Character perspective timeline? (time travel)


I have a branching novel with multiple characters and time travel.

I’ve tried creating a “narrative” section for each branch, but my problem is that my branches often merge back together, which means I want an event to show up in multiple narrative sections, which isn’t possible. Seems the “narrative” section implies a linear reading order.

I’ve also seen the suggestion of creating new “arcs”, where for each event I can assign the event to multiple arcs - that works for branching novels, but then the problem is I only see chronological order and not story order.

Is there a way to have both? I’d like to peruse story order, from the perspective of a branch.

For instance, Bob has a multi-chapter branch, and Alice has a multi-chapter branch, and then Bob travels back in time to a bar where Alice also is. Then how would I peruse Bob’s story order, and then Alice’s story order?

I thought of one way I could do it that isn’t quite ideal. As long as my narrative doesn’t have actual time loops, then it means that it’s possible for me to assemble all of my chapters in one linear order in the narrative section, one that wouldn’t make much sense to read in order, but at least would be guaranteed to be in the right story order when I filter. Like tsorting a dag, for those of you who know some graph theory. In other words, I’d basically put every event in one “part” (folder), and then filter it by character to read their story order. Let me know if any of you have a better idea. :slight_smile:

I think the narrative folder should represent the order of events how you present them in your narration. Think of it as your printed out scenes which you can arrange in the order that suits your storytelling. It’s good to have one place where you keep an overview of what is actually told in your book at which chapter.

If you have time traveling, I think you should still tie the events to the specific dates. But you can assign an arc or tag or other meta data to specify if this is an event that happens due to time travel or regularly. Then you can use filters to look at different persons/storylines. Maybe blue events are what happens without time travel and red ones are the alternative history that evolves after the time travel, e. G.

The only problem with the narrative folder approach is that since it is a branching novel, there isn’t one reading order - there are many. And since threads converge as well before branching out again, the sequencing gets challenging, since some chapters appear in multiple branches.

I actually was able to do what I needed as described in my second idea above, though, consistent with your other suggestions - all events are tied to specific timeline dates. And all 80 plot “events” are in one narrative folder, and I’m able to filter by character or thread to read the narrative-order of whatever is filtered. So it looks like it works!

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