in Apps

The Top 5 Free Apps that Help You Write Your Novel

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There’s an app for … well, just about everything, nowadays.

Modern conveniences fill nearly every aspect of our lives. Our jobs, hobbies, and entertainment are streamlined, and we have virtually limitless tools for digital productivity at our fingertips.  All it takes is a press of a button and a quick download to our smartphones, tablets, and computers. As writers, we have no excuse to not use these tools to our advantage.

From motivation to organization, research, and editing, there are a dozen and one apps to aid the writing process.  So how do you begin narrowing down which apps to use for yourself? Well, we’ve scoured the Internet and made your search process a no-brainer.

Here’s a list of the best writing apps you should download immediately, if you haven’t already. (Plus, they’re free. What do you have to lose?)


Evernote is the ultimate app to collect, organize, plan, and write. This is the place to keep track of all your latest story ideas, writing blips, character notes, inspirational pictures, audio clips, and even entire webpages of research. You can even take notes on a piece of paper and scan it to the app. You have access to the app from anywhere, any place, across all the devices you use. Plus, its flexibility allows you to set it up to fit your writing style and habits. Don’t let that stellar bit of dialogue that hit you on your lunch break slip away. Save a note and mull it over later.

Devices: iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry

evernote android

Spice Mobile is no ordinary thesaurus. This is the ultimate app for the writer running low on creativity and looking for a way to “spice up” their language. Stuck on a boring adjective or cliché phrase? This app will pull up inspirational samples from literature from a database of 30,000 crafty keywords and phrases. You can even explore the literary history, trends, and popularity of those phrases. Spice Mobile may be the cure for writers block. (Note: A version of this app is free; though, to have full access to the feature, there is an option to upgrade with a subscription.)

Mode: iOS and Android

Spice mobile sample

Hemingway is an editor’s dream app, designed to analyze text and highlight common writing slipups. This app helps you cut pesky adverbs, rephrase weak passive voice, simplify complicated language, and draws your attention sentences that are hard to read.

Mode: web browser

Hemingway App

A Novel Idea is the essential app for the beginning novelist. Is the task of writing a full 300(+) page novel too daunting? No sweat. This app helps you organize your “novel” idea and break down the aspects of plotting. Develop your setting, theme, premise, scenes, character, conflict, motivations … the list goes on and on. Then bring them together, rearrange, and note down sparks of inspiration to create the plot of your story.

Mode: iOS

Novel idea example

Self Control is an app for writers who are easily distracted and need a bit of extra motivation to write. If you tend to write a sentence or two, then skip over to your web browser to check your Facebook notifications every ten minutes, this app is perfect for you. It blocks your ability to access a list of websites of your choosing for a time period you specify. Say goodbye to your personal web distractions until the timer expires. There is no getting on those websites—regardless of how many times you restart your computer or delete the app—once you click “start.” So sit down and stay writing.

Mode: Mac OS X

Self Control app


So what are you waiting for? Get downloading, get your creative juices flowing, and get writing.



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  1. ohmygod! Absolutely brilliant! Thanks so much for these guys!

    • The website browser is free to use. You simply type right on the site. Their brand new desktop version of the app was released after this blog post was written and does cost the $6.99 you’ve pointed out. Sorry if you felt mislead!

  2. I am looking for a writing app that I can use on my I-Pad and my Mac. Preferably an app that that I can get to through the internet /google. Will I be able to do this with your app?
    Thank you very much.
    Bob Warnke

  3. You can use these apps to write stories,right? I have been looking for an app I can write my stories on~Thanks

  4. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this sitte needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more,
    thanks for the advice!

  5. Hey..I believe I can be the greatest author but I have no motivation I have this two amazing stories that I believe one is going to make it to Hollywood….Am in Africa

  6. I used to use Storyweaver by Storymind which have not made an IOS version, and just learnt won’t be for a long while… anyone familiar with this program and can offer a similar App suitble for working on my iPad which is all I have as I travel for work. I loved the structure and development templates and guidelines. So helpful.

  7. Nice list. I have been using Hemingway for quite some time and its impressive.


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    I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be
    tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and wonderful style and design.

  9. Hi,
    I’m a published magazine writer/editor and I’ve always had a book in mind to write (well, books). However, the idea of sitting down and writing them is daunting. I know what it takes to write a 1,500, 2,000 word article, and that takes time and hard, accurate work. A several-hundred page novel just scares me.

    This is mostly because I am the type of person who is NOT easily distracted. I want to do it and I want to do all at once. After researching and interviewing an article, I will sit down and won’t get up until it’s done.

    Every time I’ve sat down to write one of my books, hours pass and I’ve written three chapters–the right or wrong way–but three regardless. I want those words out of my head and onto “paper.”

    Therefore, I need help structuring the book, novel writing tips and time management. I’m also hoping some of these apps, along with the info garnered from other novel writing books, will help me get it done and do it right.

    Thank you for taking the time to go through and learn these apps and then share the info with us. I’ll be sure to include a link to this in the area of my books.


    Cheryl Newman

  10. HI. I’m the developer for the Manuscriptor novel writing software. You might be interested in it: the application has language anlysis features, like those found in Hemingway, amonst many others. It’s a free desktop application:

  11. Hi ,

    Thanks for sharing these apps. Evernote i love most for write and saved my story.

  12. I like the Spice mobile app but I can’t download it. Please what could be wrong?

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