If you’re a new novelist, chances are you’re delving into the world of writing and familiarizing yourself with various aspects of your craft.
It’s likely that you have multiple Google Docs to organize and jot down notes, alongside scribbles on random scraps of paper.
Consequently, keeping track of everything might prove challenging.
In such a situation, you might find it beneficial to have writing software specifically designed for writers that blend contemporary convenience with traditional charm.
Here in this article, I have come up with a list of the best novel writing software for you.
So, Let’s get started!
What Are The Best Novel Writing Software?
There are many great pieces of software for writing novels on the market, and each one has its own features and benefits.
Here are some of the best tools for writing novels:
FastPencil is an online writing tool that operates similarly to Google Docs.
It caters to aspiring and established writers who are looking for a convenient platform to work on their writing projects.
To use FastPencil, a reliable internet connection is required as it cannot be downloaded for offline use.
Despite the limitation of not being accessible during flights or when outdoors, its cost-free availability compensates for this drawback.
The tool boasts a user-friendly interface, ensuring a simple and intuitive experience for its users.
It facilitates the commencement of writing projects, enables collaboration by inviting others to contribute, and provides a built-in communication feature for seamless interaction within the application.
Within FastPencil, users can create and share “Assets,” which are resources that both parties involved in the writing process can utilize. Additionally, users can assign and receive “Tasks” to manage responsibilities efficiently.
FastPencil aligns with the concept of modern writing aids like PalmPilots and other personal digital assistants designed specifically for 21st-century writers.
Upon completion of a book, users can explore various layout templates available, such as “Business,” “Memoir,” or “Dragon” for young adult fiction.
These templates offer an easy-to-use option to preview the final appearance of the book once it is published.
FastPencil Pros & Cons
|All-in-one writing tools||Templates are very basic|
|Easily navigable dashboard|
Scrivener is a widely acclaimed writing software with a longstanding presence and has remained at the forefront of its field since its initial release, making it the most popular program to date.
It is also known as one of the best academic writing software because of its ample features which one can use for academic writing.
One of its primary strengths lies in its exceptional flexibility and extensive range of features.
These attributes have been cultivated through continuous growth and improvement, thanks to the invaluable input from its vast user base.
The software provides an array of valuable tools to support writers in their creative endeavors, including index cards for organization and name generators for inspiration.
Notable features include goal tracking, word count monitoring, and dedicated spaces for jotting down notes.
Furthermore, the sizable community of Scrivener users serves as a valuable resource. They generously share resources such as character and plot templates, which are freely accessible.
Nevertheless, one recurring criticism expressed by users is the perceived difficulty in navigating Scrivener’s interface.
Despite the availability of lessons and tutorials to aid in mastering the program, many writers already struggle to find time for their writing projects, making the prospect of investing hours in learning a new software intimidating.
Consequently, the expectation for writers to dedicate significant amounts of time to familiarize themselves with a program before determining its suitability can pose a significant barrier.
Scrivener Pros & Cons
|Pre-set templates||Lacks useful features|
|Integrated outlining syste|
|Keep everything in one place|
|30-day free trial|
Evernote is an excellent tool for supporting organizations and offers a wide range of features that cater to the needs of writers.
With its user-friendly interface, you can create personalized themes and templates, ensuring a visually appealing and tailored experience.
One of the standout features is the ability to save and revisit various writing templates.
Whether it’s chapter outlines, storyboard templates, or character growth profiles, Evernote provides a convenient platform to store and access these templates whenever you need them.
Moreover, the web clipper feature proves particularly beneficial for writers specializing in science fiction or history.
It allows you to effortlessly save significant facts, articles, or any other valuable resources directly into your Evernote files.
This way, you can gather inspiration and reference materials, enhancing the quality and accuracy of your writing.
What sets Evernote apart is its ability to fuel creativity. The sync feature enables users to capture and drop ideas into the app, ensuring that no brilliant thought goes to waste.
Even when you’re away from your computer, you can continue working on your ideas seamlessly, thanks to Evernote’s synchronization capabilities.
EverNote Pros & Cons
|Limitations on the free plan||Cons|
|Multi-device note sync||Limitations on free plan|
|Powerful advanced search|
|Affordable pricing options|
Atticus is a revolutionary software designed to assist authors in creating and printing their manuscripts for self-publishing.
Created by Dave Chesson, a seasoned professional in self-publishing marketing, this powerful tool provides a range of formatting options and enables users to effortlessly export their work into a ready-to-publish ebook format compatible with all major self-publishing platforms.
Atticus boasts an array of features to enhance the manuscript creation process.
It offers dedicated sections for front matter and back matter, ensuring a comprehensive layout. Additionally, it includes a convenient feature to set writing goals, keeping authors motivated and focused.
The software is versatile, available for use in web browsers as well as on Windows and Mac operating systems, making it one of the most widely accessible tools on the market.
However, it’s worth noting that Atticus lacks specific tools for managing characters, locations, and plots, making it less suitable for intricate storytelling needs.
Furthermore, it doesn’t provide guidance for novice writers embarking on their book-writing journey.
Additionally, potential users should be aware that there is no free trial available, and the software carries a price tag of $147, which may exceed some individuals’ budgetary limits.
Nonetheless, Atticus offers a risk-free solution with its 30-day money-back guarantee, ensuring customer satisfaction without any inquiries or hassles.
Atticus Pros & Cons
|Pros||No free plan is available|
|Easy to use||No free plan available|
|Available on every potential platform|
|A dynamic theme builder|
|Affordable pricing options|
Freedom is a solution that can be a game-changer for authors who deal with procrastination.
It’s top-notch time management software that stands out for its ease of use, thoughtful features, and reliable performance. It is much more effective than relying on one’s own willpower.
With this program, the user can temporarily disable access to the Internet or any selected websites and programs.
To avoid any last-minute interruptions, the blocks can be scheduled in advance and synchronized across all devices.
For those who have trouble staying focused, Freedom also has a Locked Mode that prevents them from using the program until the allotted time is up.
It’s true that it can be difficult for slackers, but writers often need a little more motivation to keep cranking out those words.
When it comes to writing software, no other option compares to Freedom.
Freedom Pros & Cons
|Pros||Not many useful features|
|Advance block scheduling|
|Customizable user interface|
|Affordable pricing options|
|7-session free trial|
Novlr is a fantastic web-based program specifically designed for aspiring novelists. What sets it apart is its user-friendly interface, offering a seamless writing experience.
With a plethora of valuable features and tools, Novlr becomes an invaluable companion for individuals who wish to master the art of novel writing.
One of the app’s standout qualities is its elegant and uncluttered design, allowing writers to declutter their minds and focus solely on their creative process.
This simplicity of design aids concentration, fostering a conducive environment for productive writing sessions.
Another noteworthy aspect, similar to Microsoft Word, is Novlr’s ability to provide spelling and grammar suggestions.
This feature is not commonly found in most novel writing applications, making Novlr a standout choice for writers seeking assistance in refining their writing style and enhancing overall quality.
Novlr’s automatic saving functionality ensures that users’ work is continuously safeguarded.
Moreover, the program keeps track of previous versions, offering peace of mind and the ability to revert back to earlier iterations if needed.
Such reliability in data preservation allows writers to focus on their work without worrying about losing their progress.
Additionally, Novlr provides users with real-time updates on their word count, enabling them to monitor their progress and stay motivated.
The app goes a step further by offering encouraging messages to help writers achieve their writing goals.
These uplifting prompts serve as a source of inspiration and drive, propelling writers forward in their creative endeavors.
Novlr Pros & Cons
|Clean and clear interface||Bit pricey|
|The desktop-mobile sync is fantastic|
|Cloud-based so you never lose your work is excellent|
|Many useful features|
YWriter is a well-known and extensively used software that has stood the test of time. It encompasses all the essential features one would anticipate in a novel writing program.
These features include a designated space for writing your book, as well as sections for managing characters, settings, scenes, and chapters.
One of its most significant advantages is its ability to interlink and cross-reference all elements. Additionally, it provides various methods to monitor your progress and word count.
However, newcomers to YWriter may initially struggle with getting started upon opening the program.
Furthermore, locating the word processor can be a bit time-consuming.
Certain parts of the interface require users to input code syntax rather than offering a graphical user interface with clickable, draggable, and droppable options.
Although the tabs for characters, locations, and tools are straightforward, the interface primarily relies on tables, which can become monotonous.
While you can include pictures for characters, places, and items, they do not appear directly in the main interface for quick reference.
Similar to Scrivener, YWriter does not provide explicit guidance on how to begin writing a book
YWriter Pros & Cons
|Smooth writing experience||Can’t work online|
|Displays your word count|
|Free version available|
|Supports Windows, Android, and iOS|
Fictionary is a unique web-based program designed to assist writers in enhancing their written work.
Unlike other writing assistant tools that focus on transforming ideas into books, Fictionary’s primary goal is to improve the overall interface and user-friendliness of a manuscript.
It achieves this by presenting writers with various tasks that encourage deep reflection on different aspects of each scene.
Within the sidebar, the “Plot” section offers thought-provoking questions that prompt writers to consider each scene’s type, role, and objectives.
Similarly, the “Settings” section provides helpful prompts to assist writers in understanding how the setting impacts the story.
One of the standout features of Fictionary is its ability to analyze manuscripts. By importing their work into the software, writers gain access to a comprehensive view of the story arc.
This analysis can help identify chapters or scenes that may be excessively long or contain an abundance of characters.
However, it is important to keep in mind that relying solely on quantitative metrics cannot determine the quality of a book.
It is worth noting that Fictionary does have certain limitations. As the program focuses on individual scenes, it may be challenging to grasp the bigger picture of the entire story, even with the assistance of the Story Arc feature.
Additionally, the software does not provide extensive support for story structure or character creation.
Writers can assign names to characters and select their points of view, but there is no option to include additional information or images related to the characters.
Finally, while writers can add specific details about the setting for each scene, there is no separate database dedicated to locations.
Instead, it focuses on making your manuscript a better interface and easy to use, and it gives writers different tasks to help them think deeply about different parts of each scene.
In the ‘Plot’ part of the sidebar, there are questions that help writers think about the type, role, and goals of a scene.
In the same way, the “Settings” part has helpful prompts that help writers think about how the setting affects the story.
Fictionary’s most noticeable strength is its ability to analyze, which lets writers see the whole story arc after they import their manuscripts.
The software helps find chapters or scenes that are too long or have too many characters. However, it’s important to remember that figures alone can’t tell you how good a book is.
It’s important to note that Fictionary has some limits. Since everything is shown in scenes, it can be hard to get a big picture of the story, even with the Story Arc.
Also, the software doesn’t help much with story structure or character creation.
Writers can give characters names and choose their points of view, but there is no way to add more information or pictures about the characters.
Lastly, writers can add details about where each scene takes place to each scene, but there is no separate database of locations.
Fictionary Pros & Cons
|Clean & robust design||Comprehensive tutorials, videos, and educational documentation|
|Affordable to use|
|A comprehensive tutorials, videos, and educational documentation|
|14-day free trial period|
Ultimately, when it comes to selecting the ideal novel writing software, your own writing style and individual preferences take center stage.
To determine which software suits you best, consider comparing features such as sketch tools, character creation tools, and word processing capabilities.
Scrivener, Freedom, and Fictionary are among the top word processors for authors. Each of these applications offers a unique array of tools designed to assist you in the process of writing and sharing your novel.
By harnessing the power of the right tools, you can enhance your writing speed and bring your artistic visions to fruition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which software to use for book writing?
Microsoft Word is a popular word processor that can be downloaded as part of a Microsoft 365 account. With its features, it’s easy for writers to make and change documents.
Why is Scrivener better than Word?
In contrast, Scrivener is designed to be even more helpful as your project grows in size, while Microsoft Word becomes progressively more challenging to navigate. One of the key reasons for this lies in Scrivener’s innovative “binder feature,” which may seem like a small enhancement but holds great significance for word processing.
What is the easiest way to write a novel?
1. Write down the idea for your story. The next step is clear, but it’s not easy to do.
2. Read books in your field.
3. Pick a point of view that makes sense for your story.
4. Set up a place that draws people in.
5. Make your main characters more interesting.
6. Set up the dispute and what’s at stake.
7. Start with a plan.
8. Choose the structure of your story.
Should I write my novel in Microsoft Word?
If you’re considering self-publishing your book, Word can be a solid option. However, if you desire a smoother and problem-free process, we recommend utilizing a dedicated writing tool designed specifically for book writing.
What is the best writing program for authors?
If you prefer Microsoft Word or Pages, that’s absolutely alright. However, there’s a growing number of writers who have started using Obsidian. It’s a free tool compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it stores your writing as markdown files directly on your computer. This means you can access your work conveniently even when you’re offline and don’t have an internet connection.
Do real writers use Scrivener?
Yes, As a writer I’m working on the first draft of my books, I rely on Scrivener. It’s especially helpful because my stories often have multiple points of view, and Scrivener allows me to organize and visualize the arrangement of everything more easily. Once I have the overall structure of the book established, I switch to using Microsoft Word. Additionally, when I find myself facing difficulties in immersing myself in a scene or developing it further, I resort to handwriting as a method to overcome those challenges.