About Story Planner

Story Planner was created by Joanne Bartley, a screenwriter, novelist, short story writer and obsessive story planner. She learned about story structure when she studied a degree in Scriptwriting for Film and TV, and turned from an instinctive writer into someone who always used a plan to guide her creativity.

Joanne began to collect writing plans and enjoyed trying out different planning methods. She adapted plans from books and writing seminars, collected plans offered by her writer friends, and she devised many of her own story plans by adapting or merging her favourite plans.

Joanne had story ideas planned in notebooks, Word files, Excel spreadsheets, and on the back of envelopes. With plans all over the place and far too many ideas notebooks, she realised she need one place to keep all her plans together. Unable to find anything online she decided to create Story Planner.

Planning a novel or screenplay is a personal process so Story Planner offers a variety of plans. Not every method will suit every writer, so writers can try out a few plans and discover the methods that work best for them.

Story Planner is designed to keep work in progress together. Whatever stage you’re at you can add your ideas and develop them at your own pace. Story Planner ensures you won’t ever lose or forget them, and allows you to add ideas whenever inspiration strikes, whether you’re at home, work, or on the bus.

The best way to use Story Planner is to try it out. You might prefer to write instinctively rather than structuring a plot, but you might still find character outlines helpful. You might like to structure your novel and also work on a log line or devise a chapter plan. Every writer is different and there is no one way that works for everyone.

That’s why Story Planner offers tried and tested writing systems like Save the Cat!©, the Snowflake Method, the Hero’s Journey, plus many more. And if there’s anything specific you think is lacking just tell us. We want this to be a useful resource for writers, so if you have a favourite planning method we’d love to hear from you. Joanne has a collection to build after all!

Writing is hard, there’s no getting away from that. But we hope Story Planner might be some help along the way.

Finally, a quick thank you to some people who’ve been outstanding helpers in the creation of Story Planner. Thanks to: Edvin from BlackWiCKED, Lin at Coinlea Services for copyediting services, John Paul for design, Sam Bailey for our logo, Neil & the Bournemouth University scripties, the Writers of Whitstable gang, and all the writers who’ve provided tips, plans, and suggestions for improvement.