Keeping Days Straight

  • Hey, everybody! I just found this site and absolutely love it. It helps me organize my thoughts so well!

    I'm 200 pages into my story, and I've realized that I've completely lost track of how much time has passed in the story. Is it winter now? Or still fall?

    What are your methods for keeping track of the passage of time?

    P.S.: I love the timeline feature on here. Is there anyway to add dates and stuff to it? That would be really helpful.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Hello there @yummyfoods1214!

    First off welcome to Plotist! Feel free to take a moment to introduce yourself properly in our introduction post. And if you want to change your username we have a guide for that here!

    Now on to the fun part of answering all your questions!

    I'm so glad to hear you're loving Plotist. We're still in beta, so we don't have all the features just yet! Though your suggestion for dates is an interesting one that I am sure @jaycano would be interested in seeing! Tap tap!

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    Now the time question!

    During NaNo Camp, I wrote a story that had flashbacks, past lives, time flops and flips, and holy cow my brain about exploded! So I turned to Plotist and sat back to really think about how I wanted to use the current iteration of plotist to fit with my insane timeline-from-the-twilight-zone.

    I ended up using locations as a way to separate times. So, for example:

    By making the locations be specific to a certain life I knew roughly what time it was in that life. That's an option. :) Maybe Berlin 2015 could be a location, or Manialia of Andromeda Spring 200033 as a location. :)

  • Thank you so much for your reply!

    I can't imagine how complicated it must have been to write that story! Haha my brain would definitely explode. I like how you used your timeline to keep track of all the time changes! Unfortunately, most of my story revolves around one major setting so I'm not sure it would work as well for me. I'm thinking about putting a date in the title of each event. Maybe that would work.

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    That's one way to do it for sure. At the moment, when you go to create a timeline in Plotist, it asks you what you want the key to be. It can be a character or an object.

    You could make the location the date and time, and then make the events "sit" in those "locations". So, it could look something like this. This links to the timeline I just created on the fly. I made the event colours relate to what I believe best represents the season. so green for spring, orange for fall. :)

  • Fantastic! This is just what I needed. I'll start making my timeline like this from now on! Yay!!! Thank you so much! :D

  • Plotist Team: Community Storyteller

    Yay! :D So glad I could be of help. Of course now I want to know all about your story, and everything else that goes with it... but I shall wait till you introduce yourself in our PAW category so we can keep this topic on focus. :D

  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    Hey @yummyfoods!

    Thanks for the kind words! We are going to develop that for the next iteration of the timeline (hopefully coming out before the end of the year).

    For now, in addition to @Josey's solution, you can create a track (row) for the dates. Just create a fake character named "Dates" or something similar, create a location for each of the times you want to represent and drag these "date" locations to the track. That way you can still use locations on your other characters' timelines. Here's a little example

    It's a bit of a dirty hack until we get the new timeline out, I apologize for this. Let me know if this solution would work for you :)

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