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Posts Tagged ‘novels’

Weaving plot and subplot

Monday, October 18th, 2010

As many of my regular readers are aware, I’ve been working on a novel for the past few months.  Things are progressing well (over 40,000 words), but I decided today that I wanted to try mapping out my plots and subplots throughout the book.

While it might seem to a reader like a novel falls out of a novelists head in complete form, the truth is that writing a novel that is free from consistencies takes a lot of work.

I performed some Google searches for software that would help me keep track of my plots and subplots, but found only a couple of candidates.  Of those, I found none that did what I’d really like:  keep track of my novel’s time line and show me where the novel’s plot, subplots, and characters meet.

I briefly considered using project management software, since this would allow me to keep track of dependent events.  I’ve had some success with keeping track of the ordering of events that way, but unfortunately my time lines (like all novels) are more fluid than project management software allows for–it’s hard to allow for flashbacks within software designed for work from a start date to an end date.

Finally, I just decided to use a mix of Excel spreadsheets and paper.

However, what I’d really like to see is something like this (credits to xkcd.com):

Movie Timelines

Movie Timelines by XKCD

Is anyone aware of software that can do this?  I’d love to try it out and post my results.

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