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December 4

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Building Short Stories with Liquid Story Binder XE

by Ann-Kat

Liquid Story Binder XE (LSBXE) is a fine piece of software for writers. It allows you to organize your thoughts and notes, helps you create your story whether an instructional manual or novel, and then compile it all when you’re done.

Recently, I’ve shifted gears. After finishing about 98% of my novel, I’m taking a breather so I can let my mind recuperate. During that time, I’m focused more on writing short stories and I’ve discovered one great feature of LSBXE that helps me churn them out: Builders.

Before we delve into Builders, we must go back a little and review how I organize my work. (The need for this slight deviation should become clear as we progress.)

1: The Setup

LSBXE allows you to create Books. I’ve created a Book aptly titled ‘Short Stories’. This allows me to keep my short story writing separate from any items I happen to be working on.

If you’re already lost, I recommend reading the following tutorials before continuing: Library Tutorial and How to Create a Planner or read my previous tutorial How to Use LSBXE for Your NaNoWriMo Novel which covers the basics.

2: The Organizing

Once upon a time, I created a new Planner for each short story, but I’ve revised this thinking. Instead, I now see my short stories as part of an anthology. Thus, I create an umbrella Planner for each body of stories.

For example ‘Fantasy’. All my fantasy short stories will go in that Planner.

Short Stories Planner

My only exception now is when I’m certain I’m planning an entire series of short stories with the same characters.

Then, for each new story I plan to write, I create a new Planner Item. This is simple enough to do by selecting “Create -> New Item” from the Planner window.

3: The Building

With my Short Stories book and my anthological Planner, it’s time to start building each story.

Builders are very much like Planners on a smaller scale, for fine tuning scenes within chapters. At least, that’s how I see them.

Using one of my recent short stories, I created the new Planner Item and named it after my short story: For the Sake of Love. Then, from the Planner window, I selected “Create -> New Builder“.

When the Builder opened, I was then able to separate the overall story into four parts. (I asked myself, what’s happening in this story and where does it happen? From my answer, I realized there were going to be four scenes.)

I was then able to write the story in its individual parts: Bus Ride, Arrival, Beach, and Suicide. When each of the scenes were complete, I allowed LSBXE to compile them into the whole story for me (as a Chapter in the Planner). That was accomplished by selecting “Builder -> Build All Items“.

Short Stories Builder

Of course, some stories don’t need a Builder because they happen in one area and this is only one use for the Builder. You can use them to help you build the more involved chapters of your novel. But I hope I helped to get the creative cogs turning in your mind.

Comments on Building Short Stories with Liquid Story Binder XE

  1. # srse wrote on December 4, 2008 at 11:50 pm:

    Short and to the point. I really like your idea of organizing the stories. Will try it out with LSB. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

  2. # Ann-Kat wrote on December 5, 2008 at 12:15 am:

    My pleasure. Glad it could help. Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

  3. # Corey S wrote on December 5, 2008 at 6:23 am:

    Well done description!… And it’s nice to see LSBXE getting some more appreciation. There really is nothing like it, and it only takes people like yourself to make others see that!

  4. # Ann-Kat wrote on December 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm:

    Thanks for the kind words, Corey. I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment and I truly am glad to help.

    LSBXE is a great piece of software and I can only hope to help send more people their way.

  5. # Steve wrote on December 28, 2008 at 12:06 pm:

    Hi Ann,

    Thank you so much for your tutorials. I’ve just downloaded LSBXE and I’ve spent a happy six hours working with it.

    Your tutorials have helped to demystify LSBXE for me. Thanks once again :) .

  6. # Valerie Bower wrote on January 24, 2009 at 11:40 pm:

    I have to tell you that I’ve had LSBXE for about 6 months and just couldn’t understand how to use it. After finding your two posts, I’ve now got it set up for 2 stories. I am so happy that your posts were easy to understand, because I really felt this was a good software, but I couldn’t get it to work. Thanks for helping me! I wonder if you could take some more of the tutorials and post about them! Thanks again!

  7. # And So Begins NaNoWriMo… - Today, I Wrote… wrote on November 4, 2009 at 11:26 am:

    [...] doing things a bit differently by incorporating Builders. The reason is that this time around, I’ve actually prepared a mind map for this particular [...]

  8. # Quiet, Read-a-Thon, NaNoWriMo, and Changes wrote on October 9, 2010 at 3:19 pm:

    [...] Again I plan to use the Liquid Story Binder software. (Jesse might even give the same 50% discount throughout the month of November that he did last year, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to set your sights on it.) Although I have a fairly good system worked out for new novels, I’m planning to tweak that system to incorporate more Builders (which I absolutely love for writing short stories). [...]

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