03 February 2010

Planning a Multiple Character Blogfic

So, down to the practical stuff.

You have four characters, each with their own separate blog telling their story over the course of a year. You also have a cross-over story in the comments. You're planning to do this thing in real time. You have your plots just about worked out, but certain elements of the crossover plot rely on certain elements of the separate plots happening at roughly synchronous times. How do you plan who posts what and when?

After a great deal of fruitless messing with paper diaries, coloured pens, sticky notes and enough tippex to renew the markings on a major motorway, I discovered that the latest version of Outlook allows you to have extra calendars, and to save them on a USB pen. As someone with terrible handwriting and a propensity for dropping card index boxes all over the floor, I find this rather useful.

I can put all my major plot events and blog entries in the year I want them and then move them around. I can add major holidays and anniversaries for each of the characters' locations, and use these to influence events at those times. I can keep my notes on each entry or incident in the appointment box and categorise each appointment by character. I can then view the whole thing by month, week or day and fine-tune the character stories to contrast or reflect each other at various points.

Isn't it great when you discover a tool that works perfectly to carry out a task it was never designed for?

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