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Write Brothers Dramatica Pro 4 (Win/Mac)

Platform : Windows XP, Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Me, Windows 98, Mac OS X, Mac
3.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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5 open box from $68.80

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Product Description

Amazon.com

Got a story in mind? How about an idea for a story? Either way, Dramatica Pro acts as your creative-writing partner. The software takes you to a story-development environment, where you'll solve the plot and character problems that prevent many good stories from becoming good enough to sell. Dramatica's StoryGuide assists you from the initial idea all the way through to completed narrative treatment, inspiring you and supporting you along the way.

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • ASIN: B00004TYCR
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: June 12, 2000
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,747 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deborah Woehr VINE VOICE on June 26, 2000
I bought this program 2.5 years ago and have been using it to create plots for novels, short stories, etc. Versions 2 and 3 were tedious and full of technical jargon, which kept me looking at their dictionary of terms. I snatched up version 4 immediately because of one feature. They added a toggle switch which converts all the technicality into layman's terms. So, it's easier to understand, thus easier to use.For those of you who are not familiar with Dramatica, it is a creative writing tool which helps you decide where your story is going by asking you certain questions about plot, themes, character motivation, and story dynamics.It offers you two ways to do this: the short version (50 questions), which only takes you a day, or the long version (200+ questions), which could take you up to a week. This program doesn't write your story for you; it makes you think. And, it can give you ideas which you may have never considered before. To me, it's well worth the price.
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Well, that's what this is, according to the box it comes in.

What it is not:

... a guaranteed magic wand that will grant you good literature.

... simple for everyone to use.

... a solution to the creatively challenged.

... inexpensive

... a complete waste of your money.

What it is:

... A partner, a tool, that supplements the writer's existing skills.

... not impossible to learn within a reasonable period.

... one solution to the problem of poor organizational skills.

... another way to get the juices flowing.

... arguably the best in its field.

... worth the cost if you are serious about improving as a writer.

Don't be swayed by those who say this software is difficult to use, and don't be swayed by those who say it's not. I feel that, for those who are able to use most softwares intuitively, it isn't particularly difficult. Although it isn't perfect, there are very few - if any - softwares that are. It all depends upon you. And in Dramatica's case, once you get past that hurdle it very quickly becomes a breeze to use.

No, I don't feel that it supplants my creativity. But that's more likely because I don't allow it to.

As for writer's block, there are established ways of getting over that, and - for me - they do not include the use of a computer.

The main problem I have is lack of persistence of focus. And, as a cure for that, it's excellent.

What has it done for me?

It's given me a much greater focus on and control over the mechanics of ordering my thoughts. Sure, I could use index cards, but they're very unwieldy.
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By A Customer on January 22, 2001
I bought this product in large measure due to the reviews of other users. These customers must be university students who have been given an assignment to write a story and identify its literary components. While this can be somewhat interesting from an academic perspective, it is really not very useful for writing a story. Dramatica Pro is basically an expensive pile of 3X5 cards with a little tutoring thrown in to explain who is the antagonist, the coantagonist, the impact character, the theme, the goal the throughline, etc. Its like baking a cake while someone explains the chemical components of the butter, the sugar, the milk, etc. Nice to know, but it doesn't make the cake any better.
I would expect a software application of this price to be totally interactive. For example, it has a brainstorming feature to create new characters. Great! It should tell you how to complicate your plot by adding new characters, right? Maybe it will suggest that you change your love story between two people into a love triangle! But no. The "add a character" feature does nothing except ask you the sex of your new character and assign him/her a goofy name. (Banquo or Zues or Iccabod) It also has a feature where you can select a picture of your character from a big selection of mug shots. This would be sort of fun, except the pictures are so small and the resolution so bad that it is almost painful and not worth the effort.
There is also a "spin the plot" feature which would presumably offer plot twists that you had not considered. However, all this does is reshuffle the elements of the story (Instead of a happy ending, make it a sad ending). Well, duh.
And there is nothing about motivation, the most important part of any novel.
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As a new user, DRAMATICA PRO 4 feels like an elaborate system of thinking created to help you, the writer, better structure your story. Keep in mind, you must have an idea for a story beforehand, as DRAMATICA will force you to think about it in more ways than you thought possible or necessary. It's a good thing...with sweat trickling down your forehead as you scramble to answer the many, MANY questions regarding your project...you're unknowingly rounding out your story in ways you probably normally wouldn't.
I spent about two days trying to enter all the descriptions it was pressing for and I still hadn't completed the entire process. In the end, I actually abandoned the DRAMATICA system and just wrote the darned story from scratch...but I think that was only possible, really, because I had thought about all the angles to my story through the DRAMATICA PRO system.
I was disappointed at the fact that DRAMATICA PRO is "old" software, circa 2000 (when the registration asks for "what year" you purchased it, "2001" is the latest year possible), and there's no Mac OS X support. It does run in Classic mode, however.
It seems like it could be a very valuable tool, but it demands a healthy investment both in your time and in your understanding of its theory. I would only recommend the monetary investment if you're committed to the mental one.
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