I’ve found yet another great class of software that makes writing easier: Genealogy software. In the stories, there’s a giant number of characters, and obviously, also a giant number of relations between the characters.
One of the great big stumbling blocks of the real-world specialist software is that it doesn’t really lend itself all too well on use with fictional worlds. Luckily, the folks of Avarthrel have same number of months per year and days per month as we here do, but how would the calendar systems deal with years in four different ages of year-keeping? (Look, I’m not a really gigantic Tolkien fan, but in every good fantasy setting, people reset their calendars all the time when something big happens. Or just if the King happens to walk over to the other side of the river. =)
In this case, the software seems to work perfectly so far, however. The software does, however, cause a few problems from the narrative point of view. Consider, for example, how I started writing stuff about an adventuring company based in Anchorfall…
Owned by four generations of Sandbrooks, a family of people with strong innate magical abilities, usually inherited strongest on the maternal side.
…and then I spend next eight hours (I think I’m not kidding) digging through (read: coming up with) the Sandbrook family history. Well, we may not know much yet about the famed long-standing mercenary company with magical and mysterious founders and proprietors, but I sure as heck know who the current owner’s great-grandmother was!
I currently have a rather vague idea on how to handle raw historical data. I have a hand-edited master timeline, and I’m supposed to keep together a small list of important dates for the character in question. I may be able to solve a part of this mess through a mysterious GEDCOM-to-MediaWiki-messuppery-bot, but I really need to figure out how to handle historical references that don’t necessarily concern with any people in the notes. Perhaps I’ll throw together a giant mess soon.