My friend and I have wanted to write a story together for a while now. But she lives in a different country, so we are just confused on how we can do this over calls. Because I know that we can't call all the time, like we can't just take turns writing and then editing each others work because it would just be confusing. So does anybody have any advice on writing with someone else when you aren't together? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

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    Collaborative editing software like Google Docs is great for this, it lets you edit the same document over WiFi and shows revisions and history :)
    – Sciborg
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 3:09

2 Answers 2


This is a great question! Here are some helpful resources I found when I had this same problem.

Google Docs

Google Docs is an excellent free collaborative document editing program that lets you edit a document with someone over WiFi. You can see them editing in real time, and it provides revision and editing history so you can go back in case somebody makes a mistake.

All you need to do is make sure both of you have a Google account, create a new document, and give the person you're writing with editing permissions.

Notable features:

  • Completely free

  • Requires a Google account to use (but that's it!)

  • 15 GB of storage (you can buy more though)

Microsoft Office Online

This is basically Microsoft Word, but expanded so that you can edit in real time with a friend. It does require you to have access to an Office subscription to access it, so it's not free. However, it's a great alternative to Docs and has many more features, since it's a paid service. (It also lets you make collaborative PowerPoints and Excel sheets, which might be useful to you for story planning.)

Notable features:

  • Requires an Office subscription (i.e. Office 365 or Student Office)

  • Tons of features when compared to Docs

  • Unlimited storage (provided it can fit on your hard drive)

Zoho Docs

I've never personally used this one, so I can't attest to it myself, but Zoho Docs purports to be a productivity app that offers real-time document editing. The user interface is very different from Docs and Word, so it takes some getting used to, and the free version is very good for what it is - you get 5GB of storage and a file upload limit of 1GB.

Notable features:

  • Free (trial version)

  • 5GB of storage in the free version (file upload limit of 1GB)


I use Joplin. The free version allows syncronization on two devices.
What I like best about it is that you can organize better than other tools the structure of your work over multiple documents.
You have different 'notes' (each could be just a simple note or a full blown chapter, there are no real limits in legth). You would both use Markdown conventions (just like Stack Exchange) so editing is fast (once you learn) and your style will stay consistent. It's also easy to insert links to other notes or 'anchors' (a particular position within a note e.g. a word definition on a dictionary page).
You can setup the text editor you prefer and see the preview in real time.

It has limits when it comes to layout of the page, tracking changes (which user did what) and of course number of devices (two can be a bit tight considering you may want to edit both from your cellphone and your PC, same for your friend).
Anyway it's worth checking out. May suit your project.

P.S. I read that they are working on tracking user changes but have not really explored it more as for the moment am not using that feature.

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