Dramatica Pro 4.0 Review

Dramatica Pro is a seriously clever piece of novel writing software. For many of you, though, its very cleverness will be its biggest disadvantage.

Am I saying you should cross Dramatica Pro off your shopping list right here and now? Absolutely not. You just need to be aware of what you might be letting yourself in for.

Do You Want Novel Writing Software To Make Life Easier?

How you answer that question will determine whether this is right for you or not.

If you are interested in finding some software that will hold you by the hand while you plan your novel, and then offer a simple word processing environment for the writing and editing, you should stop reading this review now.

If you are ambitious and don't mind spending the next month or two getting to grips with the "Rolls Royce" of writer's software, keep reading...

Brace yourself for Dramatica Theory...

Dramatica Pro is not so much a great piece of writing software - though it certainly is - as an entirely new literary theory.

Well, maybe not "entirely new" - it still essentially resembles just about every other storytelling theory ever devised (including all the information here at Novel Writing Help). Nevertheless, it goes pretty deep, meaning there will be a lot of new terminology to learn and plenty of fresh concepts to wrap your head around.

(A few of you will find this prospect exciting. Many more of you, I imagine, will already have stopped reading.)

Now, this really isn't the place to go into the details of how the software works and what it will do for you as a writer, but you will get an idea of its scope when I tell you that it comes with the following "accessories"...

  • 4 hours of video explaining how to get the best out of the software.
  • A 400 page theory book. (Or if you're more of a visual type, a 12 hour video course explaining the Dramatica Pro concepts.)
  • Another book containing "tips and tricks" on how to best use the software.
  • Another 14 hours of video shot at a Dramatica seminar (that alone tells you that its developers really aren't messing around!).

Like I said at the top, this is seriously clever stuff. Dramatica Pro covers the 4 cornerstones of storytelling - plot, character, theme, place - in amazing depth and detail, and it will undoubtedly help you to write a richer and more complex novel.

But here is the thing: You will only get out of the software what you put in to it - and I'm afraid it demands that you put a lot in.

Bottom line?

  • If you relish the prospect of spending hour upon hour studying the theory book and watching all the video demonstrations - not to mention getting to grips with the software itself - go for it. (If I had more time on my hands, I'd love nothing better.)
  • If you would rather spend those hours working on your actual novel, go for a simpler option (including the option of not bothering with any writing software at all).

Interested in Learning More?

By this stage I've either piqued your curiosity or got you running a mile. If you are still here, you can learn more by visiting the Dramatica website (opens in new window).

When you get there, be sure to look out for the following...

  1. Before you commit to anything, you can download a free demo version of the software and a free (earlier) edition of the theory book. (These are under the "Top Downloads" in the right column.)
  2. The software currently costs $180, but the extra manuals and videos I mentioned above are extra (you'll find them in the "accessories" link in the left column). The whole package clearly isn't cheap, but comparing it to what else is available it still strikes me as representing great value.
  3. There is a related product called "Writer's DreamKit" which is a down-scaled version of Dramatica Pro. Personally, I'd go for the real thing or nothing at all, but I wanted to point it out all the same.