All I want is a time machine
March 16, 2012 6:02 AM   Subscribe

Writers using Scrivener for Windows: how do you keep track of timelines?

I've just starting trying out Scrivener for Windows, and so far am loving it. But I am finding it difficult to keep track of timelines when plotting.

All I really want is a way to keep a date and time on each chapter or section, preferably with a way to sort them in chronological order to make sure everything happens as it should.

If I were using Scrivener for Mac, I could have done this through custom metadata. But the Windows version doesn't have this feature. Had I a Mac, I could have used Aeon Timeline, but that doesn't come for Windows either.

So how do you keep track of what happens when? Excel? Notepad? Some other corner of Scrivener that I've not yet explored? Another software altogether? Free or inexpensive alternatives are preferred, but tell me what works for you.
posted by tavegyl to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I use the Mac version, the Scrivener forums seem a natural home for this kind of question.
posted by epo at 6:05 AM on March 16, 2012

I do this with a folder called TIMELINE and then add a text/scene for every event, with a very short scene name for the event and then more detail, if necessary, in the body of the scene.

This way it's always in the corner of my eye, and I can put all kinds of associated crap (maps, links, names in the scenes for notes, and I can use the notecard view for locations, relevant characters, etc. (I'm using Mac, but I'm pretty sure I'm not using any functionality that isn't in the Windows version).

I tend to drag my TIMELINE folder around so that it's the next folder down from the one I'm writing in.

There are probably better ways, and I should peruse the forum too, but I've grown fond of this method, at least up until the point that my timeline is really extensive.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:58 AM on March 16, 2012

I'd been using Lynn Never's method, until a post on the Scrivener forum popped up. It appears a timeline 'helper' has been created and perfected since I posted this question. I've tried it out for a couple of days, and whilst more fiddly and complicated than Scrivener itself, it appears to do the job: Awrit 3.0.
posted by tavegyl at 3:04 AM on March 27, 2012

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