Ask any author who is busy planning or writing their next book and they will almost always admit that there is something they should do differently this time. It may be something they learned last time that can make the process smoother, faster, more satisfying, and successful. It could be producing a more error-free draft, a better outline or character study, or simply finding a more organized way of tackling and documenting all of the steps needed to get from idea to finished manuscript. There are many tools available for authors to make the journey better and they range from free, to affordable, to pricey and full-featured.
In order to bring clarity to the confusion of so many options, we are reviewing and comparing writing software, on program at a time, to bring you the latest information to help you decide if you want to use a tool, try a different one, or ditch the idea completely and stick to your current routine. This post will be continually updated here with introductions to each tool reviewed with a link to the full review for Writers’ Connection author members to access on the Insights area of the blog. So check back often and best of luck with your next book project!
How do you write?
Authors often choose to sit down and write at a laptop or computer and just let the words flow. Research and planning, outlines and notes can be kept in simple word processing files or documented and organized in notebooks, on index cards, or on wall sized white boards. The book writing process is complex and there are innumerable writing software and app options to help any author keep track of it all in a more professional and organized.
Tools to help authors plan, write, package, and deliver
Tools in the form of software products, programs, apps, integrations, and widgets exist in great quantity and across multiple categories to assist authors in creating great books. The following list of tools highlights individual tools and links to a full-length independent (not paid) review for each that lives on the member side of the blog as “Insights.” This list will continue to grow, so check back frequently to see the latest. If there is a tool you would like to see reviewed, send an email to email@example.com. Enjoy!
Word processing and manuscript organization
Scrivener is a powerful writing software app designed for authors, screenwriters, academics, and other professionals who need to organize and manage large writing projects. It was developed by Literature and Latte to take writers from first draft to finished product and is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS.
Grammar, spelling and style checker
Grammarly is an online English language cloud-based typing assistant. It’s a smart grammar checker that spots errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, and suggests changes to improve text. It can make suggestions to adjust or eliminate passive voice and fix common readability issues. Grammarly is also a plagiarism detection platform and uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to identify duplicate content across the web to let you know what needs to be improved and re-written more in your own voice.
ProWritingAid is an online writing and editing tool that helps writers improve their writing style, grammar, and overall clarity through simple suggestions. It uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to analyze the text and provide suggestions for improvement. It is designed to improve and help you with your writing by making it more clear. It doesn’t replace you, it “aids” you.
Spreadsheets for planning and tracking
Book formatting/word processing
Book marketing/word processing
Other interesting tools