Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:58 am Post
Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:30 am Post
shorn wrote:I may not need (or even know) the birth date of a historical personage (and his or her age may not be relevant). So personally I would appreciate it if a birth date was not required when creating a character. This applies to using institutions as characters. In a history a government or a company may be an important actor, but their "birth date" generally has no meaning..
Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:50 pm Post
Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:59 pm Post
Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:50 pm Post
AndreasE wrote:To me, the whole point of timelines like AEON's is to compare ages of characters at given moments in their biographies. So, I do not see the usefulness of having a timeless institution in the picture.
Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:19 pm Post
Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:37 pm Post
Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:29 pm Post
Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:45 pm Post
AndreasE wrote:Thinking about it, however, I would need to have a slightly different graphical representation before I'd dare to construct my Agatha-Christi-style mystery novel...
Let's say we have the entrance hall, and Jane enters at 9 o'clock together with Howard. They have this discussion they don't want to tell anything about, but Jane left at 9:30, Howard however not before 10 o'clock. What I would paint then were two thick vertical lines (or blocks, or ovals, whatever), being the "Jane is here"-line only half as long as the "Howard is here"-line, so that I see there is half an hour difference between the two exits.
Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:10 pm Post
Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:07 am Post
Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:03 pm Post
jennydiski wrote:I'd like some way of having places/events/ideas that are not age-related, but time related. Also a way of intersecting different ideas/threads with the narrative. I'm thinking fiction and non-fiction. So characters, events, and even abstract ideas can be put on the timeline to see how they relate to each other as the book goes on. It visualises the structure of the book from the writer's point of view instead of just keeping the characters' ages straight. Maybe that's more than a timeline, or something different altogether.
Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:04 am Post
matt wrote:You say you don't need ages because your stories span a minimal time. One of the ideas behind the ages (and indeed the timeline itself) was also to flesh out a character's back story. So although you don't care about their age during the events of the story, it may still be useful for things like "how old was he when he was first promoted", "how old was he when his mother died", etc.
matt wrote:I am going to be tweaking these things anyway for the next release, and I do like your suggestion of showing when a character enters or leaves a story. So I am not trying to force you down a different path, I just thought I'd mention other possible uses for the character ages, to see whether you might find it useful in ways you haven't thought of.
I would be interested in your response.
Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:38 am Post
pete340 wrote:"Character" is a central organizing feature for fiction, but I think there's a different mental model emerging here and "character" isn't the right term.
Suppose I'm writing a biography of Charles Babbage. Obviously he's the central character, and there are other people who are also part of the story. But for several years he worked rather compulsively on his "difference engine", and many of the events in his life affected the progress of that project. So I also need to have "difference engine" as a vertical line in the timeline, with a start date and an end date, and various events intersecting that line.
There's a different abstraction lurking here. I don't have the right term for it, but the key is that there are things with inherent durations: people, projects, wars, the industrial revolution. The present mechanisms work, but it's annoying and mentally disruptive to have to pretend that "the age of enlightenment" is a "character" with a date of birth and a date of death.
So I'm suggesting breaking from "character" and letting the underlying abstraction emerge: horizontal lines represent events, which have no duration (more accurately, their duration is not important to the work being written); vertical lines represent things with time durations that matter. Characters are a common case of the latter, but should not overwhelm it.
(1) object, article, item, entity, gadget, device, mechanism, machine, contraption, thingamajig
(2) obsession, fixation, mania, craze, preoccupation, fascination
(3) detail, point, idea, issue, factor, feature
(4) occurrence, event, incident, phenomenon, matter, affair, business
(1) thing, article, item, entity, body, piece
Main Entry: thing
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: something felt, seen, perceived
Synonyms: affair, anything, apparatus, article, being, body, business, circumstance, commodity, concept, concern, configuration, contrivance, corporeality, creature, device, element, entity, everything, existence, existent, fact, figure, form, gadget, goods, implement, individual, information, instrument, item, machine, material, materiality, matter, means, mechanism, object, part, person, phenomenon, piece, point, portion, shape, situation, stuff, subject, substance, tool, word
Main Entry: object
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: thing able to be seen/felt/perceived
Synonyms: article, body, bulk, commodity, doodad*, doohickey*, entity, fact, gadget, gizmo*, item, mass, matter, phenomenon, reality, something, substance, thingamajig*, volume, whatchamacallit, widget*
Main Entry: person
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: human being
Synonyms: being, body, character, creature, customer, gal, guy, human, identity, individual, individuality, joker*, life, living soul, man, mortal, party, personage, personality, self, somebody, soul, specimen, spirit, unit*, woman
Main Entry: noun
Part of Speech: adjective
Synonyms: ablative, abstract, accusative, common, concrete, count, countable, dative, mass, nominal, nominative, proper, vocative
Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:11 am Post
matt wrote:None of which seems particularly suitable. Maybe entity, unit, body. Or maybe I should stick with 'thing'.
But then, an event is a thing, isn't it? And unit could be easily confused with 'time unit'.
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