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Old 10-05-2012, 04:50 AM   #259
Bookmaker & Cat Slave
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Originally Posted by BookCat View Post
This discussion is fascinating me regarding the software - LSB - which the parties are talking about. Differing points of view are always very helpful to any prospective purchaser.
Well, I for one am definitely interested to know if there are things in LSB I'm missing, or if there are faster, better ways to do the glitchy (to my way of thinking) things I've described. I'm accustomed, as I stated, to using the Document Map in Word, which allows me to reorder things instantly, from both a logical and visual aspect. I don't ever have to think about numbering (granted, coming from a background in which I created very long legal documents for the hotel projects I built, yes, this matters to me more than the average person, but we see books in here every single day with mis-numbered chapters, either missing numbers or dupes. With document map, that never happens, because Word does the numbering for you).

I don't understand why the developer would not make the Chapter reordering (or scene, whatever) in the visual uses (the Storyboards/Sequences) not automatically synch, upon request, with the existing typed chapters. This, to me, is utterly illogical. The point of software is to do automatedly what we used to do by hand. IF I'm correct, and the Storyboard only allows you to re-order the chapter HEADERS and then output them to a new Builder, then I don't see the point. All it does, it seems, is allow one to sit there with a picture that depicts a scene and a chapter title, and move the "scenes" around like Scrabble tiles--and then you can either a) output the reordered chapter TITLES to a new Builder (and then manually Associate those chapter titles/names to the actual, typed chapter, one at a time), or just sit there in the existing Planner or Builder (or Outline) and click the up and Down arrows to reorder the chapters the way you've now re-envisioned them in the Storyboard. I'm sorry, but that seems terminally DUMB to me. How hard would it have been to have a "synch to matching chapter heads" function, so that the author wouldn't have to do all that work? This basically already works in Planners; you type a chapter name, and when you double-click it, if there's a matching chapter, it auto-populates. But NOT in a Builder, which is where you output the re-ordered chapter titles TO. I don't get that.

Like I said--and I wish I still had YWriter on my laptop; I had it in there with a 60K word story I abandoned, but not knowing I was going to have this dicussion, I nuked it. In YWriter, as long as you set the timeframes for the scenes, it calculates where the characters are at any given time FOR you. LSB, you have to re-input all that data into the "timeline" function.

I actually asked for (and I don't remember why) the contrast function. You can create two lists, and, well, contrast them. I think at the time, I thought it might be useful for "before" and "after," or good v. evil, or something like that, but basically, it's a two-column table, into which you can type text. That's all it is. I can do that in OneNote just as rapidly.

I have created a Builder recently, and when I think of bits of this and that, or the opening for a scene, or a story, I type it in a builder item, but honestly, it's mostly to convince myself that I'm using LSB for something. As I have OneNote open all the time (for phone call message to me), I could do that in there, also, probably faster than in LSB, and with greater ease--a notebook with "story ideas," one to a "page," or bits of dialogue or a scene...whatever.

As I stated up top, I would truly like to know if there are faster ways this works. I'd like to know what it does that is so fantastic, that some people swear by it. I am the first to say, as I think I have, that if you use a lot of visual aids, I guess it may be very helpful. I do use some photos from time to time, but not as heavily as many people, I'd guess. I am a total software hound--I buy and try software like crazy, always looking for something cool or useful--but LSB kind of burned me on "writing software," because after trying it, and having "heard" that it's "much like Scrivener," which seems to be the "cool kids' toy," I've decided that maybe writing software is just not for me. I find LSB to have a lot of distractions, and create a lot of "time-burning," (like the storyboards, spending a ton of time deciding on a background image and colors for the setup, creating galleries that are supposed to "inspire" you, creating journals for your "characters," etc. etc. etc.), during which I could actually be working. it feels frivolous, to me. Like it spends more time on the frillery and foofery and less on the WORK of writing. Now, lots of other people may ignore all that, or, hell, doing all that may inspire them and get them writing. We all know that writers all work differently. This last part, about time-burning, etc., is simply how it seems to me. It's not a discussion of anyone else's work habits or or suggestion of a lack thereof.

I guess what aggravates me is that it does not feel like it takes writing seriously, and the stuff it does easily (like making galleries or creating pretty backgrounds or making pretty storyboards) isn't the stuff that people need to get work DONE, like, the ability to reorder stuff in a storyboard and then output a reordered manuscript. At its heart, and I know I said this all before, it's a DB with some RTF files and some images--that's it. I just don't think it would have been that hard for the developer to go the extra step to add the type of computerized, software-based actual functionality to it to avoid these repetitive steps. I also know that the Yahoo group is decidedly slower than it was when I first started two years ago, which either means that ALL the new users are way smarter than those who came before them, or that there are very few new users. I suspect it's the latter, now that Scrivener has a PC-version, and that's not a good sign for the future, but that's a very loose deduction on my part.

So, if I'm wrong about all these functions, I genuinely would like to know it. I'd love to love my software again.

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