Writing is one of the essential skills in modern society. Being able to communicate effectively is paramount both at work and at home. It makes your thinking visible to others, and is the main way in which work, learning, and intellect is judged by others.
At first glance, the trusty word processor might seem a good tool for a novelist. After all, in days gone by, budding authors would tap away using a typewriter, and a word processor is the modern day equivalent. Linux has some excellent word processing software such as LibreOffice. However, word processors are actually not the ideal tool for some forms of writing, particularly novel-writing. In fact, it could be said that using a word processor for novel-writing is a recipe for disaster, and actually a retrograde step from a typewriter. Word processors are a general application software that are perfect for constructing business documents, letters, batch mailings using templates, etc. However, many word processors are too obtrusive and distracting for writers. What is needed is software that helps concentrate on the content of the novel, sketch out the chapters and scenes, work out the best structure, import research, add locations, characters and objects, and so on.
The software featured in this article is designed to meet the specialised needs of a budding novelist. There’s the finest open source distraction-free tools, software designed to create visual novels, and tools to help capture and visualise ideas.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 11 high quality free writing tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who has a passion for writing novels, including visual novels.
Let’s explore the 11 tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.
|FocusWriter||Simple, distraction-free word processor|
|CherryTree||Hierarchical note taking application packed with features|
|Ren'Py||Used to create over a thousand visual novels, games, and other works|
|oStorybook||Offers authors a complete and well integrated tool|
|Quoll Writer||Java tool to help you focus on writing and your words|
|novelWriter||Plain text editor designed for writing novels|
|Twine||Visual tool for creating interactive stories|
|Bibisco||Write your story, in a simple way|
|Joplin||Note taking and to-do application with synchronisation capabilities|
|Plume Creator||Project manager and rich text editor for writers|
|Manuskript||Snowflake method can help you grow your idea into a book|
|Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.
There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.