You know when you go browsing for something specific... and then you stumble upon something you never even knew you needed?
Something you never even knew existed?
Well, that is what happened to me with Plot Factory. Initially, I went searching for your bog-standard story planning book. In fact, I am pretty sure that was what I typed into Google. But before I could browse all the Amazon journal-type books it was dying to show me, the words "Online story planner, organizer and writing app that lets you create fictional universes, forge rich characters, and write amazing stories." caught my eye.
A series of thoughts ran through my mind;
- This can't be what it says it is.
- Wow. It looks like it is...
- I bet they have priced it ridiculously 😒
With my touch-pad finger just itching for a reason to close the tab, I read on...
When I saw the 'sign up for free' button, I told my finger to chill. At least until we could confirm they weren't asking for upfront credit card information. It was as though they read my mind.
But before I ramble on with my sign-up story, you probably do not know what plot factory is and why you should be interested in this post. So let me clear some things up!
What Is Plot Factory?
Plot factory is the entire book writing process conveniently packed into one, easy to use tool. It reduces your need to have various word documents for characters and their back story, plots, and everything else you can think of. As well as organising these sections for you, it also allows you to upload images where appropriate to set the tone.
Although it does not have a dedicated mobile app, the platform is 100% optimized for mobile and works flawlessly on both Android and iOS. I had to load it up on my phone and iPad to test how true this was.
Admittedly, I expected something quite basic, especially as I had not heard of it before but it is so feature-rich that on my first use I was like a kid in a candy store, clicking on everything and seeing what it had to offer.
Plot Factory Features
- Mobile friendly - and I mean really mobile-friendly, built to be used on your device, not just tolerating it.
- Create your universes - you can plan out your universes in-depth, the name, time, theme, setting, laws and anything notable you want to add in the description. You can also create multiple stories within that universe which is great for anybody planning to write a fantasy series. Another thing I found interesting was when you create "places" within your universe, you can import these places, and everything else into different stories. All in all, saving you a bunch of time.
- Plan your story - you can easily develop your skeleton and then flesh it out with plots, characters, places etc.
- Sculpt and refine your characters - I absolutely love this feature. They have included a name generator which allows you to select things like gender and background and generates both first and last names. You then just pick one from the list or use that to spur on your own creativity. The "language" section for character name generation included things like Ancient Greek and Egyptian Mythology. I found that all quite interesting, as again, I didn't expect any of it.
- Plot Factory Discord Group - we all know how important communities are. Especially when you need inspiration and motivation. A solid community allows you to exchange ideas and bounce off of each other.
As amazing as your best friend is, unless they are also a writer, they won't understand your frustrations as you try to calculate the best plot for your character! Having an easy-to-access group of like-minded people and multiple creative opinions is invaluable.
- Story collaboration - this is a new feature and as such, I haven't really explored it yet but I am guessing it does what it says on the tin. From this screen, you can invite collaborators for your story and view existing ones.
- Audio Narration - you have the option to narrate your story, whether just the scene or an entire chapter.
- Dark mode - your eyes. Preserve your eyes. Us writers don't write from 9 to 5, we write whenever wherever. If you just so happen to be up at 2:49 am typing away at the screen like I am, switch to dark mode. It is way easier on your eyes.
- Distraction-free working mode - of course, I have mentioned all of these features, and as you can see they are right there on the screen. But what happens when they are just in your way and you need room to think and write. If you are coming from Microsoft Word or a blank notepad and pen, then these features would soon become distractions. The Plot Factory creators have thought ahead, and with one click of the menu button, that sidebar disappears, giving you all the space you need.
Plot Factory Pricing
As I mentioned in the beginning of the post. They did very well in stopping potential customers from clicking off:
- With the big "Sign Up Free" button.
- By not tricking you into adding a credit card and joining on a trial basis (literally banking on you forgetting and letting that payment float out of your account.)
However, there are paid options, so here is where I tell you what limitations the free account has and how much you would be paying to use some of the more advanced features on the platform. When you click on the "Upgrade" button from your dashboard, you are taken to the following pricing options:
So, as you can see, there are three membership options, and you have a choice of whether to pay monthly or annually.
The $19 "Novelist" pack seems to have features that focus more on the end product; ePub exports, the ability to export your story as an mp3 and other narration features for those looking to create an audiobook.
The good thing is, there is no trial period. So, you can use the free version as it is for as long as you need to. Similarly, please note that the "14-day trial" text you see on the pricing screen refers to anybody upgrading their package to a paid one, not the free account. They will let you try the package for 14 days before charging you, even after you have been using the free access and already know what you are getting.
You have the option to skip that additional trial period and let them bill you right away if you wish.
As great as Plot Factory is it cannot do it all for you. Once you are ready to compile your story, you will want to proofread and edit, checking for grammatical errors. This can cost a fortune but free tools like Grammarly make this a lot easier. Consider trying it out, I use it for everything as it is a browser extension, phone keyboard add-on and Microsoft Word add-in.
Don't feel intimidated if this is your first time writing a story or plotting your story. You do not need to use all of the features. For example, if you just wanted to create the skeleton for your story and collect your thoughts, you can do that. At the very least, all of these features get you thinking and push your creativity.
This would be particularly helpful to anybody suffering from writer's block. I mentioned in my post, 'What is writer’s block and how to overcome it?', changing your medium. Well, this takes changing your medium to a whole 'nother level. Whether you decide to set concrete goals like daily word count targets within the platform or just want to make sure you are adding to your story in some way, consistently; Plot Factory will help with that.
I mentioned taking a break and just building out one of your characters or subplots and then later feeding that back into the story. Again, things you can now do without too much thought.
The last point I will touch on is the Discord community. There are over 1000 members currently, and every time I have gone on, there were at least 80 people online. There is little more inspirational for a creative than being in the company of other creatives. So, whether you are looking for motivation, somebody to collaborate with or even find yourself a virtual mentor - the Discord chat is an amazing feature in an already exceptional packaged.
This has been my honest Plot Factory review, let me know what you think in the comments, I have not been paid for this in any way. Do give it a try and be sure to let me know how it goes - Sign Up Here (this is my affiliate link). This tool would also work great for parents who are helping their child publish their own book as they will be able to plan it properly and see how everything comes together.
Ps. You don't have to list me as a contributor in your book but feel free to name a character after me 🙂
The Bog-Standard Story Planners I Was Originally Searching For...
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