1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Planting Artificial Family Trees

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by OberonLordofSylva, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    136
    66
    28
    So my main series centers around a family called the House of Weiss. The lineage is simple enough, until you get to the half-siblings, test tube babies, kids from the future, and not quite dead ancestors. What I need is an app of some kind that will let me build fake family trees, preferably for free. Any suggestions?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Sage

    224
    272
    63
    Genealogy J. Works well, and you can import and export trees in the standard GEDCOM file format.
     
    S.T. Ockenner and CupofJoe like this.
  3. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Sage

    210
    213
    43
    I've tried looking for them and...never had much luck. Everything cost money, had limits, or put stuff in a format that wasn't very future-proof. What I've had luck with is using "smart art" in Word. Here is a screencap of part of the tree I made and how it looks "in text." There's ways to do it top-down and to have weird little spurs, too. You type things into the pane and use tab/shift tab to go left/right for each "layer" of the tree. You can also change the colors of the boxes, make the boxes different shapes, bold/italicize/format the text. This is a feature that's been available in word for a really long time, so it's not going to go anywhere anytime soon. Since you have weird things like people from the future and test tube babies*, I don't think a "regular" family tree built for the real world will give you the options you need. But since smart art isn't meant to do this, it's meant to just make graphics for business stuff, you can make it fit what you need.

    *idk how you're defining this. I am a "test tube baby" in the literal sense but that doesn't make me weird, different, or otherwise screws up my family's genealogy. But if you mean that this is a person that was made without 2 genetic donors and were otherwise cloned/engineered, then maybe use a different term? In Brave New World they used "bottle baby" since the fetuses were grown in bottles so they could be "conditioned" to thrive in certain conditions and to factory-ize the production of humans.
     
    S.T. Ockenner and A Pineapple like this.
  4. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    136
    66
    28
    By 'test-tube baby" I just mean "artificial child" or "child of science". Clones, living weapons, and backup bodies are covered under that definition. I also have a character called Skadi who is a reincarnation of her own mother whose body had been possessed by a dark goddess. Something convoluted like that can't really be drawn in a family tree, so what would you guys recommend? I don't have Microsoft Word, so I use Google Docs for all my notes
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

    597
    500
    93
    Look into mind-mapping software. There's a few good online ones for free. I think you can do something like what ChasejxyzChasejxyz suggests in them as well
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  6. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    136
    66
    28
    What is mind-mapping software? Please explain in the simplest terms possible, I am autistic and very bad with tech
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  7. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Sage

    224
    272
    63
    Mind mapping is a way of organising information in diagramatical form. It can be a very powerful tool, but its way more than you need to draw a family tree. There are some very good mind mappoing software packages out there, thoight they're mostly not free, but if you're not very technical then they're likely to be too complex for you. As I wrote above, I'd use family tree software for what you're trying to do, and I'd suggest Genealogy J.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  8. Toby Johnson

    Toby Johnson Minstrel

    92
    38
    18
    i use worldanvil to keep score of my family trees in fantasy
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  9. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    136
    66
    28
    I've been thinking about switching to WorldAnvil. Does it cost anything, or does it work like Duolingo where most of it is free but you get some passive goodies if you subscribe? Also, is it fine-tuned for traditional fantasy or is every subgenre welcome?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  10. Carol

    Carol Scribe

    38
    50
    18
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  11. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,911
    354
    83
    Free, but you get extra stuff if you pay. And it can be done for literally any genre, but it is geared slightly more towards Fantasy.
     
  12. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Troubadour

    136
    66
    28
    I'd gladly switch over to Worldanvil, but I did some research and it turns out the free version is public. Money is tight right now, and I truly believe I'm sitting on a fantasy goldmine. So I ask you, what exactly does "public" entail?
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  13. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,911
    354
    83
    People can see articles and family trees and whatnot that you publish, and read about your world.
     

Share This Page