I got in touch with Write Brothers to ask about the Dramatica for Mac release date. I also expressed my concern about the lack of progress and the security ramifications of me holding back on the Catalina upgrade for my own Mac. I received a very gracious and thorough response — copied here below (with their permission).
Their response, which explains the upgrading process, put me at ease. Perhaps it will do the same for you .
We’ve been working on the 64-bit upgrades for Dramatica Story Expert and Movie Magic Screenwriter for almost two years. We got pretty far along with the Dramatica Story Expert upgrade, then decided we had better address the more complex program, Movie Magic Screenwriter, first. That’s where we ran into a serious delay.
I think many users aren’t clear on what we’re doing here: we’ve had to COMPLETELY REWRITE Screenwriter (and Dramatica Story Expert) in order for it to be compatible with Catalina. This is no small task. The fact that we choose to give away the new versions (free upgrades) to existing users of Screenwriter 6.5 and Dramatica Story Expert 5.3 may make it look like it is just “some adjustments”, but let me assure you it has been a long, painful process.
We are committed to upgrading Dramatica Story Expert – it’s a unique program that has no equal. Thankfully we expect Dramatica’s resumed 64-bit conversion will go a lot faster than Screenwriter has, because a lot of technology we developed for the Screenwriter 64-bit update is being used in Dramatica Story Expert. In no way has Dramatica Story Expert been “discontinued.”
You are right about security being important. However, rest assured that virtually all of the security updates that get rolled into Catalina are also provided by Apple for MacOS 10.14 Mojave.
Of small consolation is there are still some major issues getting worked out with Catalina. It has been a rough update for the developers. If you’ll recall, MacOS 10.14 Mojave had serious issues until 10.14.4. At this point, Mojave 10.14.6 is very, very stable. And secure.
We do, however, have a reasonable interim solution for this that are forced into a Catalina upgrade or have bought a next generation Mac that can’t downgrade got Mojave: We packaged up Screenwriter and Dramatica Story Expert into a FREE Mojave virtual machine that can run IN A WINDOW ON CATALINA. While this is not as ideal as just sticking with Mojave, it is a fairly high-performance interim solution (especially for Dramatica, where performance isn’t even an issue). If you want to look at the steps involved, refer to this FAQ:
VIRTUAL MOJAVE ON CATALINA FAQ: Using VirtualBox to Run Screenwriter 6.5 & Dramatica Story Expert 5.3 on MacOS 10.15 Catalina
Again, this is frustrating for us, too, but the end result will be worth the wait. Rest assured we will notify you through various methods as soon as we are in beta. Until then, we are not going to guess on a release date. Thank you for your patience.