Review of Power Structure
Power Structure, Power Writing?
As writer's we've all seen the ads. Buy this software and all your story telling troubles will end. We'll help you write your bestseller, etc. and so on, until like me, you end up buying programs you do not need.
The problem with these programs is that none of them will write your story for you and none of them make any guarantees that what you write using their products will be publishable.
What I would like to do is to give you the ammunition you need to discover what writing software, if any, is for you.
I will be covering the major software packages such as Power Writer and Dramatica Pro as well as the smaller lesser know programs such as Write It Now 2 and StoryCraft. As a bonus at the end of this series, I will list some of the freebie writing software out there and let you know the pro's and con's of those programs also.
Before you fall for the hype, learn what you need to know before you part with those hard-earned dollars.
To get started, let's talk about the program Power Structure. Marketed by a company called ScriptPerfection Enterprises, the program is targeted at both novelists and screenwriters. Retail price is $179.00 on their site, but can be found up to twenty dollars or more less than that at other online retailers.
A demo can be downloaded from their site at their web site. Everything in the demo functions but you are limited to only twenty uses. If you are like me, you will just open it to look at it that many times, so in my mind that is not enough to truly evaluate the programs potential.
Power Structure bills itself as the software for "People Who Know How to Write". While this is structuring software, it will not ask you questions about your story, nor will it guide you on the path. You yourself have to know your story and what you want to include in the telling.
Power Structure opens with several options. The first being if you wish to start on a story in progress or begin something new. When you click, something new, you are given choices of screenplay formats or novel format, or the Campbell and Vogler Mythic Twelve Steps. Or you can create Templates of your own to show up in this window. I myself, have created templates to match those of Dramatica Pro.
Your next screen will have seven to nine tabs, depending on what you have chosen. The first Story/Theme has several smaller boxes that allow you to fill in items such as backstory, theme, pitch, premise and synopsis.
The character tab allows you to fill in information about each of your characters along with choosing your protagonist and antagonist. Everything from physical to psychological descriptions are included here.
The Act Structure tab (or Twelve Steps if using Campbell and Vogler) is where you begin to outline your plot. Called Plot Points by the software, each individual scene relative to your story is plotted out step by step.
The next tab is the Chapter. This takes you from chapter to chapter, identifying what has to happen in each. Move on to the Plot Points tab to fully describe each section. The Gesalt View gives you the entire picture of your novel or screenplay, allowing you to see it as a whole.
To be honest, I've yet to find the Conflict Overview or the Full Screen Word Processor screens helpful. Your best bet is to export everything into a word processing document such as an .RTF file and use your Word Processor to develop it further.
The Index Card feature is wonderful for those who like to move things around visually and see how they work.
The program allows exports to Power Writer, Movie Magic Screenwriter and other script writing programs. It imports .RTF files and for Dramatica Pro and Writer's Dreamkit users, it will import the files you create there also.
Power Structure was my first love in writing software. It is still one of my favorites, although it has lost the first place position. It is not the perfect choice for the new writer who is just beginning to find their way. For writer's who know and understand structure, either for novels or screenplays, it can be the perfect aide for outlining and composing your story. For the money, it is still a great value and a terrific aid in writing.
Good story structuring software
Templates match with Dramatica Pro
Power Structure is still one of the best story writing programs out there, although it has lost the first place position. It is not the perfect choice for the beginner. For writer's who know and understand how to structure, either for novels or screenplays, it can be the perfect aide for outlining and composing your story. For $179.00 it is still a great value and a terrific aid in writing.