Character Story Planner 2
Price: Free (with ads)
Character Story Planner 2 is actually an app for table top gaming. We’re talking about stuff like Dungeons and Dragons, Hackmaster, and similar types of games. However, this can be an excellent resource for novelists and short story writers. You can create characters with back stories, places, creatures, gods, magic, or whatever else you want. You can basically create an entire world with its own rules, characters, races, and places. In addition, the app includes a creation process for scenarios, story events, and other types of scenes. You can basically write a whole book here and then eventually just transpose it into a word processor later. The app is free with advertising so it’s good for writers on a budget too.
Google Docs, Drive, and Keep
Price: Free / $1.99-$199.99 per month
Google Drive is a fairly powerful online office suite. It has a word processor with Google Docs, cloud storage with Google Drive (or Google One), and a note taking app with Google Keep. This is an excellent set of apps for writers. Google Docs is big enough and powerful enough to house a novel, screenplay, etc. I personally use it for script writing for YouTube videos. Google Drive is a cloud storage platform so you can access your writing on a computer, phone, or any other device with an Internet connection. Finally, Google Keep is a decent, free note taking app where you can house ideas and snippets. It all integrates into Google Drive. All of the apps are free and you get 15GB of free Google Drive space. The subscription costs are in case you need more space.
Writing with a virtual keyboard is not the ideal way to write things. However, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Grammarly Keyboard is a decent keyboard app for writers. It does basic things like auto-correction for spelling errors. The app also helps with your grammar. It tells you when it spots a grammar issue and offers a correction. Now, in many cases, things are worded a specific way for a reason and some characters just talk with bad grammar. However, it’s still nice having a keyboard with capabilities like this. To be fair, though, we imagine most people are using a Bluetooth keyboard or a Chromebook for this so a keyboard might not be necessary.
Price: Free / $5.99-$14.99 once / $0.99 per month
JotterPad is a writing app specifically for writers. It has a variety of features for things like novels, screenplays, and other similar types of writing work. The app also comes with a no-distraction mode to really get into the zone. Some other features include a dark mode, a word counter, Markdown support, typewriter style scrolling, and support for cloud storage. There is also split-screen support but only on tablets and Chromebooks. The free version comes with most of the features. A single $5.99 purchase adds some extra stuff while the $14.99 option unlocks everything. There is also a $0.99 per month option for cloud storage support. We’re not big fans of paying monthly for support to Google Drive’s free storage, but you can always skip that if you want to.
Markor is a simple, minimal writing app. It uses Markdown for its formatting, but it’s otherwise a simple editor. The app works as a basic writing app but also has features for taking notes, to-do lists, and more. You also get offline support, a convert-to-PDF reader function, and some other productivity things. It’s a perfectly serviceable writing app for a variety of applications and it’s also entirely free.
Microsoft Word, OneDrive, OneNote
Price: Free / $5.99-$7.99 per month / $119.99 once
Microsoft Office works a lot like Google Drive. It’s a full office suite with accessibility between all of your devices. Everybody knows about Microsoft Word already. Microsoft OneDrive lets you sync your work between multiple devices and OneNote is a reasonably decent note-taking app. We like Microsoft Office a little more because it comes with native desktop apps for Windows. That’s a nice touch in case you want something on your computer with a little more horsepower. You do need an Office 365 subscription in order to get the desktop apps. The free version lets you use the web version of Word for free. We also appreciate that Microsoft lets you buy the whole Microsoft Office suite for a single $119.99 payment. They used to not do that.
Novelist is a free writing app for, well, novelists. It has a variety of features specifically for plotting, writing, preparing, and exporting novels or short stories. That includes a timeline feature for all of the various big scenes in your story. In addition, the app features Google Drive support, multiple formatting options, a powerful book preview feature, and an above average text editor. You can get more features from something like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. However, this app is entirely free and the extra novel specific features make it worthy of consideration. We also like the Material Design UI if that helps.
Price: Free / $3.99
Pure Writer is another simple, minimal writing app. It features very little to get in the way of your writing. That said, there are paragraph and line spacing options, a dark mode, and an extensive document saving function. It saves as you write. Failing that, it notifies the user and locks the app so it can’t be closed until the document is saved. Finally, you get access to a history feature to recover anything you accidentally deleted. It helps make this one stand out from its many competitors. The pro version is also inexpensive comparatively speaking.
Price: Free / $0.99-$15.99
Writer Plus is one of the most popular writing apps for just about anything. It has a bunch of features for that sort of stuff, including headers, rich text formatting, undo and redo, keyboard macros, a night mode, right to left text support, and stuff like word and character counters. The minimal UI and easy navigation put little between you and actually writing and we appreciate that. There is also a quick guide on how to use everything. It’s not heavy like you see with Microsoft Word or Google Docs. However, it’s really easy and fast to just jump in and start typing stuff. The app is also entirely free with no advertising. The in-app purchases are optional donations if you want to support development.
Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $54.99 per year
Writer Tools is another decent writing app with some useful features for writers. This one has a word processor, but the really cool parts are the other features. You can do things like create characters, plot out timelines and chapters, create new locations for your characters, and house other ideas. There is even a quarterly goal section so you can try to keep to a writing schedule. There is also a progress log in case you want to see your writing consistency. You can work on one whole project for free (with ads). There is a subscription to work on multiple projects, add images, and remove ads. However, we don’t think that the subscription service is worth its price tag so we recommend avoiding it if you can.
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