Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just Getting Started with Liquid Story Binder XE

How's everyone's writing going? Thought I'd ask first, since the rest of the post probably only applies to those who are trying to figure out Liquid Story Binder.

My writing is going great. This story seems to be a "gift," one of those stories that's practically writing itself. I even feel like I can't put it down, which is something I've never felt when writing. I keep wanting to write so I can read more of the story, LOL.

On to Liquid Binder: y'all are having as much trouble as I was yesterday. It's a steep learning curve to figure out Liquid Binder. It has its own logic, though.

It seems everything is thought of with Liquid Binder. If you want it to do something, you just have to go looking for it, LOL. If something annoys you, you have to go find a fix. It's tricky to figure out, but they seemed to have thought of every possible thing a writer could want.

The number of features, however, is overwhelming, even if they are everything a writer could want, LOL.

So since a few of you are asking me questions, this is what I've figured out so far:

The tutorials are much better than the help file in figuring things out.

I'm figuring out only a little a day, using one more feature each day, so it doesn't cut into my writing time.

I'm no expert, but hopefully this will answer some of the questions:

I found the example book to be worthless in helping me figure things out, but everyone learns in a different way. I just opened my own book and imported my document, then split it into scenes. When I'm done writing, Liquid Story Binder XE will "Build Manuscript" and put it back together.

In the meantime, I save each scene with a number and descriptive title, like: 1 Hero and Heroine Meet. 2 Evil Monster Comes and Kidnaps Him. 3 Heroine rescues Hero.

This way, I can go to "Files -> View Files," and the file list will look like my outline. (Super Notecard does this sort of thing better.) I pants, but I like to have an outline "behind" me. And I don't want to be bothered with manually making an outline, either. :-)

The "Files -> View Files" thing lists all your files--you just have to click on the little squares on the right and you can find every one of your files. When you click on "Library" and open your book, nothing will appear unless you manually open it from the "View Files" section.

The first thing I did was import my document and set up the full-screen writing mode.  Once I adjusted the margins (before you right-click and select full-screen, drag the window wider and move the ruler things up top of your document) and fixed the colors and fonts, I got to writing.

I did start to play with using its outline feature, but I like my "View Files" system better: less work for me.

Today I'm learning how to set session goals. I do have a daily word count goal that I like to keep track of, so I love this feature.

Other than that, you have to create a new everything under "Create." You can have the program memorize the "Workspace" you prefer: I like to have my current chapter, a single picture, and the File Listing open at the same time.

I haven't explored the many other features it offers. If I tried to figure it all out in a day, I wouldn't get any writing done. :-)

The other great feature is the "Repetition Visualizer" under "Tools" of your document. (Not under the main "Tools.") It highlights the words you tend to repeat. Love that feature!

So for the few of you trying to figure it out, what have you discovered? What have you played with? I'm not sure what to explore next. I almost threw it away yesterday afternoon, that's how tricky it was for me to figure out!

7 bonus scribbles:

Melanie Avila 7/19/2008 08:23:00 PM  

My writing's picking up, thanks for asking, lol. I'm finally getting to the part I've been looking forward to for over a month. Things are really happening now!

Good luck figuring out Liquid Story. :)

Eric Mayer,  7/19/2008 09:17:00 PM  

I downloaded it and it looks neat but I haven't had a chance to tinker. I'm in one of those self-employed good/bad times. Good to be overwhelmed with work but bad because...well, I can't even play with software. Back to legal writing....

spyscribbler 7/19/2008 09:52:00 PM  

Aimless, first you want to "Create New Book" if you haven't already.

Then, if it's a Word doc, you have to re-save it as a .rtf or .txt file. (Just click "save as" in Word. .rtf is best, because it will save your formatting.)

Then, in LSB XE, click "Library" and then "Import Document." Then your file will be visible and you can select it.

I think it will then automatically open, but if not, click "Open -> Select Chapter" or "Files -> View Files" and then click on your document.

Here's a tutorial that probably explains it better than me. :-)

Good luck!

Heather Harper 7/19/2008 10:11:00 PM  

I have not imported files yet, but I have imported images. I love the image library and dossier. I've been tinkering with that so far. But thanks much for sharing what you've figured out. :-)

spyscribbler 7/20/2008 12:34:00 AM  

Ooh, Heather, what's the Dossier? That sounds cool, like some spy file. How intriguing! I think that'll be first up for me tomorrow!

spyscribbler 7/20/2008 12:35:00 AM  

Melanie, that's awesome! See, I just skip to the good parts. You're so patient!

Eric, that is cool. I could use one of those times about now. Well, actually, if I had any more to do in the next week, I'd fall apart. But I'd like that problem this fall, please.