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Assigning two dates of birth to one character?

ladyonthelake
Fri, 04 Aug 2017 16:42:15 GMT

I'm writing a character with dissociative amnesia. She'll be using one birth date for the majority of the time and then will learn her true DoB. Is there anyway to do this without creating another character? (I'm still on my trial period so if this answer is evident, sorry....)

razyr
Fri, 04 Aug 2017 17:21:26 GMT

For calculation purposes, AT2 is only going to allow you to use one birth date per character. There are places, such as in the relationship view or expanded event view where the age of the character at that event is displayed. If you need to always see the current perceived D.O.B in those places, then creating a second entity for your "split" character may be the way to go. If the perceived age is not a critical factor in the events, then you could decide which D.O.B. is most relevant to you in the timeline display and just put the second D.O.B. in the notes for that character (in the Entity Manager). Unfortunately, entity notes don't get displayed or otherwise used anywhere other than in the manager itself. Some part of me was fighting typing "You're only as old as you feel", but failed. AT2 has a fair amount of flexibility for adding extra information about time-based events, but entities (people, places, arcs, etc...) are somewhat second class citizens. We have limited options for entities. I'm not sure what you are using to write your story, but AT2 has options to synchronise with both Scrivener and Ulysses. Entities pose specific challenges with sync, but overall the combo of something like Scrivener and AT2 is awesome for writers. The developers are also very responsive to both bug requests and feature requests. Welcome to the Aeon user community from one user to another.

ladyonthelake
Fri, 04 Aug 2017 18:19:29 GMT

Thank you! I didn't think there was feature that would allow this but one never knows. (The "off set" field in the creation dialogue made me wonder... I'll consult the manual to learn whatever that is.) I am using Scrivener to write, but I haven't begun to even think about syncing yet. At this point, I just want a timeline that I can manipulate and see where characters' events intersect. I started on a whiteboard (I miss chalk), moved to Scrapple (no thanks), played in MS Office (ha... big joke) and finally said "I always have complicated plots so stop wasting time and try this software." My character's age doesn't play *that* much into the story so I created another character (using her true d.o.b. and birth name) that I can pop in as an observer if true vs perceived is relevant to the scene. (Since she learns she's actually older than she thinks, we do get into the "you're only as old as you feel") Thank you for your time!

razyr
Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:39:37 GMT

"Off set" kicks in when you start chaining events together. I use it more for project planning than for writing fiction. It's handy when one event needs to start only after another event has completed, but with a mandated wait before the second event begins. "Off set" is an event property and doesn't have any application for entities. I would recommend that you have a look at some of the threads here in the forum about entity sync and experiment a little before you get too far down the path to entering a lot of information into AT2. If not, your assumptions might bite you. I have started over with fresh timelines a couple of times on my current writing project, each time asking the timeline to do less until I found what I believe to be the sweet spot between massive data dump and minimal info in the timeline. I have definitely found that it's better to be lean in the timeline and keep the bulk of your notes in Scrivener. Also, consider creating custom entities to represent the organisation of your binder. A simple example would be to create an entity type "C hapters". You could then create an entity for each chapter and quickly assign events to the chapters in relationship view. Flip back to timeline view and you see events by chapter in a layout which may more closely represent your Scrivener binder. This is especially helpful when your story reveals events outside of chronological order. I use this same technique for arcs which may span many chapters or even across different books in a series. Good luck with your writing and look for help here when you hit a snag with the tools. The devs and the users are a pretty helpful community.