I finished importing Sparrow King into Liquid Story Binder, and I have to say I’m quite impressed. I am going to be able to do a lot of things, more quickly and more thoroughly, than ever before.
Could I have done all this on paper? In Word? Yes, and I tried. I had no less than 20 files in my Sparrow King folder, comprising of the novel itself, individual chapters, character profiles, character interviews, outlines, random dialogue that came to me outside of the scenes I was working on, the original notes that spawned the book, culture breakdowns, languages, excel spreadsheets that tracked my progress, and a large image library of things I’d found that seemed to fit with the book. Most of these files are in Word, which doesn’t handle multiple windows well – at least, on my system – and I don’t have Excel set up on the laptop due to lack of space, meaning I couldn’t access those files while away from my office.
Liquid Story Binder (LSB from now on) does ALL these things, and more. I have a notecard feature that I can use for storyboarding, there’s a timeline feature that I can play with, color coding to my heart’s content.
On paper? I’ve done the paper thing, scribbling in pen or pencil, watching sketches blur and degrade over time, watching the paper tear and get worn, or losing it altogether. I still plan on having hard copy back-ups, but being able to play with my ideas as quickly as I can think – and type – them instead of physically writing is a huge improvement.
And to be able to see it all, at a glance, back and forth … wow … that will be swell.
There is a learning curve. I’m not pleased at how the program handles sub-files like the outline, graphics, timeline what-have-you. It likes to create individual sub-folders for each of these things, cluttering up the workspace.
Anywho, I’m babbling! I think I’m going to start porting over other documents – books I’ve begun, short stories, and I’m thinking of creating two additional books, one for Idea Scraps and one for what I currently call ‘Weird Nifties’, which are weird news and science items that catch my eye and might be made into something more. Once in there, I can search them, which is fantastic! No more hunting them down through endless paper books. ‘Course, I’ll still be writing them there, as I don’t have anything as nifty as a PDA, but still … yowza!
Like, right now, for instance, with regards to my 2YN class (working title Grave Robber), I’ve been thinking about the setting and realized that something I’d made up for an RPG several years back would be perfect. Do I know where the hell that is? No. I’m not even sure if it’s hard copy or file copy, which will mean time digging it up. But I will. With LSB, future stuff won’t suffer (as much) from that.
It will mean that I will be burning endless back-ups – I had a note-writing program that my Dad wrote for me a decade ago, handy little thing, but after computer move to computer move and my obsession with passwords in the day, I wasn’t able to retrieve that material ever again. Same happened to a journalling program. Just gone. *sigh*
Anyway, back to work for me! As I go through my first read, I’ll be entering the material into my timelines so I can go back after and move stuff around. Today wil lbe time-crunched, as Susanne is coming over for some computer help. It looks like she’s leaving her current place of work, which means I need to ride her ass to get back my cooking books that the Chef is using! Dude, blow your own paycheck and get to Chapters. Jeez!
PS: I feel cheated. I’ve got one of those vocabulary building 365-day desk calenders, and the entire week forthcoming contains words I already know. Wherewithal, rarified, gambit, disengenuous, grudging, … it finally gets interesting at ‘Lotusland’! ‘Bilious’ was nifty, and the expanded entry on the back has sparked an idea, so I’m keeping it.
PPS: After participating in a thread over at the ICC, I’m also going to play around with writing/organizing a cookbook. The Bare Bones Cooking Handbook (subtitle forthcoming!). I see it as 10 simple chapters, covering Pantry, Tools, Shopping, Flavors, Meat, Veggies, Starch, Liquids, Baking, and Eating, further broken down into Basic (the bulk of the section), Intermediate (a few) and Advanced (one, for illustration purposes). The first three chapters would cover what you need to get by, the next about making things taste good, the following basic techniques that can be used on anything, and the last covering, in a very general way, caloric needs, nutrients, and portion size. Trade paperback size, perhaps coil bound for easy reading and use in the kitchen, durable, unintimidating (in fact, an emphasis of removing the sense of cooking as ‘arcane’ or ‘difficult’, with colorful, poppy but clear presentation. Okay, I’m babbling again!