If you've ever written a novel, short story, nonfiction book, or screenplay, you know that there is more to your work than just the words on the page. There are characters or people to keep track of, timelines, associated facts, scenes, and much, much more. In fact, the amount of work that goes into creating a literary work is so enormous that it becomes unwieldy--several of the best-selling authors fill up three or four notebooks or mountains of notecards to keep track of plots and subplots, who knew what when, and everything else that goes into making your writing consistent.
If you have ever tried to write in Microsoft Word or another word processing program, you know that there's no way to organize and associate files under each other, except by combining them with a database, and that requires sophisticated programming skills that many writers have never developed. So you end up with a desktop full of open windows or notebooks or notecards scattered everywhere, and pretty soon you can't remember which pile the thing you need is buried under!
Now there is a new software product that will make your life so much easier. This is Liquid Story Binder XE. I must warn you that there is a very steep learning curve associated with this product, and after a year of using it I have not fully understood all the features, but I am writing a series of four nonfiction books and frankly don't know how I would live without this software. It organizes everything into one convenient place and provides for associations between lists, outlines, scenes, timelines, chapters, character dossiers, mindmaps, and much more. But the best best thing about Liquid Story Binder XE is that it can adapt itself to the way you write.
I am writing a nonfiction historical book for children, so I'll give my example. I have used the "Planner" feature to list everything I need--the biographies and the facts about the various countries people lived in. Now, when I am researching, if I find a picture of someone mentioned in the book, I can add it as a link to the chapter about that person. If that person was a composer, I can add a link to the music they composed so it is associated with the chapter. I can make up timelines, family trees, organize chapters by time period or country, and even have mind maps showing where chapters are in the stage of completion. I have the chapters in order in the Planner, and work on them as information becomes available.
In addition, I have a timeline showing birth and death dates and other important dates of each person. I can make notes about each person and associate them with that person's chapter, or create a whole dossier. So when I am finished writing about that person, I have everything I need all in one place--timeline, dossier, chapter, additional notes, references, pictures, and music--ready to go.
Another feature that I use is the writing goals. I am writing a novel and my goal is 1500 words a day. With the writing goal feature it's easy to see when I have reached that goal and can stop for the day.
The organizational features of this program are outstanding, but what is more, you receive lifetime free upgrades and free technical support. I upgraded recently from an older version, and the software lost my old key. I emailed the developer and an hour later had my new key in email!
There is a Yahoo! group that supports the software, and the developer is active on the group and answers questions about using the software, bugs, and whether requested features are able to be implemented. Some users have even started blogs and websites to help you discover which features are going to be useful to you, and how to find them and use them effectively.
And as if this isn't enough to sell you, there is a free, full-feature thirty-day trial. So head on over to the Liquid Story Binder XE site and try a copy for yourself. If it doesn't organize your writing better than anything else you have tried, you can simply uninstall the software (but I highly recommend it!).
Amazon Price: $58.00 $55.10 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 26, 2014)
Getting Started with Liquid Story Binder XE
The Best YouTube Channel for Understanding the Software
The person who created the video above has done a remarkable job in walking newbies to the program through all the features and how to use them. Give this amazing tool a try for your writing, and you will be astounded at what you can do! I highly recommend that you subscribe to this YouTube channel, and watch all the videos on this program.