In another thread, @matt wrote:
For me, Aeon Timeline 3 gives me everything I need to brainstorm and plot my novel. Plottr just does a better job of marketing itself to the writing community but comes nowhere near AT3 in terms of power and flexibility.
If we think of Aeon Timeline as merely a plotting tool, then we have to ask why it’s being lapped by Plottr, which dominates the “plotting” market. I recently asked my colleagues in the Aeon Timeline Facebook group in this thread why Plottr was so much more popular. I observed that the AT group had 461 members while the Plottr group had 6,400. It became obvious that Aeon Timeline was just not well understood by the writing community. Most had never heard of it.
The key is to stop thinking of Aeon Timeline as a “timeline” tool and develop it and market it as an integrated writing and plotting environment.
My pain point, other than not being able to view the narrative in the Timeline and Subway views (I guess that’s going to be addressed), is that when writing in Scrivener working on a scene does not activate that scene in AT3. In other words, while it’s great to have syncing (really great!), I’m constantly having to scroll through AT3 or Scrivener to look at the same scene in the opposite program.
As a novelist, I can live with this. But it got me thinking as an entrepreneur: what if there were a product that combined Scrivener and AT3 into one app? And what if it were marketed as the next evolution of writing tools? I think there is an opportunity to evolve writing software to the next level.
Sure, plenty of folks have their own favorite writing app, whether it’s Scrivener, Ulysses, Word, or whatever. They could still use these tools and syncing. But others, like me, would use the writing features of the integrated app that I’m dreaming of.
By far the biggest market for Aeon Timeline is the novelist community, as suggested by my informal and unscientific Facebook poll where 76% of respondents indicated they use Aeon Timeline predominantly for novels. Yet in the online writers’ community I am active in, few have heard of Aeon Timeline, and some have thought of it just for when they need a timeline. They had no idea, until I began to talk about it, that it has brainstorming capability, not to mention the ability to track plots and subplots, story beats, and so much more. They are surprised to learn that it’s a powerful brainstorming and plotting tool far more robust than Plottr.
I have spent the last few days thinking through how I would build such an app. I would probably code it in Python and offer it in at least Windows and Mac versions.
But if I had developed an app like AT3, I could add Scrivener-like drafting capability and maybe even the kind of exporting capabilities of Scrivener. I’d also do a much better job of marketing it to novelists and other writers, starting by rebranding the product name to make it clear from the name that it’s a writing and plotting product. In other words, I’d give Scrivener and Plottr a run for their money!
Okay, I just had to get that out of my brain so I can return to my novel writing.