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Steve

Timeline

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It's time to poke at this again. I was just sitting here thinking, man, how long have those guys been sitting in hotel? And I'm not sure. I've got paper all over the place. I'm going to start taping it up to my walls.

 

I want a little time line in a panel above my character pictures. Just for reference. :D

Hi Ninja Girl :D

 

I've been using that old Storyist standby The Notebook. But it's only marginally more useful than PostIts. On one project my back story has gotten so complicated that the timeline (which breaks down into years not hours) has already expanded to three Note pages. There has got to be a better way.

 

Perhaps some of our recent converts can share their timeline experiences with other WPs.

 

Hope you're all settled into your new ninja nest, Calli. All nice and cozy. :P

-Thoth.

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Okay. Just this moment I was making an adjustment to iCal and I thought, "You know Thoth, you handsome devil, with a few tweaks here and there, iCal could be a kick-ass timeline product."

 

So I was wondering if Steve had given any thought to a separate writing product, designed somewhat along the lines of iCal, which could integrate with Storyist, and would handle timeline.

 

Or is this too much work for too little payoff?

 

Just a thought.

-Thoth.

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Okay. Just this moment I was making an adjustment to iCal and I thought, "You know Thoth, you handsome devil, with a few tweaks here and there, iCal could be a kick-ass timeline product."

 

So I was wondering if Steve had given any thought to a separate writing product, designed somewhat along the lines of iCal, which could integrate with Storyist, and would handle timeline.

 

Or is this too much work for too little payoff?

 

Just a thought.

-Thoth.

 

You mean you don't just have a tag in google calendar to do that already?

 

IF

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You mean you don't just have a tag in google calendar to do that already?

Nope. Lazy me.

 

But seriously, we'd need something like the hourly display but for days and months and even years. Something to compress time so important dates (births, deaths, arrests) could be more conveniently displayed.

 

An iCal calendar for the timelines of each character (assigning a different color for each character) wouldn't be too bad for short timeframes. Have you actually tried this, Isaac?

 

-Thoth.

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If you figure it out, let me know, okay? I've got three generations of births, deaths, arrests and hostile takeovers to swim through.

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Nope. Lazy me.

 

But seriously, we'd need something like the hourly display but for days and months and even years. Something to compress time so important dates (births, deaths, arrests) could be more conveniently displayed.

 

An iCal calendar for the timelines of each character (assigning a different color for each character) wouldn't be too bad for short timeframes. Have you actually tried this, Isaac?

 

-Thoth.

 

I have not tried that in iCal. I have given some thought to writing a Rails app to do this, though. Since Leopard ships with Ruby on Rails, it's feasible to write a standalone app that uses an SQLite database to store all the information. You would access the tool through a web browser, and the timeline would be rendered using Javascript.

 

My plate runneth over,

IF

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So I was wondering if Steve had given any thought to a separate writing product, designed somewhat along the lines of iCal, which could integrate with Storyist, and would handle timeline.

 

What would be the benefit of splitting out the feature into a separate app?

 

-Steve

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What would be the benefit of splitting out the feature into a separate app?

 

Uh, you can charge for it again?

 

:D

 

But seriously, it would make it easier to reuse between books.

 

IF

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Uh, you can charge for it again?

 

:D

 

But seriously, it would make it easier to reuse between books.

 

IF

 

Got it.

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What would be the benefit of splitting out the feature into a separate app?

Depending on how it is written, non-Storyist users (the poor misguided fools) could use it. Of course, the notion of adding functionality to the Dark Processor (accursed be it's name) weighs heavily on my soul. But note that it (Word) doesn't have a timeline function either. Seems like there could be a few pennies to be made here.

 

Just a thought.

And what Isaac said about series or multiple book usage.

-Thoth.

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If you figure it out, let me know, okay? I've got three generations of births, deaths, arrests and hostile takeovers to swim through.

 

I've broken down and started using Aeon Timeline. On the Mac, it's hands-down the best timeline app that I've tried; but that doesn't say much.

 

On the positive side, it allows you to create custom calendars, so I don't have to force my character into the Julian nomenclature. BIG win.

 

On the negative side, I learnt that what I really want is a flexible timeline: so I can show times of frequent activity in detail (the week in which Everything Happens) and collapse the long boring bits between Character A's birth and the moment he Does Something Related To The Plot.

A timeline feature that would allow me to see all events would be priceless. (There are many other things I do not love, but it's better than glaring at the hopeless muddle that are my application dates.)

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I'd also love to see some form of time-line-tracking. At moment I use Excel - just so that I have a grid - to keep track of where different characters are at the same time and how their actions/scenes fit together chronologically (useful to avoid the "Dick Turpin problem" - London to York in the unfeasibly short time frame of one night)

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I've just started using Aeon Timeline as well, as I found my spreadsheet process was too cumbersome and I was losing some continuity.

 

I would love to see either integrated timeline capabilities, or integration into Aeon Timeline.

 

Multiple story lines that miss the mark are a pet peeve of mine. I always seem to find them in other's work, and hope that I never let one escape in my own!

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I've thought about Aeon, but in recent months, since I've been using the iOs version of Storyist so much, I'm thinking something inside of (first choice) Storyists or a (second choice) Mac/iOs app that works with Storyist would be the best. In the past few weeks I have really been getting a lot of use out of the Outline view. I was thinking it would be nice to have some customizable columns within the Outline view to allow the viewing of "Start Time" and "End Time" display fields. I think I could manage for awhile just using this function until a graphical timeline is developed.

 

I know we ask a lot, Steve. Thanks for being patient! :D

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