Related Timelines and Story-arcs

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Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:41 pm Post

Matt --

I don't think this has come up yet; sorry if it has and I missed it.

About story arc, specifically with nested story elements:

Would it be practical -- instead of or in addition to the split time-line -- to develop a link between/among different but related time-lines? Could there be, at the right margin, for instance, a clickable icon which would open a secondary time-line while collapsing the first one?

Imagine, for instance, Scheherazade. The surface story has 1001 neatly-sequential time points. But at each point, there is a separate story line which could be contemporaneous with the surface story, or totally unrelated to it; in any case, the time line of the enclosed story is much longer (generally) than the evening spent in telling it. Can you link from that particular evening to a separate time-line for that evening's story? (Please believe me, I do not want to do 1002 time lines. This is just an ultra-obvious example.)

This might also apply to non-linear narrative. (Tristram Shandy, anyone?)

You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:20 am Post

Hi Phil,
I split this out into a separate thread as I was closing the beta thread you posted it in. It is probably better as a separate thread, since it discusses a future feature rather than an existing bug anyway.

I'm thinking that this might combine well with the idea of having tags for different events. Instead of swapping in and out complete timelines, you could have a series of clickable tags like they have in the GTD tool Things.

If you wanted the setup you describe, you would have one lot of events tagged as ThreadA, and another lot tagged ThreadB. And to swap between them, you simply click on the button corresponding to that tag, and all the events would swap over.

Doing it this way would be more flexibility though, as some events could be tagged to belong in both 'Timelines', and it would be possible to apply combinations of tag filters to adjust the events that are displayed.

I don't think this can replace the idea of multiple timelines/story-arcs as discussed in the documentation though, because I think there would be times where you really would want to see your two timelines side-by-side (to see what Group B is up to while Group A is elsewhere), or see where the two story-arcs fork and merge back together.

But it could certainly augment it, and may change a lot of the implementation and interface details.

I have been intending to start a thread discussing multiple timelines and story-arcs, since it is a big interface design challenge, so I guess this is now that thread :)


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Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:58 pm Post

Hope this comment fits here, Matt. Some of my events belong to more than one story arc. Is there a way to show the connection without inputting the same event twice? Thanks. Rita

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:27 pm Post

I've experienced this myself, and had resorted to duplicating the event by hand for each (of four story arcs). It would be great to have multiple story arc assignment per event, if possible.