Campfire Writing Software Review: Is It Worth It?

Is Campfire a versatile writing software for busy authors to organize plotlines and timelines? This Campfire writing software review will let you know!

Writing a book can be extremely exciting, as well as infinitely daunting. Many writers struggle to create their own worlds, characters, and character arcs, especially when tying it all together in a cohesive manner. Using spreadsheets and writing boards can help, but having the physical room in your writing space can be impossible for most.

That’s where Campfire comes in. This story planning software has been designed to be the perfect tool for character design and worldbuilding. The goal was to keep all of your notes and sketches in one place for easy access and layout adjustment later during your novel-writing process.

Whether you are an aspiring novelist, an amateur fanfiction writer, a screenwriter, or a worldbuilding dungeon master, Campfire promises to offer a range of features and organizational templates to help you turn that spark of an idea into a raging fire of a finished product. But can it live up to the claims? Let’s dive in and take a look at everything it has to offer and how it can benefit you.

How Can Campfire Writing Software Help You?

Campfire writing software review

Let’s say you are an aspiring novelist. You have a general idea for your story but are struggling to give your characters a solid plotline. You have a cluster of major events you want your characters to experience, as well as unique scenes they will be visiting during those times, but you can’t keep them all organized in a way that helps you move forward with your story. That is where Campfire can help.

Plot Design & Timelines

Visualizing your scene ideas and notes in one organized space can go a long way to helping you determine which steps come next for your characters. And that is one of the areas where Campfire can be a massive benefit to you. This software uses a drag-and-drop feature for you to easily move events along your timeline as often as you please.

You’re also not limited to any number of plot events. You can have as few or as many as you need to bring your characters to life. So, whether you are building a political system storyline, an extremely in-depth romantic scene, or simply want to mix and match plots until you figure out what fits, you can do that with Campfire!

Character Development

You can start creating your characters as well as their entire family line in this writing app if you desire to do so. Each of your character arcs can have all of their essential information included on their card in a wide range of formats, such as their name and age, as well as any unique or relevant traits they may have. 

You can even take it to a much more in-depth level by creating an entire backstory for your characters. Give them an intricate relationship web, political or religious views, physical and emotional characteristics, favorite hangouts, preferred clothing style, views on crime and punishment, and so much more. 

All of this information will be kept with your character, allowing you to look back over the information when you need it. In addition, the character sheet provides a visual representation of family trees or relationships and can go a long way in helping you determine that character’s next steps. 

It’s a perfect way to boost the overall organization of your story, and in addition, it is effortless to look back over a character’s traits when you are deciding where to take their story next.

Worldbuilding

The worldbuilding feature is only available in the Campfire Pro and Campfire Blaze versions but offers a fantastic way to create small villages, large provinces, or entire kingdoms. If you’re a science fiction writer, you don’t have to stop there because you can create entire solar systems and planetary federations if you want.

Upload your custom maps to Campfire and add location pins to points of interest, vital resources, territory boundaries, or places your characters frequent. Add detailed location information that pertains to the culture, political scene, historical relevance, and more to each spot. This feature can bring your world to life and help create a thriving hierarchy and sense of economy if that is your goal.

You can bring your worlds alive with the help of Campfire’s worldbuilding feature, and this in turn, can help you write a more immersive story for your readers. Additionally, you can choose to share a screenshot of your world with other writers or export it to another timeline on a separate story of yours.

World-Building Pack

If you’re having a bit of trouble fleshing out your worlds or galaxies, the worldbuilding pack you can add to your Campfire software can definitely give you a great foundation to work with. It’s an outstanding way to create the species that fill your worlds, whether realistic or fantasy. 

If you find yourself dealing with numerous magic schools, such as in tabletop gaming, keeping track of every detail for the various magic systems can be done with the encyclopedia of the worldbuilding pack. This can also be helpful for keeping certain weaponry in your world organized or determining which class of character can wield which weapon.

Additionally, you can create encyclopedia-type entries for various species that inhabit your worlds. Make notes of their customs and culture, how they interact with other species, and whether they are a risk to your main characters. If you lean more towards the fantasy-type genres or master RPG and tabletop games, this can be a precious feature to consider – but if you stick with more realistic settings, it may not be a great benefit to you. However, it is worth checking out with a demo or monthly subscription.

A Quick Look at Campfire Writing Software

Campfire writing software review
This software uses a drag-and-drop feature for you to easily move events along your timeline

If the above section is anything to go by, Campfire has a wide range of features that can benefit different writers in different ways. You’ve probably heard of or even tried other writing software such as Scrivener before, but the features there may not have been exactly what you wanted.

Campfire can step up and fill in spots Scrivener missed or fell short on. For a shorter and more direct look at the Campfire software and its features, this section should help.

  • Overall. Campfire is very flexible, versatile, and full of features to help with building a story, whether for amateur or professional storytellers or fiction authors.
  • Character Building. Characters can be built from the ground up with intricate details on their custom panels, including names, traits, ideals, and more.
  • Detailed Events. Event timelines give you a space to add any level of detail to scenes, special events, or other relevant pieces in time.
  • Customized Maps. Upload your own map images or sketches in the worldbuilding features section to help determine where your best story plots lie.
  • Track Location Information. Add pins into specific spots on each map to track resources, politics, faction boundaries, points of interest, and more.
  • Inspiring Themes. Seven unique software themes help keep you inspired to write with medieval, fantasy, standard, and other visual aesthetics.
  • Import and Export. Campfire offers you a simple way to upload or download and share your story ideas with friends or between other timelines you may be working on as well.
  • Customizable Payment Options. You can pick and choose which features of the software benefit you most and avoid purchasing those you won’t use.

Price

The biggest issue faced during this review was the price of the software itself. Campfire does offer a free demo, but the features are minimal. However, the demo can be very useful for deciding if you like the feel of the software, as the user interface does take some getting used to.

The features they offer for the software are done in what the company calls “modules” – for example, if you only need the worldbuilding module with a character arc module, you can pick those up and avoid any of the other features. However, you will be faced with either a monthly fee to use those modules, an annual fee, or can opt for a lifetime purchase.

Campfire pricing

While this module setup for their software may sound a bit disorganized, it’s actually a relatively unique way to ensure you get exactly the features relevant to your writing style. For example, if you aren’t a writer of science fiction or fantasy, the worldbuilding pack may not be relevant to you and can instead be removed from the cost of your software.

On the other hand, in order to take advantage of the entire feature-rich software, you will have to purchase each module individually, which can add up quickly. However, having the option of monthly, annual, and lifetime subscriptions gives you the freedom to pick and choose which features benefit you at the time or for the particular story you are working on.

FAQs About Campfire Writing Software Review

What is Campfire software?

Campfire is a tool to help keep your character, plot, and world information organized when creating a detailed story, novel, or fanfiction piece.

Is Campfire a good program?

Campfire has a variety of features that can suit different writing styles. As a result, it can be an extremely valuable tool for many writers and helps immensely with organization.

What are the features of Campfire?

In Campfire software, you can find plot design and timeline features to help track character development panels, worldbuilding information, species and culture encyclopedia, and more.

What is the best way to use Campfire?

This writing software is great for fantasy or science fiction writers to create a detailed story from the ground up. It can also benefit tabletop game masters and casual writers of all genres.

How secure is Campfire Blaze?

Any story information you upload to Campfire is not shared with any other sources. Therefore, your unique stories, characters, locations, ideas, and other relevant information is highly secure.

Where can I download Campfire?

You can visit CampfireTechnology.com to download a demo version of the software, or pick and choose your preferred modules and desired payment plan today!

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Campfire Writing Software Review

Campfire Writing Software: The Bottom Line

The Campfire writing program and all of its features can be slightly overwhelming and may feel a bit clunky when you first dive in, but after a little bit of a learning curve, you can start telling your stories in extreme detail.

There are a considerable amount of features to suit various writing styles, including sci-fi, fantasy, fanfiction, and so much more. You’ll be able to launch the software and get your characters, and a basic timeline started within minutes.

Overall, the software seems to be extremely useful for both casual and professional storytellers or screenwriters of any genre. In addition, there are some beneficial features such as the species and culture encyclopedia that can turn your average story into something magical.

If you’re looking for new writing software to help with organization and other software such as Scrivener doesn’t offer the features you needed or wanted, Campfire should definitely be one you consider.

Pros

  • Software is easy to use after a quick learning curve
  • Characters and event panels are fully customizable
  • Characters can be imported from other stories you have
  • Software is highly versatile for fantasy and sci-fi writers
  • Excellent writing tool to keep your plots organized
  • Equally viable for short stories as well as entire novels
  • Extremely detailed and in-depth worldbuilding tools

Cons

  • Cost of the software is on a per-feature basis
  • Limited to only seven software theme aesthetics
  • User interface can feel clunky to use at first
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