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Creating Complex Stories/Series


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#1 Roonil Wazlib

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:17 AM

So...i've bitten off way more than I can chew (this is a usual corse of action for me) But my story has just exploded, and I'm having difficulty getting all my ducks in a row.

 

My series involves three main characters and their reincarnating lives (so while I say three 'characters' when they reincarnate in the next book, they are a whole new character with different feelings, emotions, growth, issues, etc... and only one has the ability to sometimes/in part remember his past lives) so technically I've got a whole bunch of characters running around, over a couple thousand years.

 

I don't think it's too over complicated, however, as I only focus on two or three characters in one book, at one time, and mostly the story/world/characters evolve and grow as the series goes along, so the reader isn't taking in too much too quickly.

 

The main character has the ability to 'transfer' his mind into the minds of the other two characters - in his timeline, and in any other live's these characters may have led.

So not only am I dealing with one main timeline with three characters on that timeline, I have an interconnected timeline that interweaves this main character into some parts of the main timeline.

 

So I've got reincarnation and time travel, and a butt load of characters and backstory to deal with. I know I'm insane, let's not delve into that, I just need some tips and tricks/ideas on how to get it all written down into a series bible and a timeline/outline so that I've got it all laid out.

 

I've got it all filled away in my head, practically perfectly, I can pull practically 80% of the information about the books with ease. There isn't much I don't know, it's just I'm struggling to write in down in an orderly fashion so I can avoid plot holes, and create consistency when I actually begin writing. - Also, clearly I know ALOT about what is going to happen in the first book, I know my characters and scenes, etc..but in the later books I haven't developed that far enough yet, so while I have a paragraph or two of what the story is about, I still might not know what that characters name is, or much about who they are as a peron.

 

My aim is to roughly outline and timeline the entire series so I know who and what characters are and where they go and in what story, and which characters crop up in other timelines, etc... it's bogging down my head and heart atm :(

 

thanks in advance guys for any help at all. I've been googling for ages, but nothing on the internet is helping. I know it's insane, but I'm so focused on this story atm that I don't want to focus on anything else, or try and cut back on my story as the entire series is all interconnected and it's all important.

 

And if any of you are a mad as I am with complex stories such as above...we need to be friends XD maybe if you have a similar issue with complexity issues, we can start a private chat and maybe help each other out in a bit more detail :)


Hi, the name is Shannon :) Roonil Wazlib is just my love of Harry Potter coming though :P


#2 Michael Steven

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 01:51 PM

Obviously an outline would help keep things organized, and in fact several outlines with a different time-based purpose to them.  Graphs would help a great deal, and I don't mean bar graphs or pie graphs, but weighted or unweighted graphs for an over all flow showing the character/time interrelations.
 
The idea is to use pictorial tools so you can view the different aspects of what you're trying to accomplish.  Another technique I use is an actual map with arrows that show unit movement.  These are often handy for showing the flow of a historical battle although they can be hard to read at times (e.g. France 1940).


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#3 Roonil Wazlib

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 05:24 AM

Hi Michael, thank you for your response. I'll be looking more into the weighted graphs. And googling them has given me the idea that a mind-mapping program might help to order and connect it all - using it as a big detailed outline, rather than its intended purpose of creating those first few ideas! You're awesome!


Hi, the name is Shannon :) Roonil Wazlib is just my love of Harry Potter coming though :P


#4 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 06:24 PM

Yes - I highly recommend making a timeline. This way, not only is it in your head, but it's on paper, and whenever you're not 100% sure about something, you can look it up. I had to do this with a book I just recently finished, and it really helped. 

 

It's like making a map for a fantasy world. Just because it doesn't get into the front of the book doesn't mean you don't need it. I redraw maps all the time just to make sure we didn't suddenly start going east instead of west. 

 

Side note - I also had a moment during the first book of my series that I'd bitten off way more than I could handle. I thought about stopping the whole thing and starting over with a new story. But, as writers, we can't just "let it go." So, I started doing timelines and charts to keep the story organized not only in my head, but on paper, too. 

 

Good luck! 



#5 Roonil Wazlib

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 06:59 AM

Blueberry Tide - ha, at least I know it's not only me who takes on cray cray projects XD - yeah...I've actually already made a timeline, took months and it's a complete mess atm!. Thinking that I might be able to re-make it in one of the mind-mapping programs I'm looking at getting. Also I'm going to lay out all my characters into a chart/character bio sheet, including the important ones that don't even make it into a book. It's just so mind-boggling as I have characters that need to exist for the timeline to work properly (ie, the years between the books/re-births of the characters who's story i'm actually following), but have absolutely no mention in the series at all. (and because I haven't got all the bits and pieces of the series together fully yet, I don't know if some characters will be added or subtracted) *gun to head* lol. Plus I'm struggling how to work out a dual timeline with the usual way timelines are outlined. - Which i'm thinking that the program will help that)

I would love to do it on paper, but the timeline would be way too big as the series literally goes over 1500ish years, at least, if not more.

Thankyou for your response - ill defiantly post back here in (probably a few months) letting you know how this mind mapping program goes, and hopefully giving a successful update on a working timeline XD


Hi, the name is Shannon :) Roonil Wazlib is just my love of Harry Potter coming though :P


#6 newb

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:59 AM

Have you tried Aeon timeline? Maybe it will help get those ducks in a row.






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