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Which is the best software to use when writing a novel?

The Question

I would like to move from Microsoft Word to another app which is easier for handling huge manuscripts. My novel is now about 200 pages long and I am finding it hard to keep track of everything. What’s the best app for this?
– Mabel G


The workspace for 'New Novelist'
The workspace for the ‘New Novelist’ application.


The answer

It’s hard to say which of the many great applications specifically designed for writers out there is the best one.

Some writers, for instance, swear by Scrivener. Others can’t stand it.

Dabble claims to be ‘Scrivener minus the learning curve’, but not everyone finds it easy. In the end, it’s a matter of preference.

What we ill do is give you a list of options from the best ones out there.

The best apps for writing novels will enable you  at the very minimum to:

  1. Plot your novel and create outlines for your story
  2. Create character and place sketches
  3. Work online or offline
  4. Move sections of your manuscript (chapters, scenes, parts) around easily
  5. Work on a mobile app that syncs with your desktop version
  6. Track progress via word counts and project targets.
  7. Export your manuscript in various formats

Here are our recommended apps:

  1. Scrivener (MacOS, iOS | Windows)
  2. Dabble (MacOS | Windows | Linux)
  3. Smart Edit Writer (Windows | Free)
  4. Liquid Story Binder (Windows)
  5. New Novelist (Windows)
  6. Ulysses (MacOS, iOS)

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