Updated: Jun 2, 2021
Writing is rarely easy. Although Microsoft (MS) Word has been used for a long time, it is a general writing program not specific for writing novels.
There are many writing programs with more features than MS Word, making it easier for writers to organise their manuscripts. Not to mention, MS Word and Office 365 cost money. On the other hand, most writing software programs are free and have basic features, perfect for writers.
Still, you have to be careful in selecting the right software for your needs.
Below is a list of the best software programs for writers:
1. Scrivener: This is a software program created by writers for writers and it is suitable for large manuscripts. With features such as breaking down chapters into sections, outline mode, and use of index cards, this program helps track the plot and organise your writing.
Although it has been voted as the best writing software, it also has weaknesses. One of them is that the formatting is complicated. This can be overwhelming for a writer because they will need additional help from an editor. Also, it is not easily synced with iPhone and iPad except through Dropbox which has limited access.
It isn’t free, but it’s worth the money if you can buy it.
The price is $49 (Mac and Windows).
2. ProWritingAid: This is mainly a grammar checker and helps with writing style. It provides spelling suggestions and aids in sentence structure, thereby improving your writing and editing skills.
It is less expensive than other grammar checkers such as Grammarly; however, it offers suggestions out of context which have to be edited by the writer manually.
It is free, but the Premium version costs $60/year.
3. Reedsy Book Editor: This book editor is available for free on the Reedsy website. You can register with either your Facebook or Google account. An internet connection is also needed to access the editor.
You will have to type in your online book or copy and paste from MS Word. Reedsy also generates the copyright information automatically and provides ISBN numbers for different forms of the book, such as print and mobi versions. It typesets as you write, thus, forming an ebook. It also stores previous versions of the manuscript in case you later want to go back and edit.
4. Google Docs: This is also a free software provided you have a Google account and internet access.
It is similar to MS Word with some differences. After finishing your manuscript, you can download it in many formats, such as an MS Word file, PDF file, and ePUB publication. You can invite others to comment or suggest on your manuscript. The comments are saved and you can view them and make changes in the manuscript in real time.
Although Google Docs is for general use, such as typing letters and essays, it is still used by many writers to make drafts of their manuscripts.
In the past, people told stories orally and it was generally to teach a moral lesson. As time went on, they became more imaginative in their storytelling. Many genres were invented and with that came lengthier stories.
Nowadays, there are thousands of writing software programs available to the public. Some are free while others are expensive and have multiple features. But what’s more important is that this is your story. You, the writer, can select which software is best for writing your story. As long as it makes it easier for you to compile your manuscript, you are good to go. No matter what type of software you use, your manuscript will end up as a book if you are able to write it well and connect with your target audience.
Want to be a writer? Select the software that’s suitable for you and start writing!
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Garima has written articles on a wide variety of subjects, such as lifestyle and culture, and she’s also written many book reviews. Recently, she’s decided to devote her energy to writing full time. Garima is open to learning new skills and gaining more opportunities. Currently she’s writing fantasy and contemporary romance novels and has her own writers’ group on Facebook called Beta Readers and Critique Partners; it was awarded one of the top seven finalists under the category Book Communities: Shaping the Future for the Global Book Community Awards 2020.
To read more content by Garima Nabh, please visit her blog.