Your question gives me the opportunity to put an older post of mine back up:
How I use Dabble’s plot grids
I am not a plotter, not even much of a planner, I just dive into an idea and see what becomes of it while writing.
But the plot grid in Dabble has really got me interested in shaping the stories/characters etc. further, somewhat separately from my usual approach.
First thing you should know is: there are two types of plot grids to put. An invisible one, and one that is tied automatically to your scenes. Set it up like in this minimal example:
Here some general plot lines, I (have) use(d):
- ToDo: The good old, something’s missing here, ah, I just put a note down for now … list
- Time / Technology frame: When is the scene playing, how much time passed since previous events? What technology is available?
- Space / Landscape frame: Where is the scene playing? What does the environment look/sound like and how does it affect characters?
- Central Characters appearing in the scene, their objectives, relationship/conflicts
- Revelations: I guess that’s the major aim of plot points: What do we and the characters learn?
- Symbols: A list of metaphors and how they develop, e.g. a spaceship that is shiny and swift in the beginning of a story, but battered, rusty and creaky at the end reflects the challenging journey the travelers made. Here, I can keep track of colors and symbols used by fractions/guilds/cults/cultures.
- For each major character a past/present/future plot line in order to keep track of their (changing) mindset, objectives, relations etc. and a joint character development plot line for minor/recurring characters. This keeps track of cross-overs and conflicts in each scene.
I use invisible plot grids for:
- A reminder on theatric arcs; “5 stages of …” (grief/life/change) that fit my story.
- Oh, and I use one plot grid for notes on editing. A check list for each scene which it gets deleted when done, but also developmental (though that’s covered in the ToDo List).
Then I give the cards the general heading and can easily access from each scene if I wanna check e.g. only on the time frame. A complex grid looks then like this:
I hope this can give some ideas and spark some discussion on how to use (and maybe improve) this feature. I use it more frequently than the world building or character sheet, since those are more static to me.