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List of writing software

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There are many ways to write your novel. If you're looking for a new program to write in, you might find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices.

Wrimos discuss their writing programs of choice in the NaNo Technology forum.

Authors Planning and Writing Applications

  • Liquid Story Binder XE (Windows, 45 USD, generally goes on 50% sale around Nanowrimo time): Liquid Story Binder XE is a full planning, research and writing environment that is meant to be set up to the way you write. Includes all kinds of planning tools: sequences, storyboards, outlines, mindmaps, dossiers, and many more.
  • Storyline Creator (Windows/Mac, 20 USD with free demo) is a tool with features for visualising, outlining, organizing scenes and research, motivation and writing.
  • Scrivener (Windows/Mac, 40/45 USD) See also its main article.
  • Scrollistic (Windows 10, free with optional paid features.) A chapter based word processor with easy e-publishing to kindle and epub. See also its main article.
  • yWriter (Windows/Mac/*nix) See also its main article.
  • TheRightMargin (Windows/Mac, 5-7USD/month comes with free trial) is a goal-driven writing platform with planning features including keeping track of dates, milestones, tasks; side by side writing with outlines/notes; time estimate features; timer; word counter; specific novel writing guidance including a specific novel template/project around NaNoWriMo.
  • Tomboy Notes (Windows/Mac/*nix, free) is a sticky notes program with internal linking capabilities and the ability to keep "notebooks" of related notes. It has a number of plugins useful for writing notes/outlining, including export to HTML and automatic table of contents (available here).
  • WriteWay (Windows, 35 USD with free trial) comes with tools for outlining, book organization, note cards, character profiles, and research folders.
  • Wordcradle (Free online novel writing software) offers a clean writing document and tools novels such as the ability to organize your novels and to create character profiles, storyboards, brainstorm cards, writing deadlines and moveable chapters.

Distraction-free editors

  • Calmly Writer (Windows/Mac/Linux/ChromeOS, free, $2.99 for desktop version): Calmly Writer is a professional text editor designed to focus on what you want to tell, with a simple, unobtrusive and distraction-free user interface.
  • Dark Room (Windows, free): Dark Room is a full-screen writing environment for Windows. It's a clone of WriteRoom for Mac.
  • FocusWriter (Windows/Mac/Linux, free): FocusWriter is a full-screen eidtor designed to immerse you in your writing. It automatically reopens the last file you had open to reinforce this notion. Other features include live statistics, daily goals, and customizable themes.
  • Manuscriptor (Windows, free): Manuscriptor is a light-weight editor with language analysis. It has a choice of themes, document overview, spellcheck & synonym suggestions and can export to HTML, Markdown and Mobi.
  • MomentumWriter (Windows, free): MomentumWriter is a full-screen typewriter style by the makers of Liquid Story Binder XE.
  • OmmWriter (Windows/Mac, free, $4.11 for full version): OmmWriter is a full-screen editor with keyboard sounds and background music.
  • Q10 (Windows, Free): A full-screen editor that makes typewriter noises. Features customizable look and page count formula, a timer for Word wars, and a target count. Q10 is portable.
  • WriteMonkey (Windows, free): A full-screen editor described as zenware. Includes advanced statistics and customizing features, typing sounds and a timer. WriteMonkey is portable.
  • WriteRoom (Mac, free, $24.99 for full version): WriteRoom is a full-screen editor for Mac that specializes in getting the words down. It features full syncing between computers and has spawned several clones.

Text editors

  • Notepad (Windows, free): Some wrimos prefer to use the default text editor that comes with Windows for its lack of frills and universal compatibility.
  • Notepad++ (Windows but will run via wine, free): More designed for coding, Notepad++ can also be used for writing, and includes tabs, word count, spellcheck, and other extra functions.
  • Gedit (Cross-platform, free): Originally a text editor for Gnome, but works elsewhere. Supports word count (though seems to arrive at a different count than OpenOffice/the NaNo counter), spell check, and other plugins.
  • Kate (Cross platform, free): A text editor for KDE, but also works elsewhere.
  • Vim (Cross-platform, free): A modded version of the *nix editor vi.

Word processors

  • Openoffice.org (Windows/Mac/Linux, free): OpenOffice is an open-source office suite similar to Microsoft Office available as a free download. It is preferred by some for its equivalent or superior performance to Microsoft Office, but does have a known function with smart (curly) quotes being counted as words, resulting in inflated wordcounts.
  • LibreOffice A fork of Open Office that some people prefer.
  • Microsoft Office

Mindmapping

  • [1] (free, online): Coggle is a free online mind-mapping tool with color-coordinated branches.

Dictation

  • [2] (PC, Mac, Apple iPhone) : Convert your speech to text.
  • [3] (free, online): A dictation website with punctuation and line break commands.

Online programs

  • Novelize (paid plan): Novelize provides online novel writing software for fiction writers. It can used on any device with Internet access (incl. cell phones, tablets, desktops). Writers can keep their notebook accessible without leaving the writing screen, use a drag-and-drop function for reordering chapters, and export various to different formats with the lick of a button.
  • Storyline Creator (paid plan with free demo) is a tool with features for visualising, outlining, organizing scenes and research, motivation and writing.
  • Write or Die (free, downloadable version available for $10/$20): Write or Die, a program developed by Nano enthusiast Dr Wicked, "is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing." Once the timer is started, the web application will inflict various 'punishments' (popup window, annoying noises, or erasing words) if typing is not detected for a customizable grace period. The downloadable version includes extra features, such as a full-screen mode and the ability to word war online with a friend. While the old version is still available for $10, Dr Wicked has released a Write or Die 2 that adds features and fixes bugs.
  • Written? Kitten (free): A more...friendly motivator than Write Or Die, Written? Kitten lets you set a word count goal, and every time it's met shows you a new picture of a kitten.
  • EditMinion (free): EditMinion can help you search for overused words, passive voice, and other editing annoyances. Best saved for December, of course!
  • Unplag (free, paid version starts from $4.99 per month): Unplag is an online plagiarism checker that compares documents with everything published on the Internet. Besides, it has additional mode, where every writer could upload and compare files against each other. It has also a free version, where you can check up to 500 words for potential similarities.
  • Google Docs (free): Google Docs is often used by wrimos who access their novels from multiple locations or want to have a secure backup. It has most of the functions of a word processor and can also be set to be private or public.
  • Yarny (free with paid plan): Yarny is an online writing environment designed to keep Wrimos organized. Yarny was also a 2012 NaNoWriMo sponsor.
  • True Novelist(free): True Novelist is like a lightweight version of Scrivener, but online. It allows you to organize chapters, scenes, and characters in a folder structure, and gives you statistics on your writing and progress.
  • Pencil(free with paid plan): Pencil is a modern online writing app for fiction writers. It allows you to keep track of your chapters, characters and places, and helps organize and improve your writing.