I’ve started fiddling with a variation on outlining in Devonthink.
Imagine a MindNode mind map of the Hero’s Journey, or whatever beat sheet you want to start with for describing your plot. It’s just a starting point, not manacles.
Each node’s link points to a Devonthink tag of the same name as the node. Now you’ve got a nice clean 10,000 foot overview of your story. Click on a node, MindNode opens up the tag, showing you a focussed view of just what counts for that point in the story.
For extra hipster points, set the script for each of those tags to the transclusion script discussed elsewhere in this forum. Set the view mode to unsorted and drag the members of the tags to an order that makes sense.
Now when you click on a node in the mind map, you get a live compilation of the ideas that contribute to that point in the story as well as a focussed view of the ideas that matter. If something doesn’t fit, don’t delete it, just de-tag it so you can re-use it later.
Devonthink’s documents become a repository of ideas, tagged to appear in the story beats where they belong. The mind map is an overview and a table of contents into selected (tagged) Devonthink documents… It’s probably not strictly necessary to have that view, but it’s encouraging.
If you want to change the order of chapters in the mind map, drag them around in the mind map. You may decide the order of the tags in Devonthink isn’t really important if the mind map is your table of contents.
If you decide the Hero’s Journey isn’t so hot, make a second mind map with whatever structure you want. If you use new tags for the new mind map to point to, you can go back to the Hero’s Journey if you want. No ideas lost, no structure lost.
It’s so hip I found myself considering a man bun and skinny jeans. But I don’t fit in skinny jeans and my Joe Friday buzz cut just doesn’t make a credible man bun.
But the outlining idea seems to work and it’s a natural thing to save the MindNode documents in the Devonthink database so everything is wrapped up in a nice package.
Another idea is block out a story with shapes in OmniGraffle, each shape’s programmable action set to open a Devonthink link when clicked.