livingwriter plot board feature

Here at LivingWriter, we are always hard at work at finding all the ways where we can help our writers write better, more efficiently, and more effectively.

Whether it be through making character and manuscript notes accessible with Elements, or having an easy-to-manage repository of research materials in the Research Board, we endeavor to provide the best writing experience to authors.

That is why we are excited to present our latest plotting tools that are sure to excite the creative juices in every writer, our Plot Boards. With two boards to choose from, the Freeform Board and the Standard Grid, there’s a Plot Board for every style that you want.

Why Plot at All?

First, as a budding writer, you might be wondering why you would want to plot at all. Gardener-writers might find plotting completely unnecessary, as it hinders their creative process. However, we maintain that plotting is absolutely necessary, even just by doing the barest minimum.

Plot, as we all understand it to be, is the sequence of events in a manuscript. It answers the “WHY THIS IS HAPPENING” question, letting readers understand how things came to be in the manuscript. As the author, you also need to understand how things are going to be in your manuscript, so it helps to have, at the very least, a basic outline of the plot readily available.

If you have your plot written out, it allows you to have a bird’s eye-view of the manuscript before it is even written, so that you can judge the direction that your manuscript is going to go.

Later on, in the writing process, having a written plot can help you out of potential writer’s blocks and dragging middle-part issues. You can always refer back to your outline if you feel like you don’t know what to write about anymore, making sure that you’re on the course of your plot.

The Freeform Board

Here’s our favorite part: describing the capabilities of our Plot Boards. Each of our Plot Boards has their own strengths and advantages that play into the tendencies of writers, making sure that there is a Plot Board for everyone!

Let’s start off with the Freeform Board, a Plot Board that places emphasis on visual appeal. If you swear by organization using mind maps, then you’ll find the Freeform board to be right up your alley.

The possibilities are limitless with the Freeform Board!

The Freeform Board provides you with virtually unlimited space where you can place plot points anywhere. These plot points can be connected to other plot points at every side. You can also make as many connections as you can, too.

The Freeform Board is amazing because it can be literally anything you want it to be! If you are in the earliest stages of writing and conceptualizing your manuscript, you can create a mind map right in the Freeform Board.

Starting with a single plot point in the middle, you can have a single branch out for the settings, another for the characters, and then another for the major events that should occur in the manuscript. These single branches can also be easily extended if you want to get a bit more in-depth or provide more details about them.

Another possible application for the Freeform Grid is for stories with complex plot structures. Specifically, it is perfect for those stories with complex plots that do not exactly fit a linear chronological order. You can have multiple webs indicating multiple subplots in your manuscript, and you can easily connect them to the relevant plot points by simply adding a connection.

Or maybe, you don’t have to use the Freeform Board for plotting. If you want a more visual copy of your character notes, you can easily make mind maps for each character in the Freeform Board.

The Standard Grid

If you are an avid fan of J.K. Rowling and wish to follow her footsteps, then you must have stumbled upon how J.K. Rowling does the plotting herself. Upon a flimsy leaf of notebook paper, she created a makeshift spreadsheet, with columns indicating the chapter details as well as the subplots in the manuscript.

Through the spreadsheet, J.K. Rowling was able to see the chronological view of all the events in her manuscript, neatly divided by subplot. This effective plotting method allows her to keep track of her main plot and subplot progression, as well as keeping track of the characters and what they have been up to at any point in time.

We find that this plotting method can be helpful for those who have a lot of linear subplots in their stories, especially for those who are writing a book as part of a series and want to keep track of the subplots that might have carried over from the previous books. That’s what the Standard Grid is for!

The Standard Grid might look simpler than the Freeform Board, but it packs just as much functionality. The Standard Grid replicates J.K. Rowling’s spreadsheet, but instead of being limited by a single sheet of paper, you can make as many columns for the plot lines as you want. You can easily place plot points anywhere and move them across plotlines, making reorganization simpler.

You can keep track of all events in your manuscript and designate them under their own plotlines. This view allows you to have an instant view of the chronology of the events in your manuscript, and assess your main plot and subplot progress in a way that’s straightforward and easy to understand at a single glance.

If you are looking for a plotting tool that can manage multiple plotlines like a boss, the Standard Grid is your pal.

Plot Boards:

Amazing, Powerful, Helpful

The LivingWriter Plot Boards are all designed with one goal in mind: to make plotting accessible and easier than ever before. Whether you prefer a style where you can do, quite literally, anything, or where you can be as structured as you can be, there is a Plot Board that will meet your needs.

If you have been using LivingWriter’s other powerful features like the Elements and the Outlines and Chapters, then you’ll be glad to know that the Plot Boards integrate very well with these features, so you can easily pull details from those features and place them as plot points in any Plot Board. Additionally, you can have as many Plot Boards as you can, so you can easily mix and match the Freeform Grids and the Standard Grids all you want.