Liquid Story Binder video tutorials

Rosepetals over at Media through rose-tinted glasses has a series of video tutorials up about using Liquid Story Binder.

I haven’t watched all of them, but they are very well done, with good commentary and relaxing music to boot.  So if you like the video format, drop in and see what she has to offer.

Liquid Story Binder Tutorial Part 2b: Setting up to write for pantsers

By now, the pantsers will be champing at the bit.  “We just want to write!”

So let’s write.

To recap, you should have started by setting up the program to brainstorm your new idea.  But I know a lot of pantsers do minimal prep; they rely on serendipity to provide all the background details. (If you haven’t read the first two tutorials, I highly recommend you do; this tutorial is written assuming you have.)

Either way, you will probably need a place to store things that you don’t want to forget.  So go ahead and setup the brainstorming workplace as per the first tutorial; leave out the scenes list if you don’t use it, but at least have the builder and the scratchpad setup.  Use it as you write to quickly jot down inspiration and then flick right back to writing again.  Make sure you save the workspace, then close all the items except for the file listing.

The next thing you need to do is create a Planner.  Go into the Create menu and choose Create -> New Planner.  Call it “First draft of (my book title)”.  If the viewing pane is missing, press F1 until it appears.  Unlike previous tutorials, you will need this. Save this Workspace.

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Liquid Story Binder Tutorial Part 2a: Setting up to write for plotters

When you have completed as much of the brainstorming as you need to write the story, you need to set up LSB to suit your writing style.

This is where things get tricky; because there are a myriad of ways that you can turn your brainstorming into a list of book chapters.  This is both a positive and negative aspect of the program.  It allows you absolute freedom to work the way you want; but it also provides so many options that you can easily become overwhelmed.

In this tutorial, I am going to offer you a number of ways to work with the program, focusing on four different writing styles;

  1. The linear plotter (this is me)
  2. The non-linear plotter
  3. The linear pantser
  4. The non-linear pantser

I’ve had to split the tutorial up into two posts.  This post deals with plotters; Part 2b will deal with pantsers.

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Liquid Story Binder Tutorial Part 1: setting up for brainstorming

This is part 1 of my tutorial on using Liquid Story Binder (LSB) my way.  I’m writing it to give you tips on using this complicated but useful program, and also as an illustration of the way I work.

If you look at the picture in this post, you can see how I work with pen and paper.  It’s a fairly simple system, but I end up with a lot of notes, pads and cards scattered across the desk while I’m working.  I have tried numerous writing programs in the past, but they don’t work for me, because I still end up with masses of notes (which I consistently lose) while the bulk of the text is in the writing program.

When I read about LSB, I thought I might have finally found a program that suits the way I work.   Because LSB is basically a folder (binder for the US readers) only electronic.  You have the facility to store everything; notes, characters, chapters, worldbuilding, scenes, all linked and related and easy to find.

Unfortunately, the program itself is not intuitive and has a steep learning curve.  And for some reason the designers opted for confusing and non-intuitive names for things.  Planners?  Not what you think.  Builders?  Sequences and storyboards?  What’s the difference?  Dossiers, listings, galleries, images, mindmaps!  The possibilities are endless, but opening the program for the first time is overwhelming.

But it’s worth persevering with.  It really is.

There are tutorials, and I learned a lot from them, but I still had to sit back and think about the program, work out how to use it to my advantage.  This series of tutorials is the result.

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