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Old 09-18-2018, 08:48 AM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Quoll Writer advice sought

I'm having some trouble using Quoll Writer for scenes. It appears that the chapter is the smallest unit of text available. I have tried to use chapters as scenes, but I'm not sure how to combine them into chapters. Has anyone else encountered this? If so, how did you resolve this issue from within QW? Is exporting them to MS Word or Libre Office the only option?

Otherwise, I still prefer writing in QW more than any other Authorship type software I've encountered.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:39 AM   #2
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I have not tried to install this yet, but I had browsed the online manual. (I wanted to know if its editor implemented styles - to which the answer seems to be "no".) It appears that QW wants to create scenes as must markers within the chapter.

While it should be theoretically possible to export and merge scenes into chapters outside QW, that seems like rather a PITA to me.

Have you looked at yWriter? It focuses on scenes.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:53 AM   #3
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I have not tried to install this yet, but I had browsed the online manual. (I wanted to know if its editor implemented styles - to which the answer seems to be "no".) It appears that QW wants to create scenes as must markers within the chapter.

While it should be theoretically possible to export and merge scenes into chapters outside QW, that seems like rather a PITA to me.

Have you looked at yWriter? It focuses on scenes.
I have tried yWriter but, I don't know, it seemed so 'fiddly' to me. I'm giving WriteWay a 2nd try as it addresses the scene vs chapter issue. It feels a bit less complicated than yWriter, though it is far from perfect.

For instance, I'm not really happy with how it handles location as a separate logical object that can be linked to chapters, characters, etc. the way QW does. It's just a note entered into a scene, and can't be linked to other objects in the outline.

As a writing environment, Quoll Writer is perfect for me, it's the detailed organizational issues I'm having trouble with.

I don't think of those 'must markers' are the equivalent of treating scenes as a building block of the chapter, more of a marker to say a certain scene should go "here". Useful, I guess to some people, but not to me.

Maybe I should write in QW, and import into WW!

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 09-18-2018 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Added comments about must markers.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:07 AM   #4
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I know what you mean about yWriter, I had the same reaction. What gets in my way with almost all this software is that I don't like their text editors - so I still use LibreOffice. If I was pushed to use something specialised, at the moment my choice would be Scrivener ... but it's still not what I really want.

One day I'm going to write my own writing software. For another project I gained access to HTML WYSIWYG editor component that looks like just what I want to let me implement a styles based editor. The rest should be easy! (cough, cough, splutter, splutter).
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Old 09-19-2018, 05:56 AM   #5
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I know what you mean about yWriter, I had the same reaction. What gets in my way with almost all this software is that I don't like their text editors - so I still use LibreOffice. If I was pushed to use something specialised, at the moment my choice would be Scrivener ... but it's still not what I really want.

One day I'm going to write my own writing software. For another project I gained access to HTML WYSIWYG editor component that looks like just what I want to let me implement a styles based editor. The rest should be easy! (cough, cough, splutter, splutter).
Have you tried Liquid Story Binder ?
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:35 AM   #6
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Have you tried Liquid Story Binder ?
Ah, the glitziest of the glitzy. The writer's most complete procrastination collection all in one product. And it still doesn't have a proper styles based editor.

More seriously: I did look at it, but this was some years ago - I can't remember the version number off-hand. It really was fancy, and it really was feature rich (might we say overload?), but when it came down to it I thought it ran short against yWriter for ease of getting started, and also short against the Windows version of Scrivener (which is/was well behind the Mac version at the time I was looking at these last) for both ease of getting started and practical day to day use. It seemed to me that with LSB there was too much emphasis on all the bits around writing, and not enough on the basics of actually writing. ... But, as I said, that assessment is some years old now, LSB may have improved.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:37 AM   #7
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Liquid Story Binder looks interesting to me.

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Ah, the glitziest of the glitzy. The writer's most complete procrastination collection all in one product. And it still doesn't have a proper styles based editor.

More seriously: I did look at it, but this was some years ago - I can't remember the version number off-hand. It really was fancy, and it really was feature rich (might we say overload?), but when it came down to it I thought it ran short against yWriter for ease of getting started, and also short against the Windows version of Scrivener (which is/was well behind the Mac version at the time I was looking at these last) for both ease of getting started and practical day to day use. It seemed to me that with LSB there was too much emphasis on all the bits around writing, and not enough on the basics of actually writing. ... But, as I said, that assessment is some years old now, LSB may have improved.
I took a look at it and noted it is for sale at half price, $22.98 (USD). It is overwhelming with all those floating popup windows! However I do notice that it addresses most of my complaints about the others.
  • It's a fairly good writing environment. (not perfect, but usable)
  • While it claims to be a Chapters based environment, there is a tutorial that shows how to work with Scenes that seems do-able without being irritating.
  • I don't think it's any less 'fiddly' than yWriter, though those 'floating' windows are intimidating.

I also note there are some older video tutorials on YouTube that seem useful.

I don't know, I've downloaded the free trial, I'll probably spend the day with this software trying to get used to it. I hope I like it well enough to pay for it at the reduced price. (I'm a sucker for half priced offers, pathetic, I know)

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 09-19-2018 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Punctuation is my weakness
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Old 09-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #8
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[...] (I'm a sucker for half priced offers, pathetic, I know)
We all are, that's why they do it. (And when I say "they", I have to include me too, because I have at times sold my books at half-price to try and garner the attention of suckers like myself. )
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:23 PM   #9
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GMW, just a heads up . . .

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We all are, that's why they do it. (And when I say "they", I have to include me too, because I have at times sold my books at half-price to try and garner the attention of suckers like myself. )
I'm not going to list any of the cool stuff I find in LSB one at a time, I will probably do a proper review of it at some point, once I have decided what to do with it.

However, I wanted to let you know that it can invoke an external editor (I have MS Word set up) for the actual writing, and as long as you don't change the location of where the file is saved, it appears to be integrated into the greater management environment.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:07 PM   #10
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Thanks, that is very interesting to know. Sounds like it may be worth another look some time.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:15 AM   #11
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I was supposed to be working, but your comment had me wondering, so I did a little more investigation...

Please be aware that LSB has not been updated in over 7 years*. This is something I think you should know before parting with your money. If the software does everything you want this might not be a problem, but after a 7 year hiatus I would not be expecting to see updates.

As far as I can see the external editor stuff will only be effective if you retain the RTF file format for your chapters, and that seems to preclude any chance of proper styles based editing. (Apparently RTF supports style-sheets but I've never seen it implemented effectively.)


* The executable is dated Feb 2011, and is identical to the executable I downloaded 6 years ago so it's not just a date glitch - hard to believe it was that long ago that I looked at this last.

Last edited by gmw; 09-20-2018 at 02:50 AM. Reason: correction regarding RTF styles.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:45 AM   #12
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I was supposed to be working, but your comment had me wondering, so I did a little more investigation...

* The executable is dated Feb 2011, and is identical to the executable I downloaded 6 years ago so it's not just a date glitch - hard to believe it was that long ago that I looked at this last.
Yeah, I've in a bit of a quandary about it. I "kinda" like it. How it handles characters, locations, AND all those essential little things that seem unique to a specific story is nothing short of brilliant.

The old software developer in me is very impressed with the whole package overall. It's logical and functional, and seems to work well, no glitches of any sort so far. I can sort of see what the developer did and why he/she made many of the choices he/she did; and for the most part, they seem logical and correct to me. (though of course I can't evaluate the underlying code)

The writing environment is quite good compared to the freebie competition. I would classify it easily as good as Quoll Writer for writing. EDIT: After pursuing my story with it this afternoon, It's WAY better!

It IS intimidating with all those floating windows, but I was able to get functional with it after about 3 hours with it. That's about the same as with yWriter.

BUT-It does seem to be 'almost abandonware' that we are expected to pay for. User Reviews and mentions of it seem to stop after about 2014.

I really love its elegance and functionality, but I don't love how it is being ignored (maybe cost effective ongoing support would require a rewrite that wouldn't pay for itself in sales, great software can still be too expensive to support!)

I would say that I could NOT recommend paying full price for this product. That the half price offer is its 'natural' market price compared to the competition, both free and commercial. I think software junkies and the terminally curious who write would love it.

Writing this response helped me sort out my feelings about this software, I think I'm going to buy it, at half price, naturally.

Last edited by GlenBarrington; 09-20-2018 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 09-20-2018, 09:42 AM   #13
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One of the things I did like about LSB is that it can be used portably - you don't actually have to install it. That is not only convenient, it speaks for the external simplicity (lack of OS configuration dependencies) which - I think - makes for good software. (Not all software can get away with it, but that which can, should.)

The fact that it runs okay under Windows 10 would seem to suggest it should continue to work for several more years even without developer support. If you do take the plunge, good luck with it.
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Old 09-21-2018, 10:46 AM   #14
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One of the things I did like about LSB is that it can be used portably - you don't actually have to install it. That is not only convenient, it speaks for the external simplicity (lack of OS configuration dependencies) which - I think - makes for good software. (Not all software can get away with it, but that which can, should.)

The fact that it runs okay under Windows 10 would seem to suggest it should continue to work for several more years even without developer support. If you do take the plunge, good luck with it.
O.M.G. LSBXE, the memories. I tried this YEARS ago, and it was damn near abandonware, then. If you stick with it, you'll find many things that are just useless about it. Much of it is glitz and gloss, and not actual functionality.

I said this before here, and someone jumped down my throat--I think that LSB excels at making people FEEL like they're "real writers," with all the shiny. But the reality is, you can do pretty much everything you do in LSB far more easily using Word. That's the truth. The storyline timeliner is utterly and completely worthless--the YWriter timeliner is the best in the business, period. (I'm NOT affiliated with anything I discuss here.) While in Ywriter you can just write your scenes, and put down who is in what scene, etc., set the times, and YWriter does all the heavy lifting for you, LSB basiclaly is static--YOU have to put everyting in to it, manually. If you move a scene, oh, too bad, you'll have to redo EVERYTHING in LSB.

The storyboarder is also worthless--you can't create an outline, for example, in one module, and then have it automagically set up the storyboard for you, awaiting images. Nope...it's do it again time. So, set up your outline in the outline module, or your chapters over here, etc., and then do it all over again, in the storyboarder. Change those up, in the outline module? Tough bananas, redo it manually in the storyboarder.

I and several others tried to create a wiki, to create documentation on 'How to" for LSB, but when the developer basically walked away from updating it, well, that was that.

YWriter is woefully underappreciated, to be honest. It's not "pretty" like Scrivener or LSB, it doesn't sit there and stroke anyone's ego. It doesn't have a "put your favorite music here" section. It doesn't have an "inspiration board" or any of that, but it bygod has the nuts and bolts. You can list locations, objects (cars and other items that are always getting lost in stories, about which you invariably read here and there, how a car is at location X in chapter 2 and magically at location Y in chapter 3, with no explanation for how it got where...); the timeliner is first class. You can work in scenes--in fact, that's how YWriter works, is in scenes.

I think that folks get intimdated by Ywriter. It looks not-pretty, and confusing, at first, so they give up. It's a shame, because I've literally used every single type of writing software out there (we have to test everything, because we get everything from Word files to Pages to RTFs to Powerpoint to Scriv to younameit files), including programs that probably 90% of the writing community have never heard of--and of all of them, pound for pound--completely IGNORING MONEY, mind you--YWriter simply does the MOST of any of them. Sure, it doesn't have the "corkboard" effect of Scrivener--but it has the same functionality. Honestly, I think that Scrivener is MORE confusing than YWriter, but Scrivener is also quite glitzy.

Once you spend a day or two with it, Ywriter is really quite simple to use. You want complex, hell, try Power Structure. That'll blow your skirt up, and it has a lot of "wowza" to it, too. There's Dramatica Pro, Novel Factory..the list goes on. But bottom line...while many of these programs are glitzy, the real functionality, of course, is being able to WRITE.

So, whatever gets you writing is the "write" program. (Sorry, couldn't resist the homonym error for the cheap chuckle.) But I wouldn't just abandon Ywriter, if you haven't given it a few hours' of time with a WEE peek at the instructions.

I WOULD urge you not to waste money on LSB, however. You're simply throwing money at someone that's made it patently obvious that he has no interest in maintaining or upgrading that software. Hell, check out the Yahoo group for LSB users, you'll see what I mean. I think I had one of the last Yahoo conversations with him, and yeah, that was around 2011.

HTH.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:31 AM   #15
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Have you looked at Atomic Scribbler? I haven't tried it but it seems popular over on the Nanowrimo forum. My initial thoughts on looking at their website is that it seems to be a free alternative to Scrivener.
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