Monday 27 February 2023

Is This the Perfect Planning Tool? by Claire Fayers

 I came across a curious little story-planning tool whilst randomly web-browsing the other day.

It's called Twine, a free, open-source app for non-linear stories, and there are desktop and online versions, which you can find here

It's a very simple planning tool but what I love about it is you can set up different pathways for your story. Great if you're an indecisive semi-pantster like me. 

Here's how it works. 

Open the application and select 'new'. A box will appear ready and waiting for you to fill in the details of your starting scene.

Then, link to the next scene by means of a double bracket. [[Next scene]]

Not sure you want the story to go there? No problem, you can set up an alternative path.

Keep linking scenes together until you've mapped out all the possibilities for you story.

Once you're done, you can test the various versions of your stories by selecting any scene and clicking 'test from here' at the top of the page. A window will appear with a text version of you story which reads a bit like a choose your own adventure.

You can delete scenes, change your starting point, and drag things around on the screen. A very useful feature is the ability to tag scenes with different colours - great for brainstorming or for marking out your finished plan.

You can export the finished story, but only as a html file so I think this is a tool best used at the planning stage when you have a multitude of ideas in your head. It would be a fantastic tool for plotting choose-your-own type stories.

I'm going to play around with it some more. If you give it a go, let me know what you think.

Claire Fayers

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