Getting started

Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:26 pm
Location: Scarborough, Ontario

Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:34 pm Post

I'm having great difficulty in understanding how to begin using Aeon Timeline.

I have two characters, one male and one female, that I have entered as Entities and have applied Events to them over a span of sixty years. These characters and the events in their lives appear in the Global track of Story Arc view. Now, should I have created separate Story Arcs for each of them? And this couple have a child. Do I create a separate Story Arc for her?

Perhaps the Global track in Story Arc view is just for general historical events and you create Story Arcs for each character. But it's impossible to put a characters into Story Arcs, starting with their births. Their births seem to have to go into the Global track.

If this sounds confusing, it's because I'm confused. I look for any help you can give me.

Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 12:06 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Vancouver, BC

Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:03 am Post

Well, you can really use any of the classification systems any way you like, but in general the story arc view is for separating subplots within the story. When there are multiple, unrelated things happening at the same time in different locations, it is useful to be able to see at a glance which events are related to Alice and her trip to Vegas in August instead of Bob and the hurricane that damaged his house in August.

If that makes any sense. :-)

Posts: 1180
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:35 am

Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:13 am Post

One of the things I have on my to-do list after the next release is some sort of introductory tutorial.

But anyway - I would suggest that initially, you should probably not worry too much about creating Story Arcs.

You are correct that the anticipated use of "Global events" is for things that affect all story arcs, which would be historic events, weather events, etc. but you can use them however you like, and if you feel you don't need to use story arcs at this stage, then leave them out for now and add them later, as required.

If you were to consider plotting Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, for instance, you would probably need a separate story arc for Bilbo+Sam, another one for the other 2 hobbits and the Ent, and another one for the battle at Helm's Deep.

You will find Story Arcs may become more useful once you have too many events, and you feel like you need to separate everything out to get a good overview of your timeline, but at the initial stage, you will be fine keeping everything in "Global" so that things are as simple as possible. The good news is that it is easy to create additional story arcs and shift events later (with a simple select and drag-and-drop on the Story Arc view).

In the end Aeon aims to make it easier for you to keep track of the lives of characters, and the events of a story line. If you feel you don't need a feature yet, just don't use it, and see what naturally develops. I expect different people will use it in different ways, and when it is more mature software, I will try to collect usage scenarios from various users so that I can give a good overview of the way it can be used.

Let me know how you get on - if you find anything difficult to work with, I would be interested to hear about it, so I can see if I can make things more straightforward.