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Which programs would you recommend for writing? Whatever they possess general functions to correct your texts and grammar, and/or functions specific for storytelling/worldbuilding (characters, places, events, etc).

I already know Scrivener, Quollwriter, and yWriter.

These programs are great in their own ways, but always lack some thing important.

YWriter is very complete, light and I liked it a lot, but it is like it took the actual text editor part a bit too lightly. It almost feels like it is a preferable to write in Word and then paste everything there because making corrections and formating directly in yWriter is a bit awkward.

Scrivener. I'm not going to lie. Despite having practically the same stuff as yWriter, it makes everything look so overwhelming and difficult to use. It wasn't really intuitive, at least not for me.

Finally, Quoll. It looks nice. Its text editor and corrector are an improvement over yWriter, but it is somehow kind of lacking in simple little QoL functions that were in yWriter. One of them being the ability to separate your story's chapters in scenes. Where in yWriter it was straightforward, in Quoll there is something similar, letting you add little tags but it is kind of weird.

I guess all of this is understandable. Each program has a slightly different focus. I'm still kind of looking for the perfect program for me. Which other software like these do you know?

Specially, free or at least cheap ones - my budget is very small.

I am a Windows PC user.

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    In it's current form this question is too board to be answerable. Yes there are lots of programs for writing, worldbuilding and storytelling. But without more details about what you are looking for in a program it is impossible to know which one will suit you. What have you used in the past? Do you have any pain points you are hoping a different software will solve? The more information you give about your criteria the better answers will be able to make recommendations.
    – linksassin
    Sep 29, 2021 at 23:34
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    Thanks for updating your question. I think it is in answerable state now. However it would still benefit the question if you can highly the important features you are looking for. How are you hoping to use this program? What does your ideal program look like? Then we can recommend those that come closest.
    – linksassin
    Sep 30, 2021 at 2:50
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    Did you check the software tag? It has a ton of questions like this. Personally, I've become more and more fond of using a wiki (Dokuwiki in my case). With a good set of plugins, there are very few things you cannot do with a wiki, and like Scrivener, very few wikis have assumptions about how they should be used or organized. The only downside is that they are mostly made for running on a server and require some tweaking to run on a desktop.
    – Erk
    Oct 3, 2021 at 4:39
  • The software that causes you the least annoyance is the best.
    – Boba Fit
    Mar 29, 2023 at 19:14

5 Answers 5

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My primary tool is MS Word 2019 (a significant improvement over 2010 which I was using before). However, I also use Grammarly to check my writing, and if it's important, Language Tool. (Language Tool, I think, was a better tool when it was a downloadable program because it was super fast and would check huge files in seconds.)

ProWriting Aid is a style and grammar checker. I don't use it very often because it is relatively slow and finds problems where there aren't any. It has one report, the summary one, that can be very useful for picking up things like overused words.

At times I have used Hemingway but it is generally inferior to the others.

These four programs have free versions which are perfectly adequate -- you may have to check your work in chunks.

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There are some lesser-known writing programmes which work well if you're a modular writer.

Gingko is very intuitive and exports well to Word. Unfortunately they don't support import, but I've found it particularly good for planning.

Plottr is another visually intuitive programme which is impressive in its functionality, but it has slightly too many clicks/taps for me.

If you need some guidance or wish to write in a particular genre following a prescribed model, take a look at Living Writer.

On the whole, I prefer MS Word - I use Outline view and Heading styles to organise material. I also find the autocorrect feature useful - I can programme a character code to save me typing lengthy terms that appear frequently. When writing non-fiction, the in-built Bibliography function is great.

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It kind of depends on your writing process. When I'm working on fiction of any sort I prefer stripped down programs like Fast Notepad (a free Android app) I can teach it new words, and it has the two edged sword of an autocorrect/autofill function but otherwise it stays out of my way and lets me put words down as fast as possible. I personally write fast with little regard to punctuation etc... and then edit repeatedly, that's my process and it works for me. If you want something that checks all your grammar etc... as you write then you need something more sophisticated than I have ever personally found useful for story writing. I use Microsoft Word for work and formal material like CVs etc... and it does preform all those checks live as you write and it has a number of free pretenders that do the same.

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The last few years have been exciting when it comes to new novel writing tools and platforms, but the one I like the best is NovelPad. The developers are super active in their Discord, and they are constantly adding features that I have yet to see in any other tools.

Just my $0.02

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I have had good experiences with the "zenware" WriteMonkey.

It's a free,* light, full-screen, minimalist writing application, letting you focus on what you're writing, rather than how you're writing it. It's fairly customizable, as well, and offers multiple plugins.

Opening screen of WriteMonkey
This is what it looks like when I open the app. Click for larger version.

It also seems to have a MarkDown editor, in the form of version 3, which could be especially interesting for us 'Stackers', but I haven't tried it yet myself.

* Seemingly the only completely free software recommended in this thread so far.

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  • I'm not sure if this is necessary in a thread like this, so I'm leaving this as a comment: I have no affiliation with this application.
    – Joachim
    Apr 2, 2023 at 12:43

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