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I plan to write a series of books set in the same universe, with a major plot about war destruction, murder, killing, love, betrayal etc.

But I am having problem getting the big view of my universe plot and each seperate book plot. Does any one of you know of a program, tool, anything that can help me get a better picture of the plot as I write the different books?

Most of programs for writers I have seen has only the option for one plotline - the one the specific book is about - but I need one where I can put in the major plotlines and what happens in the universe and then put in each seperate bookplot.

Does anybody have an idea for a nice tool or program to use?

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ideas for use until/if you find the perfect program: one could try labelling "Parts" (yWriter can do this at least, I'm sure other software can), with each part being 1 novel. Not quite what you're looking for but maybe it'll do until you find something better (actually for that matter yWriter does allow you multiple files, one for each novel, but I'm sure that's not what you want) Indeed if you have 1 pov, ywriter allows you to see the plot lines of each pov; make several povs of same name and then have each be 1 book and 1 be universe plot; each is a line on the plot screen –  Mac Cooper Sep 4 at 16:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Allow me to introduce you to Scrivener.

Scrivener is a word processor which allows you to create unlimited documents within a single project, and organize them into folders.

You can have each book project as a folder, and within a book folder have multiple subfolders.

You can see all your documents in a nice document tree in a side pane. You can drag items around from here to there, link documents within the project, tag documents for easy searching, and even display your documents as note cards on a cork board. You can also have two documents open at once, top/bottom or side by side, so you can look at a reference document while typing in another document.

Scrivener exports as Word and text, so you're not stuck in a proprietary format, and it has a full-screen environment if you need to cut out distractions.

$45 for Mac OSX, $40 for Windows. You can test it full-featured for 30 days.

You can search for other discussions of Scrivener on this SE, including a lot of cheerleading from me. :) In fact, I picked up this answer from another similar question:

What is a good tool for organizing story notes?

I also use Excel to keep track of scene details, and some people use mindmap software (although I find that kind of interface overwhelming).

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I am not a writer (far from it), but I know of a software tool that is used by writers in game development, specifically in games that are very story heavy. It's called Articy Draft. It allows writers to view the story at various levels of detail and it also make non-linear stories (a big thing in games) easier to manage.

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