Plotter: A tool for developing complex plots

Plotter is a tool for tracking what happens to who and when it happens while roughing out the plot for a screenplay, short story, or novel. (Or for tracking messages in an IP Protocol or coordinating your Mission Impossible team, if that's what you need to do.)

When I'm trying to put together a multiline plot, things (ie. me) get confused, and I can't remember if John has already learned about what Marsha did, etc.

This tools helps me keep track of John, Marsha and who's on first.

It's been useful for me, and maybe it will help you.

The tool looks like the image to the right.

johnMarsha Everything that's shown in the timeline display reflects two sets of data. What you see in the display, and a big set of text behind it.

You access the big set of text by double clicking a timeline event.

The big set of text could be more notes on what's going on, a full chapter, or a scene from a screenplay.

You can dump the full contents in a .txt file or html file that can be imported into your favorite wordprocessor for the final submission.

You can also print the entire timeline on multiple sheets of paper to be cut and pasted together as a wall hanging. Remember that you learned all your important life-tools in kindergarten. Cut and paste is your friend.

The online Help will give you a half a chance at working with this.

Getting the package

You can download the application by clicking here:

Windows Notes

If you're running Windows 10 (probably also 8 or 8.1) or a decent Antivirus program, the Plotter program will be flagged as being an unknown program from an unknown source. If you get that message, click on "More Info" and choose "Run anyway."

If you get that message in Norton Antivirus, you will see a small message pop up in the lower right hand corner of your screen that says there is a problem with a place to click to "View Details." Once you've clicked that, you be taken to a window that gives you the option of running the program anyway.


Current Escape

This software is not released. It has escaped. Caveat User.

The current escape is 0.96.

It's working for me, and does the sorts of things I need it to do. If it doesn't work for you, or you'd like it to do something else, let me know, and I'll see what I can do.


Bug fixes and support for Mac.
Allows you to move events from one time to another, draw connector lines between events (perhaps to track just who has the Maltese Falcon after each interaction), some more help, and color coded outlines for the event boxes.
Includes more help screens, a global search or search and replace feature, the ability to make links between events outside of the linear timeline, and improved printing support (under Linux).

Not all the features are supported under Windows yet.

You can send mail to if you find a problem, bug, or have a need to pay for this.

Otherwise, share and enjoy.