We know that it can feel overwhelming trying to find the perfect novel app. There are so many out there. But Campfire Pro has been designed to be a great fit for just about everyone’s needs. I often find that world-building or plotting apps are either too structured in a way that my brain doesn’t work or so unstructured that I might as well just use sheets of paper.
Campfire Pro’s strength is that it’s the perfect balance between structured and free-form. This review covers the Campfire Pro and the additional World-building Pack.
Who Needs This Program
Campfire Pro is primarily an app for fantasy and sci-fi authors. But there are plenty of other people who could benefit from it.
- Writers with a big cast of characters
- Game designers creating a tabletop or video game RPG
- Historical fiction authors who take lots of notes
- Biographers and memoirists
- Obsessive Type-A writers
- Disorganized writers
It’s a versatile program that you can customize to your needs. I’m sure there are myriad other uses.
When you create a new project in Campfire, you are prompted to include a one-sentence summary, a tagline, and a synopsis. They are all optional, but this is a great way to think about the overarching storyline from the beginning.
With the regular Campfire Pro pack, you get access to many character building tools. What I like about the character creators is that you can store them as groups. For example, you could make groups like “good guys” or “bad guys,” “love interests” and “mean girls,” or “pirates” and “navy men.” It’s up to you!
There are some generated prompts for building the characters, but the rest is completely customizable. Then you can create relationship webs with your characters to show how they are connected.
On the Timeline feature, you can create as many or as few events as you want. You can also make multiple timelines and show them together for different plot lines. Once you create events, you can add your characters to the list. Those events will auto populate in the Character Arc section.
The World section allows you to upload maps and mark places related to your story events and characters. But if you’re more of a concept mapper than a geographical mapper, this is a great place to do that.
The Encyclopedia is another great feature. You can use this as a database for your notes and research, or you can use it to create a world bible. Or both! You can group content so it’s easier to find what you need. And you can even add images!
With the Worldbuilding Pack add-on, you can create databases for:
If you don’t write fantasy or sci-fi, you might not need this add-on. But the features within each are cool! There are some prompts to get you started when you create a new entry, but you can also customize them to your heart’s content. You can even link these items to locations on your maps, events in your stories, or your characters.
The layout of every template is completely customizable as well. You can choose how many rows or columns you want and drag and drop different boxes. You can also create templates, which is a feature I have been looking for.
It Does Almost Everything
The one major feature that would make Campfire Pro an all-encompassing writing program is an actual place to write your novel. But that’s coming soon!
Campfire Blaze will allow you to write your novel directly in the app, which will also be browser-based so you can write anywhere. It’s also adding collaboration features and lets you only pay for the features you want.
Is It Worth The Price?
Campfire Pro is currently $49.99. If you want the Worldbuilding Pack, you can get both for $74.99. But it’s a one-time price. That sets it apart from many of the other planning programs out there.
I think it’s worth it because of how interconnected the elements are and how customizable each planning section is. I recommend trying it out to see if you love it.
It’s cheaper in the long run than programs that run off a subscription. And if you don’t need all the Worldbuilding features, the price for just Campfire Pro is a steal.
What does your ideal novel-writing app look like? Let us know in the comments.