It's the dread of every screenwriter. You have great ideas for what could be the next Citizen Kane. But keeping track of multiple plot lines involving an intricate cast of characters over many scenes can be quite a daunting task, especially for a novice writer.

StoryLine is a software package that works on any IBM or Apple Macintosh computer. Created by John Truby, a screenwriting instructor in Los Angeles, the $345 software guides neophytes through such intricate tasks as calibrating the moral rise or fall of a main character and keeping track of what a character knows compared with what the audience knows. If a writer runs into trouble, StoryLine will help find solutions by calling up examples from such films as Vertigo and The Godfather. A $59 add-on will help novelists with examples drawn from best-sellers such as The Hunt for Red October.

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