Plottr is a programme which is aimed at helping writers to plot their novels (though it could also be used to plan other things). I've never really used it before, but there was a Black Friday deal last year which gave a reduced fee for a year's subscription. It also had a reduced fee for a lifetime subscription but I wanted to try it out before shelling out lots of money, in case I didn't get on with it.

In the past, I've mostly used index cards for planning - either real or virtual. Real ones used to be laid out on my dining room table with key plot points on larger index cards and intervening scenes on smaller ones. I blogged about it here.

This slowly morphed to doing the same but with Scrivener's index cards/scene cards, although I struggled with the visual layout, preferring the long horizontal timeline I could get with my dining room table, rather than the tiling in Scrivener.

So why did I decide to dabble with Plottr?

Mostly it's the layout, though now I have it, I can see other advantages in it. In Plottr, the timeline/structure continues horizontally and you can have different strands across it. You could choose plots and sub-plots as the strands, or choose to follow different characters. Where they intersect are essentially scenes.

You could choose to create the structure from scratch (as I have in the mock-up above) but there are also a lot of templates that you can use. You can even combine templates and then edit them and save them as your own template, should you so wish. I've done that with the structure of "Book #12" (yes, yes... it will get a name eventually!).

As well as the ability to plot/structure the book, there are a lot of other features. Too many to cover in a blog post! I'm currently dabbling with the character notes and general notes features. You can also set up book series (though currently, you can't add an already existing book to an already existing series, you have to create the books within the series). Character, setting and general notes can be common to all the books in a series, or you can tag them just to individual books (handy for tagging those characters who die!).

No, this won't replace either my notebooks (where I do most of my planning) or Scrivener (where I actually write the thing). But, I can export the plan generated in Plottr to Scrivener (along with the notes made in Plottr), so my desire to have the whole plot laid out in one horizontal line is met. I've also really enjoyed playing with the templates on it. Not just the plot templates, but also the character templates. I haven't quite got my head around the tagging features, but no doubt that will come.

As for audiobook processing... I'm just over halfway through processing "Invasion" so actually, it's going pretty well. I'm still managing to process for the majority of the day, then play with Plottr and my notebooks at the end of the afternoon. I'm also hugely buoyed up by quite how many people have borrowed the audiobooks in Sweden, via Storytel!