Hi Fellow-Writer, here is my review of Power Structure.
In this review I’ll cover:
- Getting the software: how easy was it to access and start using a trial version of the software.
- Using the software: how easy was it to “get” what the program wanted me to do.
- Usefulness of the results: did the process help me create a good story?
- Price & Guarantee
I don’t bother repeating the marketing blurb from the product’s websites. You can read about that on the individual websites (links are given at the end of the review). I focus solely on how well the software worked for me as a fiction writer trying to plan a new story.
The free demo version of the software is easy to install. But when I selected ‘novel’ as the type of document I’d like to begin, it came up with an error. After “okay-ing” the error, the program worked fine.
Limitations of the Demo version: You can’t save, print or export in the demo version, but everything else is fully functional.
Using the Software
I opened up the software and was faced with a blank page and a menu consisting of Story/Theme, Characters, 3-Act Structure, Chapters, Plot Points, and four more options. I wasn’t sure what to do so I checked the Help, but unfortunately there wasn’t a tutorial and the program doesn’t immediately link you to the PDF help manual.
After I hunted out the manual and read the ‘Getting Started’ chapter (which was very helpful), I discovered that I can start anywhere with planning out my novel. If I want to start with characters, I select the Characters tab. If I want to start with writing the blurb or a synopsis, I select the Story/Theme tab.
I checked out each of the tabs and once I was there, it was easy to figure out what to do. I answered a bunch of questions about my characters. I jotted down some plot points, and reorganized them. I selected the Gestalt view to get an overview of my story.
One of the strengths of Power Structure is that it is very easy to modify to suit your own needs. I didn’t like the character questions they chose, so I added my own and deleted theirs. It was very easy to do. Practically every part of the software can be modified in some way to suit your preferred method of story planning.
Usefulness of the Results
All story planning software aims for the same goal. It provides a place for you to jot down your thoughts about a story. Power Structure’s strength is its built-in flexibility. I changed a lot of the terms and questions to suit my own way of doing things.
Power Structure doesn’t ‘comment’ or ‘editorialize’ on your notes. It doesn’t suggest that you ‘need more conflict’ or are ‘missing a character arc’. It just provides a well-organized repository of your information. Your story will be as good or bad as you make it.
Price & Guarantee
At $129, you need to make sure that Power Structure is the right software for you. Fortunately, the free demo let’s you do that.
I recommend the Writer’s Store for buying or trying out Power Structure. They usually have better prices (and good customer service). They have a 30-day Satisfaction Guaranteed policy (see their site for details).
I like Power Structure because it doesn’t force you to plan your story in any particular way. If you’re a novice writer, you can follow the prompts they have provided. If you’re more experienced, you can easily modify Power Structure to suit the way you prefer to plot and plan your novel.
This review is my opinion only. You are responsible for your own decisions.