1. Katy12250
    Offline

    Katy12250 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    5

    Timeline software

    Discussion in 'Software' started by Katy12250, Jun 12, 2016.

    I'm working on a couple of projects where I need to keep track of what happens when. It's not really a case of date/hour/time in the story as much as it my organizing events so that I know when they happened.

    One WIP is contemporary but with magic and the other is a fantasy with multiple MCs and events that are important to the story spanning at least a thousand years.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for timeline software? It's an organization tool as much as anything else so that you can keep track (and maybe refer to) something that happened in the past. And, of course, to make sure that your characters aren't in two places at one time! :)
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    I've tried several software packages for this type of thing including Excel, Scrivener (corkboard), Final Draft (again, the corkboard) and various 'tree' apps (TreePad and a bunch of others).

    And my conclusion was this: because I don't have a 42" 4k touch-screen monitor (which would make it easy to not only see everything at once, but also allow me to move things around) software ain't gonna do it.

    So, I went back to index cards and sticky-tak (that gummy stuff for sticking things to walls). Until monitors are seventeen feet wide and as interactive as paper-n-pencil, there is no substitute. Yeah, it can be a pain in the ass when you realize you've gotta insert a card somewhere near the beginning and move the 43 cards following it to make room, but it's a small price to pay for the clarity and immediacy you get from this system.
     
    Lifeline likes this.
  3. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    1,545
    Location:
    UK - the place betwixt and between
    I want to see this room ;)

    I have post-it notes all over my garden door..
     
    Sack-a-Doo! likes this.
  4. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    There's a photo at the bottom of the first message in my progress journal.
     
  5. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    I hope it's not windy where you live! :)
     
  6. Lifeline
    Offline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    1,545
    Location:
    UK - the place betwixt and between
    Now I am laughing :D

    Maybe I should post a photo of my garden door?? Sadly, it does not look as organised, just a bunch of different coloured post-its. Only I can make sense of the order (and I won't mention the horrendous handwriting)!
     
    Michael Pless and Sack-a-Doo! like this.
  7. Michael Pless
    Offline

    Michael Pless Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Australia
    You might want to take a look at oStorybook - it's freeware. It uses (if I remember correctly) a system that allows you to track character/event/item/etc in something similar to an index card system. You can assign colors for each component you have in each scene. You can do your writing within the program or in LibreOffice - and oStorybook keeps a link to the odt file.

    As Lifeline has pointed out though, screen real estate can quickly become an issue.

    In terms of development, Liquid Story Binder is no longer being updated, and has a very steep learning curve, but its timeline feature allowed for a flexible time axis: my first novel was spaced over a week or so, but the background info dated back over fifty years, so I was able to ensure my references to the past were consistent, by putting relevant events in the timeline.
     
  8. Sack-a-Doo!
    Offline

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    1,511
    Location:
    [unspecified]
    I did several Google searches looking for suitable software and I'm pretty sure I came across this one, although I haven't yet actually tried it.

    Definitely. Without a monster 4k (or greater) monitor, this is the limiting factor for all outlining software.

    My approach this time around was to track story threads which worked very well for me and most outlining software doesn't do that. I did find one that did, but because I couldn't see the entire thread all at once, I felt hemmed in—or maybe it was claustrophobic—and that bugged me.

    For some reason, walking further along my wall to see an index card close up seems less restricting than having to scroll sideways on the screen.

    This is the main reason I went back to physical index cards. I already know how to use them. :)
     
  9. Raven484
    Offline

    Raven484 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Writeitnow 5 has event creating that is incorporated into a timeline. You create the events that happen in your story then apply them to chapters or scenes that you create. You then have an option to view the entire timeline with all the events happening in your story being shown on one screen. Its pretty handy and works real good if you have overlapping events going on in your story.
     
  10. Lew
    Offline

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    402
    I just used Excel, laid out like a an airline schedule

    Departure Departure Distance Speed Elapsed Arrival Destination Layover
    point date/time Time date/time Time

    Repeated for as many rows as needed, Excel can add the distances, total time and dates for you.

    Was good for a 17000 mile trip, by ship/foot/horseback, 2000 years ago

    Generally assumed 100-150 mi/day for sailing ship (4-6kts), 15-20 miles/day for motivated walkers, 20-50 miles/day horseback (weather/terrain).
    Caravans/migrations were walking pace
     
    Raven484 likes this.

Share This Page