Timeline - Plotlines

This article covers Plotlines, which highlight the narrative flow of the Timeline, letting you visually organize your story across main plots subplots, character arcs, story structures, beats, and more – all at the same time!

What this Article Covers

Getting Started

Here are some things to know about Plotlines before diving in:

  • Plotlines are laid vertically down the Plottr Timeline by default
  • You can add unlimited Plotlines to the Timeline 
  • You can manually edit Plotline headings
  • You can drag and drop Plotlines to move them around the Timeline
  • You can assign custom colors to Plotlines

Adding Plotlines

You can add empty Plotlines (without Scene Cards) OR you can add Plotlines from an existing Template (with Scene Cards).

To add an empty, blank Plotline:

  1. Click the plus (+) button in the dashed blue box at the end of the Plotline list
  2. Enter a name for your Plotline
  3. Click Enter / Return on your keyboard to save

To add Plotline(s) from a Template:

  1. Click the "Use Template" button in the dashed blue box at the end of the Plotline list
  2. Click on a Template
  3. Click the "Choose" button

➡️ Click here to learn more about using Timeline Starter Templates.

Editing Plotlines

To edit the name of a Plotline:

  1. Click on the name of the Plotline you wish to edit OR hover on the name and click the pencil / edit icon
  2. Update the Plotline name
  3. Click Enter / Return on your keyboard to save

Ordering Plotlines

To move a Plotline (and its Scene Cards) to a different part of the Timeline: 

  1. Hover over the plotline you wish to reorder
  2. Click and hold the Plotline with your mouse
  3. Drag and drop the Plotline onto its new location
When moving Plotlines, all Scene Cards contained within the Plotline will also move to the new location – and the Plotline it is dropped onto (and others above it) will shift up on the Timeline.

Deleting Plotlines

To delete a Plotline (and its Scene Cards):

  1. Hover over the name of the Plotline you wish to delete
  2. Click the trash icon 
  3. When prompted, click “Delete” to confirm
When deleting Plotlines, all Scene Cards contained within the Plotline will be deleted as well.

Coloring Plotlines

Plotlines are assigned a color by default, but you can easily update it to help organize your story.

To update the color of a Plotline:

  1. Hover over the name of the plotline whose color you wish to change
  2. Click the paint drop icon
  3. Pick a color from the color library OR enter a specific color hex code in the input field at the top right and click the “Choose” button

Advanced

There are a few advanced Plotline features you may wish to understand.

Custom Timeline Templates

You can insert Plotlines from your own Timeline Templates (with pre-created Scene Cards) when adding a Plotline from a Template.

To create your own Timeline Template:

  1. Click the three dot icon on the top right of the Timeline
  2. Click "Save as Template" to save your current Plotlines as a Template
  3. Type in a Name, Description, and/or Source Link
  4. Click the "Save" button

➡️Click here to learn more about Custom Timeline Templates.

Collapsing and Expanding Plotlines

When you hover over a Plotline name, there are two buttons showing arrows pointing toward each other – these buttons allow you to expand or collapse Scene Stacks on Plotlines.

  • Collapse: Collapse Scene Stacks on that Plotline
  • Collapse All: Collapse Scene Stacks on all Plotlines
  • Expand: Expand Scene Stacks on that Plotline
  • Expand All: Expand Scene Stacks on all Plotlines

➡️ Click here to learn more about Scene Stacks.

Known Limitations

We are aware of some limitations with Plotlines, which we intend to address with future updates:

  • You cannot currently duplicate Plotlines
  • You cannot currently delete multiple Plotlines at the same time
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