Writing a novel is a dream job for many. After all, what could be a better way to let your creative juices flow. However, as exciting as it sounds, Novel Writing can be equally taxing. If you want to become a great novelist, the first thing needed is for you to be authentic. Your writing should be compelling and engaging in a way that keeps the readers hooked.
A lot of people confuse novel writing with scriptwriting, though there are some basic differences between the two. A screenplay has a much shorter length, is mostly dialogue-based, and follows a definite structure. One can use Screenwriting Software to understand the format of a screenplay better. A novel, on the other hand, is usually descriptive where the narrator helps you visualize the story.
You may find it interesting to know that there have been a few novels adapted into screenplays. I am sure you must have loved watching the Harry Potter series, which is a classic example of this.
All you need to write a perfect novel is your creativity and the right set of editing tools. The Internet is flooded with several options to help you with this. While every software comes with its own benefits, I have listed the top 7 of them based on their popularity and relevance.
Scrivener is an application designed for writing and editing long-form content like novels and plays. It provides writers with the tools for organising ideas, notes, research and documents including photos and videos.
Scrivener helps both fiction and non-fiction authors to become proficient by offering a range of organizational and formatting features, and target tracking.
- Great support from the Scrivener team. There are plenty of videos about using scrivener online and on YouTube.
- It gives you a progress bar on the manuscript while writing, which changes color as you reach the end of your goal.
- You can use different elements like character descriptions, summaries, etc. nicely.
- It can make the book publisher ready. It’s an organizer’s dream software.
- The interface is a little confusing at times and takes a while to learn.
- Changing the order of documents can be hard for Apple users.
Pricing: It has a 30-day free trial period.
- The macOS costs $49
- The Windows cost $45
- The iOS costs $19.99
- The Mac and Windows combined costs $80
ProWriting-Aid is the best grammar checker and writing editor software. This tool helps writers avoid errors, optimize the choice of words and fix punctuation and spellings. It does so by detecting contextual mistakes and plagiarized content.
It offers quick fixes to catch errors and gives an in-depth review to improve and polish your work. All these extensive features ensure you an error-free writeup.
ProWriting-Aid has a rating of 4.8/5 in the Chrome Store. It is available through a web browser on both Windows and Mac.
- It has more reports than any other software.
- Highlights repetitiveness, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, over-complicated sentence constructions and much more.
- Writing style suggestions.
- Common spelling and sentence construction errors.
- Cheaper than any other software in the market with more.
- Too many suggestions make the document overwhelming for writers.
- Sometimes highlights passive voice as incorrect too many times.
It has a free chrome extension.
- $20 for one month
- $79 for one year
- $399 for lifetime access
Grammarly is a tool offering writing assistance based on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. It detects all types of grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors in every sentence and gives appropriate replacements.
It provides different types of writing styles like creative, general, technical, casual etc. from which you can choose according to your preferences. Grammarly can be useful for anyone; be it an author, content creator, business professional or a student.
You can use it as your primary writing app for proofreading and editing your work. It is affordable and easy to use.
- The plagiarism checker detects plagiarism from billions of web pages.
- Common mistakes like typos and sentence structure are easily detected.
- Detects tricky spelling errors
- The premium offers advanced suggestions about word choice, vocabulary, tone and much more.
- Fluency assistance for premium users.
- Sometimes the suggestions don’t find the context.
- Sometimes highlights passive voice as incorrect (same as ProWritingAid)
- It has a free version (though it has limited features)
- Grammarly premium monthly subscription costs $11.66/month.
- Grammarly business subscription (for teams) costs $12.50/month.
Ulysses is an exceptional text editor with an amazing set of features available for Mac, iPad and iPhone. It is aimed at writers who enjoy graceful and distraction-free writing.
It is a focused writing app which helps you concentrate on your words rather than giving you loads of editing options. This app provides an environment where you can work on achieving your writing goal by reducing distractions.
Ulysses is an Editor’s Choice and it provides everything required to become a productive writer.
- The text editor is markup based.
- Typewriter mode enables the line you are writing to be fixed.
- Writing projects can be made into hierarchical groups
- Auto-save and automatic back up
- Ability to export into various formats, including eBooks.
- Publish to WordPress or Medium directly from the app.
- Available only for Apple users.
- Copying text from other applications into Ulysses changes the document format.
Pricing (for US):
- The monthly subscription costs $5.99/month.
- The annual subscription costs $49.99/year.
- Students can get a six-month subscription for $10.99.
Here’s the link to the pricing according to every country.
Dramatica Pro is a story development software used for writing novels and screenplays. Its unique creative writing tools assist you in building your characters, developing the plot and storyline, theme and more.
Dramatica Pro converts your thoughts into a complete narrative experience. It creates a perfect framework for your story by eliminating all possible inaccuracies.
It is a great app for enhancing the quality of your writing.
- It has its own story structure format which differs from Robert Mckee and the likes.
- Quite easy to use if you are a writer already.
- It does not have a trial and is expensive.
- Made for creative writing and story development only.
- It’s starting price is $149.95/one-time/user.
AutoCrit is an online editing platform designed to improve the writing style quickly and effectively. It works beyond the basic features like spell checker; it analyzes your work according to word choice, repetition, pacing and momentum, and dialogue.
AutoCrit allows you to compare your manuscript with other published fiction scripts and gives impactful suggestions, preparing your work for publishing.
This is an excellent tool, especially for fiction writers. It helps you master your art of writing by delivering the best guidance.
- It has a free trial.
- The monthly professional subscription costs $30/month.
- The annual professional subscription costs $297/year.
- Made for novelists and creative writers.
- Corrects common errors and repetitive phrasing, weak writing.
- Ability to select writing style according to genre.
- Comparison tool for word choices with famous authors like J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, etc.
- Not good enough for bloggers and general freelance writers.
Also Read : 15 Best Screenwriting Podcasts for Writers
yWriter, designed by the American author and programmer Simon Haynes, is another software used to write and edit your novel. This app breaks your novel into scenes or chapters, enabling you to keep a track of your work.
It does not give you suggestions or perform tasks for you, thus, keeping your mind free while creating your piece. You can download the app on PC and it is also available on Android and iOS Apps.
yWriter is a perfect app for getting your rough ideas and unfinished scenes together into your final draft.
- Free to download
- Story and character development tools
- It’s not made for screenwriters at all.
- You can download the app for free.
- You also have a choice to register for $12 or $25 to support future development.
Now that you know about the editing tools, you may be thrilled to start with your writing journey. But merely knowing tools is not enough; they only enhance your writing. First, you need to be clear with the basics, which you can learn through online courses.
Novel writing can be a highly rewarding career if you have the skills and knowledge of the best writing tools. Using these can improve your writing manifolds. I have created a list containing some of the best of these tools. Every tool has its unique features; you can choose any as per your requirement and suitability.
It should, however, be noted that these software tools alone will not make you a writer but will only work as a supplement. The main ingredients for brilliant writing are your imagination, interest and persistence.