timeline

Hello L&L,

I’ve tried several programs and I ended up with the one I started with; Scrivener. I have only one request. There is one feature that I really need and that’s a timeline. I’m working with Writeitnow, nice program, great service, but I don’t need all of that - just Scrivener plus Timeline. That will do it for me. I hope you can make my dream come true. Thank you.

Hi Hopus,

If you search the forums you will find extensive discussion of timelines. While Scrivener itself won’t have a timeline feature, a new program called Aeon Timeline (which can be found in the “Software by other folk” forum) is currently in beta, and is based on the discussion of what a writer wants in a timeline program.

I have been using it since it first became public, and while it doesn’t yet have all planned features, I’ve been very happy with it.

To offering a contrasting viewpoint—and I am not saying this to cast poor opinion upon Aeon—the beta version has not worked at all for me: it crashes every time I try to use it.

Being a beta version, this isn’t unusual. I am looking forward to seeing how it works when I have the opportunity to make it work. :slight_smile: The manual descriptions of what it is supoosed to do seem like it would be perfect for the sort of thing I’d use it for.

I’m confident that it’s just a bug that needs to be worked out.

As I said, not bad-mouthing the program, just saying if it doesn’t work for you, let the designer know and be patient for an update.

I think Aeon Timeline is going to be a great addition to any writer’s toolbox. However, I’m personally more inclined to develop my timelines horizontally, since I like each block gives an approximate idea of an event’s duration, and I’m accustomed to music and video apps developing timelines in this direction.

It might be a bit odd to suggest a competing program to Scrivener as a timeline application, but I more and more tend to use StoryMill’s timeline for this task. It’s not an immediate interchange of data, but at the moment I see it might be used for shorter projects.

What I do is open a timeline in StoryMill, and create new scenes by pasting in the name of the scenes from a Scrivener project. What I end up is the Scrivener project, shown in a horizontal timeline, with colored scenes (red for action, green for dialogue…) and parallel lines for different characters. The length of each scene can be freely adjusted to match the actual time.

If I was inclined to do so, I guess I could also work directly in StoryMill’s timeline, and then export the resulting scenes to Scrivener. But I prefer to use timelines after I’ve jotted down a draft of the story, maybe using Scrivener’s corkboard.

Unfortunately, there seems not to be a way to print StoryMill’s timeline, or export it as an image file. I’ve always done this when using a generic drafting program (like OmniGraffle), and I find it essential to have a printout of my timeline to discuss with others. Aeon Timeline can do this.

Paolo

I have set aside tonight to look into the problem Kirk has reported. Hopefully I will be able to resolve it quickly.

And Paolo, I am currently developing a horizontal timeline in Aeon - this is still some time away, but it is coming :mrgreen:

Matt, I feel you are making Aeon Timeline the ultimate timelining app. Can’t wait to see the forthcoming development.
Paolo

Hi Paolo,
Thanks. I wasn’t leaping in to defend Aeon - I know at the moment it is incomplete, and therefore won’t be suited to everyone, so I wasn’t taking any comments or different requirements as a criticism - I just thought I’d let you know the horizontal option was on the way.

Incidentally, I have found the root cause of Kirk’s bug, and posted a workaround in the Aeon Timeline forum. I will fix it for the next release.

Matt

I also miss a timeline feature. I’ve been doing all my plotting in Writer’s Cafe using its Storylines feature so I can see which plots/sub-plots have holes and figure out where everything needs to fall in chapter/scene order, then I recreate the outline in Scrivener in order to begin the actual writing. Writer’s Cafe is a PC port, so it’s butt-ugly, slow, and awkward, but Storylines really is the best tool I’ve tried for plotting.

I must do an addition remark to my suggestion to use StoryMill’s timeline. I have tried to use it for real work yesterday, and either I don’t get how it works, or there is some serious flaws. I will try to report it to the developers, but it seems scenes are not always syncronized in Scene View and the Timeline, so there is no way to export the complete set of scenes created there.

Is someone else using it with success?

Paolo