Subplot full review

Subplot is designed to help you overcome writer’s block by planning your story and characters, so you have more time to focus on writing.

Subplot isn’t a word processor-type program. It’s designed to be used with your choice of writing software, be it Word, Pages, Scrivener, or something else. Subplot acts as an outline, a point of reference for your story.

Subplot rewards careful planning by forcing you to outline each character, their arc throughout the story, and even their locations in each chapter. While it may sound daunting, Subplot makes following your own story much easier, thus allowing you to write within the structure you’ve created yourself.

One of the first things we did while testing Subplot was list all the characters, the locations in the story, several key props, and the expected word count. As we updated the word count each week, Subplot told us whether we would meet or miss our defined deadline. Subplot also tracks when characters first enter your story or meet each other.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Subplot is that, while it gives users a variety of options, the included templates cannot be edited. For example, when you add a new character, you assign a template for that character (ie, protagonist, antagonist, sidekick). It would be nice if users could add their own templates to the list, especially given that each template is essentially nothing more than a name for an archetype. Also, while large sections of Subplot are editable, many are editable only as simple text boxes. Again, it would be preferable if users could do more than simply write on these screens.

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