Subplot Manager

Overview

The Subplot Manager is designed to help you keep track of multiple subplots, by creating a flexible cross-referenced grid.

Please note that we are currently working on major improvements to the Subplot Manager, so this may be updated in the very near future.

Your index cards are shown in a vertical column along the left hand side.

(Note that you cannot

You can create Subplots, each of which is shown as a column, alongside the main plot.

Within each subplot, you can create multiple ‘subplot events’.

Each of these events can be associated with the scene in which they take place.

The Subplot Manager also allows you to view your Character Viewpoint Synopses (where you experience the story from your supporting characters’ points of view). More info on that below.

The Subplot Manager display can be customised – more info on that below as well.

Elements of a Subplot

Each subplot has a name, description, and can have multiple subplot events within in.

Name

This is the name of the subplot.

Description

You may wish to add more detail about the subplot, and what it covers.

Note – currently the only place this description is visible is within the ‘edit subplot’ popup.

Colour

Each subplot can be assigned a colour to help visually identify it.

Subplot Events

Subplot events are plot points that happen throughout the story, which fall within a given subplot. There can be any number within a subplot.

Creating a Subplot

You can either create a subplot from scratch, or you can base it off a plot template.

Here we’ll explain how to create one from scratch – see below for how to do it using a plot template.

First, click the green button towards the top right: + Subplot.

This will call up a popup, where you can enter the subplot name (thread name), add a description for the subplot and select a colour for it.

At the bottom of the popup is a larger field, where you can write down the first pass of the subplot.

For each plot point you already know about, write a sentence on a new line.

For example, if it’s a romance subplot, you might write:

  • girl meets boy
  • girl and boy and put at odds
  • girl and boy can’t deny growing attraction
  • girl and boy have a falling out
  • external circumstances force girl and boy to realise the strenght of their feelings for each other
  • girl and boy live happily ever after

(you don’t need the bullet points, that’s just to help show what we mean here).

Once you’ve completed all of that, click ‘Add’.

A new column will be created to the right of your main plot (and any other subplots).

To begin with, your subplot events are unassigned, so they are all placed at the top, in a special row called ‘Unassigned plot events’.

See the section below called ‘Subplot Events’ for more info on how to work with these.

Editing and Hiding Subplots

To edit a subplot’s description or assigned colour, hover over the subplot header and click on the context menu which appears.

Click ‘edit’ and you can make changes to both these things.

If you want to temporarily hide a subplot, but not delete it, you can also do this via the hover context menu.

Rearranging Subplots

Subplots can be rearranged into a different order.

Hover over the header, and click on the arrow buttons which appear to move the subplots right or left.

Creating a Subplot from a Plot Template

Rather than starting from scratch, you can use a plot template to give you an outline of your subplot, for example with a romance subplot.

To do this, click ‘+ Plot Template’.

Select one of the nine option and click it to view more details.

Click ‘Use this Plot Template’.

A new column will be created to the right of your main plot (and any other subplots) and it will be prefilled with subplot events for each of the beats in the template.

To begin with, your subplot events are unassigned, so they are all placed at the top, in a special row called ‘Unassigned plot events’.

See the section below called ‘Subplot Events’ for more info on how to work with these.

Subplot Events (moving, selecting multiple and editing)

To begin with, all new subplot events are added in a ‘holding’ row called Unassigned Subplot Events.

Drag and drop each of the subplot events downwards and drop it next to the appropriate scene (Index Card).

To select multiple subplot events, hold down CTRL as you click.

To edit a subplot event, double click on it. This will call up a popup where you can edit the title and description.

Note – you can choose to show or hide the subplot descriptions by using the button in the toolbar that looks like a paragraph (four horizontal lines).

Note – we are currently working on functionality to make the sorting and rearranging of subplot events much better, and hope to release this soon.

Character Viewpoints

As well as creating subplots, you can keep track of the different threads of your novel by displaying your Character Viewpoint Synopses.

The Character Viewpoint Synopses is a featuer of the Novel Factory which encourages you to follow the story through from the point of view of soe of your major supporting characters. This is completed within the character details of each character.

Once you have completed a Character Viewpoint Synopsis for a character, if you’d like to view it alongside your main plot and subplots, inthe Subplot Manager, then click ‘+Character Viewpoint’, which can be found towards teh top right in the Subplot Manager.

A popup will appear which allows you to select your character from a dropdown and assign them a colour in the Subplot Manager.

Once you’ve done this, click ‘+Character Viewpoint’.

A new column will be created to the right of your main plot (and any other subplots of charcater viewpoints) which shows your character viewpoint synopsis for each of the scenes.

Character Viewpoint Synopses can be removed from the Subplot Manager by hovering over the header and clicking ‘hide’.

They cannot be deleted from the Subplot Manager. If you hide them from here, they will still exist within the character details.

You can change the assigned colour of a Character Viewpoint Synopsis by hovering over the header, clicking the context meu button and choosing ‘edit’.

Adjusting the display of the Subplot Manager

Using the toolbar towards the top left of the Subplot Manager, you can adjust the size of the subplot cards and text.

The first slider adjusts the height of the cards.

The second slider adjusts the width of the cards.

The third slider adjusts the size of the text.

The fourth controller (a button, not a slider) dictates whether the subplot event descriptions are displayed or hidden.

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