How to organize a story and plot-lines?


I have a problem. I have been hoarding ideas in my head for the last few years now, and suddenly (miraculously almost) I have actually developed the steam to actually write. I didn’t want to let this time go to waste so I have been trying to write my heart out but I keep running in circles. I have rewritten the opening 3 times and now I’m beginning to question whether or not I should change should scrap it once again.

I was originally going to have two well-built worlds that would be situated in the same place but on the flip side of a dimensional wall. Anyway, I have been trying to make these two work and keeping track of plotlines and timelines is making my head spin especially anyone have any advice for staying organized with their worldbuilding and plotlines? Any help is appreciated!:pray::cry: :pray:

Story Structure: How do you do it?

Weird question: have you tried writing the main story longhand first?
It’s not a surefire thing, but it helped me creatly when it came to organizing my plots, get continuity and consistency in etc


You mean just writing through the entire plotline and seeing what I get? I thought about doing that or maybe just coming up with a synopsis version but It doesn’t think I have characterization down enough to make sure that everyone’s motives make sense.

I really wanted to make a nonlinear plot and the antagonist changes depending on what your motives become.But I still might try that just to see where it may lead, could possibly be the grounding I need!


As said, the mainstory.
For my game, for example, I write out one path, make notes where a choice would go and where it’d branch, then write the alternate texts and branches till they come together again and type up scene by scene.


I’ll try that , might help more than trying to keep it n my head.Thank you :blush:


Godspeed :slight_smile:




I would also just like to jump in and say that writing everything down as an outline may greatly help as well, especially since you’re talking about things being in/happening in different dimensions. Make bullet points and list all major plot points as they happen chronologically, keeping up with both timelines. It makes an easy reference point to go back to, and is the same to build upon! :blush:


If I may add to that:
Don’t stress yourself out if you find the story at some point took the cat and ran off, aka something is going in an entirely unplanned direction. Roll with it. No need to stress yourself trying to get back to your outline asap.


Very true! The beauty of outlining is it gives you a place to organize your thoughts so you have some place to build upon and go in the future, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow it! You can always add or completely subvert it, if that’s what your story has evolved into!


Also, the difference (with CYOAs) between plotpoints and storypoints.
When writing a CYOA you’ll have storypoints, scenes the main character will end up in regardless of which path they pick.
In Tally Ho you’ll always have the scene at the station and always end at the estate, or in Hero Unmasked! you’ll always have the hostage situation in the studio and end on the parking lot. The in-between is what differs.
Likewise with bigger branches: Study In Steampunk will always have The Ripper and the looming invasion, but from which side you encounter these and thus how you can handle things differ.

As said in a different thread on the topic, branching can go thus:

Story point A -> choices 1, 2, 3 -> choices 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; 2.1, 2.2 etc -> point B.

Or thus

A -> 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 -> B

This is what’s commonly called railroading, and should be avoided most of the times (there are situations where it works, but mostly railroading is fancy speech for ‘the author couldn’t be arsed to write a path where we don’t do X’)


My problem is that a massive incident happens within the other dimension before the story even starts, I know what order things happen in I just have a hard time giving the reader necessary info as to understand the plot. I was thinking yesterday about this and actually came up with a weird solution that I think might actually make the story a whole lot more fun.



Just wanted to point out this site as an alternative to organize your stuff. The site is still in development (with timeline feature planned at Q4/Q3 this year), but try it out. Its design is thought provoking, neatly organized, but still gives you the freedom and flexibility to arrange your own stuff (especially if you became their patron).

I personally have a lot of (unpublished, wip) articles on an account, over there.


Its funny you bring this site up because I actually came across this a few months back tried it out and liked it, forgot to book mark it and was never able to find it again since I deleted my browser history. Thanks bunches,:blush: I’ve been looking everywhere for it!!!