that quite a lot of writing software now is only for Mac and iOS.
Accessibility. The accessibility of the actual software is great. What I mean by this is that the fonts are easy to read and there aren't any too bright or too dark colors that can be a pain to some people with visual impairments. This is something I appreciate in software and in websites.
Let's you plan series! Working on a series? Great, all your characters and places will automatically be in the story bible of book two, or book three or how ever many books you decide to write. That saves the hassle of trying to go back and look them up over and over again.
Customizable! If you don't want to use a template and would rather do your own thing, that's easy to do! Make your plotline with your subplots or just go with the flow and try things out.
Here Are Some Cons:
The app doesn't let you sync automatically (unless you have Pro). If you aren't tech saavy (and I am not) if you want to work on the go, you have to do so through a 3rd party application such as OneDrive or Dropbox. This can get pretty annoying.
All the templates are westernized. What do I mean by this? They center methods of storytelling geared towards western culture and more specifically, white western culture. I have had a lot of feedback from other users that there is no way to pleasantly outline for BIPOC storytelling methods. I have also noticed this and as someone who hates the Hero's Journey or 3 act story structure in my own writing, I find myself never using templates.
Expense! If you are a writer that likes the bits and baubles, Pro is pretty darn expensive! And not every writer can afford it. (If you are a NaNoWriMo participant you do get a discount, though.)
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons, but they are all very valid points that you should consider if you decide to explore Plottr. Personally, I have the lifetime three device membership. Although, full disclosure, I thought that syncing would be easier, which is why I chose that option. I have used it mainly on my laptop and while I do have the app on my phone, that's more for random ideas and I only work on them via my phone.
Would I recommend Plottr? Well, if you aren't a planner, never in a million years. But if there's a big project you have in mind and you want to get your ducks in a row, I would suggest taking the free trial for a spin. See if it is right for you. I find it would be most helpful for those working on large projects or series. This is also for book-length projects, so while you can use it for short stories, I say it is best if you don't.
Want to try Plottr out? They offer a free 14-day trial!
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