Colour-coding events


  • Plotist Team: Timeline Master

    Hey guys! I wanted to get some feedback/ideas from you about how you use timelines for a blog post I'm researching. So two questions:

    1. Do you colour-code the events on your timeline?

    2. If you do, what methods do you use to colour code them?

    On a recent timeline I've been using red for violent/perilous/death-dodging events, blue for warm moments of family and friendship, grey for sort of... "clinical" events like following orders or completing missions, and purple for interactions with strangers or reconciliations with enemies. Does this kind of thing sound familiar or do you use the colours completely arbitrarily?



  • @Sian I use colour-coding to determine the importance of the event.

    • Red for extremely important events, things that without them the story would be so much different.
    • Orange for important things, like fulfilling goals, or achivements.
    • Yellow for key events, like a birthday party or a reunions.
    • Green for specific actions that determine the future of each character.
    • Cyan and Blue for stuff that happens along the way, things to remember. Nothing too important for the storyline.
    • Lila is for... everything else.


  • I've thought about starting color-coding my events, but I'm not a very visual person, so it's more likely to be a waste of time for me. I just notice if I'm over-using the same color XD I will say, though, that in my timeline, I did the locations that you drag up (which I labelled as dates, like March 22nd, instead of a place, like The Centaurus) in different colors depending on the chapter. So, Chapter one was grey; chapter two was blue...



  • I've been color coding in relation to how the event affects the story.

    • Red for events that have negative consequences

    • Yellow for events that lead to both positive and negative consequences

    • Green for events that lead to positive consequences

    For instance, when two characters are having a conversation, I use a speech bubble icon. If the conversation is neutral, I make it yellow. If they're having an argument, I use red, if they're reconciling from an argument or bonding in some significant way; green.

    I've also been using blue on character timelines when the character in question is asleep or otherwise out of commission during an event.


  • Plotist Team: Keepers of Code

    This is actually interesting! For me colour coding is really important, but I never thought of the many ways people are using to create the categories. I guess it also depends on the story and the element you are coding. For example, on the Game of Thrones timeline created by @Sian, the colours for characters and locations are based on family affiliations.

    Using colours to represent the chapters where you deal with those events, the importance of the event or to signal if it's good or bad are things I never thought about. Interesting...


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