Organising the Narrative

As those of us who have attempted would know, keeping track of threads is important in making interactive fiction. And being a community, I thought maybe some of us would have tips for organising our work, and perhaps it could be shared with the rest of us.

For myself, I am currently using a tree structure. It works good enough for now, but I forsee a situation where perhaps there just isn’t enough room on a single page for all the branches.

I write up major plot points and paths on index cards and lie them out. Easy to keep adding new cards and shifting them. When i have an entire scene, I stack the cards and rubber band them to save space.

Also I have a list of variables, their minimum, maximum, and average value so I can track character progression.

I use a notebook, and section it by chapters. Then I write in sections, by *label, and tag each *label. It comes in handy when working with complex storylines. Easy to use and reference, but very time consuming to put together.

I use to create mind maps of each scene. I write the script in the mindmap then copy it across. It’s good as you can see how it all links together and (as far as I know) there is no size limit! Being on a computer it’s very easy to edit as well.

I found to be quite a good tool. Thanks andy for introducing it.

The notebook was working great until the dog jumped up on my desk spilling my mtn dew all over it. Ow the hours I labored to produce this book. No I did not kill the dog. Once I recovered I had no desire to try rewriting that again, so I looked at Nice program, but not what I was looking for. I thought of doing the index card thing, then again I still have the dog. So I went in search of an index card program, and found one I really like. So I thought I would share it here.

Wow… That really is a shame. You have my sympathy.

Also, that is a nice find. Judging by how long my mind map is turning out, I may or may not want to look at alternatives in future.

I realize the thread is a bit old but just wanted to say thanks for the great resources!

The moral of this story: Soda is bad for you.

A great non-flash mind map alternative is:

Keep in mind this uses HTML5, so you’ll need use a (relatively,) modern browser for it to work.

Hey, that mindmap is actually a lot of fun to play with.