With so many different writing apps to choose from it can be hard to know which ones are the best. No two writers are the same and that makes it even harder to find which ones will work best for you. I will give a brief description of the various apps I have tried as well as price comparison.
I have not been compensated in any way by the companies or program creators mentioned and all opinions expressed are my own.
The key part of writing is writing!
So what better place to start than with word processors. There are several different types of word processors. The three different types I will go over include computer-based, web-based, and writer-specific.
Microsoft Word- Probably the most well known, it’s the gold standard of word processors. It’s both computer-based and web-based but nowadays costs a pretty penny unless you are lucky and have a free or discounted account from your day job or school.
With the push to get people to buy into Office 365 unless you want to purchase from a different retailer or chase down a free/pirated version of MS Word, buying the program outright is upwards of $300 and the monthly subscription is $9.99 a month or $99.99 for the year.
I use Word 2013 since that is when I last upgraded my laptop and there was a Black Friday deal that made it worthwhile to buy it at the time. I mostly use MS Word because I am comfortable with its layout and functions. I write individual scenes here and make use of add-ins for my initial editing and ebook formatting, but more on those later in the series.
Google Docs– Best part of Google Docs, it’s FREE! You also don’t have to worry about having access to your files when on the go since documents get saved to the Google Drive Cloud aka a web-based application.
Google Docs is great for writers who like to write on their phone, tablet, or don’s have regular access to a computer. Also, those who work co-write with others since all updates are kept in the same place no matter which authorized user works on the draft.
The layout is comparable to MS Word, but I don’t like working in Google Docs. The feel isn’t quite the same for me, and I am one of those people paranoid about cloud storage of my precious work.
Not down for paying a premium but don’t want a web-based service?
Open/Libre Office– For those of you already familiar with these programs don’t jump on me for lumping them together. In my experience, Apache’s Open Office and Mozilla’s Libre Office are basically the same thing. A free computer-based open source word processing program. If you want more of a comparison between the two programs, check out How to Geek’s Comparison.
Want a program more tailored to the needs of creative writers?
Scrivener– Available for Windows, Mac, and iOS, Literature and Latte blessed the literary world with this one. Part word processor, part formatting app, it’s my go-to app for organizing my word vomit into a cohesive novel for publishing. There is a bit of a learning curve, it’s computer/device-based, and it’s not a free program. If you can afford the $45 regular price or $38.25 for students and academics, I highly recommend it!
I love having the ability to see my work outlined in different ways. It streamlines my content editing and story flow process immensely. One of the main features I use is their compile feature which allows me to take my work from outline to formatted manuscript, text file, paperback, ebook etc…
I cannot express how much this one writing app has changed my writing process for the better.
More Word processors specific to creative writing that I have absolutely no experience with, but are worth checking out:
Storyist– Mac and iOS Only. $59 for new users and $39 to upgrade from an older version. Like I stated earlier, I am not an Apple Product person, but I have heard rave reviews from people who do use it.
Ulysses– Mac and iOS Only. Subscription based, $4.99/month or $39.99/yr US price.
Novlr- Web-based subscription, $10/month or $100/annual
Dabble– Computer-based software with a $10/monthly or $100/annual subscription.
No matter what your preference there is sure to be a word processor out there that will suit your writing style. Don’t be afraid to give the ones I’ve mentioned a try. If you have your own feedback to add to mine or other programs you use feel free to drop some knowledge in the comment section.