This weekend was my Nanoprep weekend.
I did a lot of work, really a lot of work. I’ve been thinking about my plot, working out some kinks. And I have finally started working on my map and my timeline. I usually work with yWriter for all of my writing related business. But it doesn’t have a timeline and I desperately needed a timeline. So I checked out the NaNoWriMo forum to see if I could find something which could help me. And I did find the perfect program, it’s by one of the sponsors Aeon Timeline. So for now I’ve downloaded the trail version to try it out, see if it really is what I need.
And so far I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen. You can add multiple timelines for different people for instance which is perfect because I have different characters whose timelines are different until they meet, but also two different worlds. I really like the way it works, it works well. It gives me a good view of where I am in my timeline and I can keep on adding new events to it. I haven’t seen anything which I don’t like about it so you won’t hear me complain. I still have some work to do but this will help a lot. I’m sure that I will buy the program once the trail is over. It really is worth the money because I can use it for every story I write in the future but also for other things for which I might need a timeline. So if you struggle with your timeline or keeping facts straight consider checking this program out, I think that you’ll love it just as much as I do.
So in this screenshot you can see that you have the inspector on the right, which is where you can fill out all of the details of the event your adding to your timeline on the left. At the top is the global timeline, underneath I put four timelines for my main characters. For me there are the two characters of our world and the same characters in the alternative world because they have similar yet different timelines. And I need to keep those fact straight.
At the bottom left you can see the different characters with their own colour. You can add your character color to the events which are important for that particular character. Which is a great way to keep everything separate while still having it all in the same page. You can make the timeline as small or as wide as you want it to be.
For me it’s perfect and I think that a lot of people can benefit by this program. Trust me I’m just saying this as a very happy user and I am certainly not making any money on this.
The second thing I did this weekend was make a map as I mentioned. And this really is the kicker …. I needed a map, desperately. But the problem was that I don’t want to use an existing city. I don’t want to use the Netherlands as the base of my story in fact I don’t want to confine my story to any kind of place because that’s not important. But every map you find on the internet has street names or whatever on it and I wanted a clean map. Where I would be able to fill in whatever I needed when I needed it. For my story I needed to have a clear image of the city because it would make it easier to describe certain things in a more realistic fashion.
So I was browsing the web without much result, there are programs but they are obviously more meant for RPG players who need a middle age village or something. And my story is now, it’s 2013. I was getting really annoyed by it and decided to go do something else which is the best thing I could have done at that moment. I was planing to go to the Dutch Design Week on Sunday and I was watching at the map of the city to see where the events were taking place. So I would know where to go, and while I was looking at this map I realized that it was the absolute perfect map for my story. It was crisp clean, with only a couple of streets and the events on it. It was a pdf file and I decided to try an open it in Illustrator. I didn’t expect that it would open but just in case I wanted to try.
And to my surprise it opened, no password … nothing. I really couldn’t belief it! I threw out all the crap I didn’t need and ended up with a map perfect for what I need it for. Now I’m in the process of adding markers to the places I already have in mind and I will keep on adding markers once November first comes around.
These two things have warped my nanoprep a huge step in the right direction. I am so ready to start writing! I’m excited, but first I’m going to Utrecht on Saturday to meet my fellow NaNoWriMo writing buddies from all over the Netherlands (and maybe Belgium). For a fun afternoon talking about writing and other stuff.