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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