Friday, December 16, 2022

Figuring Out Series Management

The last few days I've been focusing on something else rather than writing: series management.

It started because I wanted to decide whether to get Aeon Timeline 3 before my coupon code expired.  I downloaded the trial and was playing with it, and then realized I had purchased Aeon Timeline 2 about five years ago and never used it, so I downloaded and played with that too.  The newer version definitely has the better user interface and features, but I was having a hard time with the program's feature that syncs with Scrivener (I couldn't delete a document in Scrivener because Aeon kept putting it back), and anyway syncing wasn't going to work if I wanted to use the same timeline for the entire series.

So after some poking around, I ended up downloading Plottr as well.  I had been hearing conflicting information about whether you could write in it, but it definitely is not a word processing program.  It will, however, make an excellent kind of "home base" for my series notes, character sheets, location sheets, and for tracking all the installments of the series.  The user interface is absolutely gorgeous, I love the at-a-glance display of all the books in a series, and the layout is common sense and lacks all the complexity of Scrivener (which, as much as I love Scrivener, it is complex and not ideal for managing an entire series).

In the end, I decided to use all three programs.  Plottr will be my series bible and my main method of managing the series, and I'll export each installment to Scrivener individually.  Aeon Timeline will provide precise dating and a way to keep track of historical events versus series events, and of course I need Scrivener to write in.  And while I'm at it, why not upgrade to Scrivener 3, too?

It may sound complex, but after three days spent researching options and experimenting with Plottr, Aeon, and Scrivener 3, I think this combination is going to do the best possible job of helping me manage a rather ambitious, historically-based series.  Right now I'm working on transferring all of my notes into Plottr.  From there I'll export individual novels and stories into Scrivener, and all of my notes will automagically duplicate into related installments (I can set what books or stories they are used in).

Getting organized is making me really excited about this series.  I feel like the rewriting is going really well, and now I have a plan going forward.  In addition to the first novel, which I'm currently rewriting and revising to fix some significant plot issues, I also have a handful of short stories (some written, some planned), a couple of novellas (one written, one half-written, and one planned), and three additional books half-written and planned.  That should take me through 1925, but eventually I intend for the series to continue throughout the 1920s.  It will end up being a big series so it's best to start planning how to manage it all now!

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