To develop a system aimed at supporting fiction writers in composing a novel within a group.
Quillpal is a PHP driven website which allows users to help each other compose a fiction novel together. One person in the group can register on the website and become the project editor. They will be in control of rearranging and managing which submissions become part of the novel. The other users can then submit their work and provide feedback to others. With an archive system saving work whenever edits are made, the group can see how a submission has changed over time. These features come together to provide a solid foundation which can act as the focal point of a writing project. Being online, users can access it conveniently to participate at their leisure. The workflow the website encourages is simple. Users can make submissions which can then be commented on, modified and placed wherever is desired in relation to the submissions of others. Functionality is also straightforward. The text is stored in a MySQL database, and retrieved either directly in the PHP script or via AJAX requests. Some pages are also manipulated via jQuery to provide an SPA feel to parts of the site. Using a system based around feedback from others, tracking of how a user's work has changed in response to suggestions, and the ability to rearrange submissions, Quillpal can provide the tools needed to encourage and support group work.
The website provides the basic functionality needed to compose a project within a group. It allows for users to engage in discussion, respond to suggestions, and improve what they shared. The features of the website can now be extended to provide more options to users and improve their user experience.