Plot and Plan Your Story with Story Planner

Disclaimer: I have not been paid, nor contacted by Joanne Bartley, the creator of Story Planner, to do this review. I do not have that level of blogging clout. My reviews are my own, and my pockets are empty. Well, there is the fabric of those pockets, but that is all. Enjoy! 

Are you frustrated with the number of writing methods available? Are you frustrated at how frustrated you are with trying to organize your story based on those writing methods? Are you beyond frustrated with never having a template that was easy to use and saves you time? Are you frustrated by my level of frustration at how frustrating writing methods can be?! Well, I offer you a pathway to a solution. 

I spent a lot of years reading screenwriting books. I started down this path at the age of thirteen with a desire to know what a screenplay was. I began with Syd Field’s Screenplay, and I committed to reading it at least once a year. Now, I’m into Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces and mostly write all my stories with the hero’s journey in mind. I used to set up detailed templates based on the hero’s journey and breaking the hero’s journey up into the 3 Act structure. Making my own templates did not go well for me because I was spending more time on the template than on writing. However, I still enjoy a good break up of a template. Do I use them faithfully? No, but at least they get me writing. 

Now, my method of madness is to free-associate ideas, characters, and plot as I discover my story. I throw all kinds of words on the page to see if they stick. However, when it came to organizing these thoughts, I became frustrated at all the notes I don’t want to look at ever again. I need the best of both worlds. Something that allows me to ask the essential questions of my story while allowing me the freedom to discover my story organically. This is why I am elated, relieved, thrilled, or as close to displaying those emotions as an introvert can get. I’m all of these fantastic emotions because a fellow writer friend found this site and recommended it to me — Story Planner. 

I spend a lot of time world-building, designing characters, settings, motivations, etc. I have all of these piled up notes from notebooks, Evernote, and Scrivener. However, all I want is to take these ideas and ask the essential and straightforward questions that get me writing. That’s where Story Planner comes in. 

I’ve been using it for a bit, and I’m using it right now to write this blog post. My main workflow is to build the framework of my story, like a sculptor who sketches their sculpture before they start crafting an image. Story Planner allows me ways to take my ideas and place them into my desired template. The best part is I don’t have to make the template myself. I am also free to try out my story on any template that works. Integrating Story Planner into my writing process was easy because it solved so many of my issues. The best part, it’s free. Not just free to try but free to use. There is also a subscription model, which I will talk about later. 

Features:

The templates are modeled after some of the most popular writing methods on this planet, and there are templates for those who don’t use a writing method, but you still need something to organize your writing. There’s something for everyone. 

Here’s an idea of the types of templates you’ll find. First the templates are broken up into types of writing: Non-Fiction, Novels, and Screenwriting. You can also write loglines, outlines, chapters, and ideas. Then you have the Story World section where you can write character plans, settings, and even explore yourself as a writer. I personally don’t need that level of psychotherapy, but I have a feeling I can get into that section too. 

If you design your stories from Save the Cat, this has got you. If you love the three act structure, you good. If you like whatever the Snowflake Method is, there you go. There’s a template from Michael Hauge, one from Into the Woods, Pixar, and the Moral Premise. There’s also index cards. 

For the Non-Fiction writer there is all kinds of good stuff, even if you write blogs. 

How to Use:

I’m not going to do a tutorial on how to use the site because I think it’s self explanitory. I encourage you to explore for ten minutes. However, the majority of your writing is going to start in the Story World section to plan scenes, characters, and setting. Then you might try the Story Summaries section if you are one of those smart people that can write a perfect logline before ever writing one page of your script. I’m jealous and I know it. Anycrap, you can also leave the Story Summaries for last. 

The bulk of your story will happen in the Story Plans section and to view your projects you will look in the My Story Plan section. 

Cost:

Free = One story at a time

$15 for 3 months = Unlimited amounts of projects

$40 for the year = Unlimited amounts of projects

If you use the free model, you can use everything on the website as if you paid for it. So there is no paying to unlock features. The purpose of paying is if you have multiple projects at the same time. If you choose to stay with free, you can only work on one project. You can export that project out when finished, but you have to delete it before you can start another one.

I’m using the $15 model because I want to examine how much I will potentially use the site. Right now I have multiple projects, multiple blogs, so I paid. For the price, it’s not that bad. It’s so easy to spend $15 these days, so it was easy to let go of that money. To be honest, I also really love what Joanne Bartley has done, and I really want to support it and share it in case this benefits another fellow writer. 

That’s that on that. Thank you for reading my words and if you have questions or want to say, “hey,” comment below. I also don’t get mad if you correct my spelling or grammar. I appreciate the look out. 

I will be writing more stuff about writing and filmmaking. Please feel free to follow my blog, Intagram, or Twitter. 

Take care, and happy writing!

Link to Story Planner https://www.storyplanner.com

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