Fang Talks

Urbos

Got a couple more readers recently. Welcome! Maybe 2014-01 isn’t going to be the worst month in the history of Fang Talks (statistics-wise).

There’s a text file somewhere on my computer with a bunch of website/web app ideas in it. Though ideas aren’t worth shit without proper good execution, there’s still a little bit of hidden value to them. The potential for that finely tuned process of creation. Can’t say I feel up to that just yet though, but I figured I’d pitch one of them here for feedback and all that good stuff. I think it may be of use to some of you, especially the writers.

It’ll essentially be a timeline creator, simple but with some nice features. You’ll be able to manage multiple timelines, click to create points, right-click to edit their properties or delete them, drag to move, and so on, and so forth.
There’ll also be the option to use text to create your timeline, if you prefer that. It’ll probably use a syntax similar to this so you can specify an item’s numerical location, title, and other options such as point color, display style, and so on. Speaking of display style, I already have a couple formats in mind.
The timeline will automatically run from the lowest to highest numerical location, so the example text I linked to would have a timeline run from 1994 to 2014.
But that would result in a huge gap between 1997 and 2014, right? Yeah, but you’ll be able to fold parts of the line, reducing its size and making for move convenient viewing of timelines with larger differences in dates.
And of course there’ll be the option to share timelines with others, or even make it public and possibly have it featured on the site if enough people like it.

Where the idea sprouted from? Well, when planning a story it sometimes calls for a decent timeline to illustrate the general flow of events, or maybe help dictate some historical background information. A quick web search didn’t net me any good results. Sure there’s a couple apps for smartphones out there, and a bunch of paid desktop software, but none of that fits my bill. And hey, it doesn’t seem super hard to make (yet), so why not build my own tool? That way I can always change it up if I need something new.

What do you think? The idea’s rough and all, but go with the concept. Would you use it?
~ Fang

Comments

  • 28/01/2014 (2:10 PM)

    I’m thinking. I do have at least some problem with timelines as my story spans 400 years or 300…can’t remember for sure. When I began writing it never occurred to me it would be a problem. But as the story rolled along I found myself wondering what year it should be and having to go back and read what I had written months earlier.

  • 28/01/2014 (12:17 PM)

    Seems like a solid concept, although I’m not sure that I personally would get a good use out of it. Theoretically it could work as a back-up system somehow for readers so they could catch up to where the story is, but at the same time the chapters section is broken up in that manner anyway.

    That said. Good idea, just sadly I wouldn’t utilize it with the site I have now. : /

  • 28/01/2014 (7:26 AM)

    I might. That way I could gauge progress on things I’m doing. See if I’m on schedule.

    Realize I’m not on schedule and then get sad. :(

  • 28/01/2014 (1:48 AM)

    Necessity is the mother of all invention my friend. You’re one of the rare few who can create something they want when it doesn’t exist. A handy little timeline creator would be pretty cool. I could use it myself to keep track of the timeline in my stories, like the text file I made detailing the events of Immortal Space from Trent’s birth to the present day. Which, sadly, probably doesn’t exist anymore.

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