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 10 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.
Now, let’s explore the 10 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 and reviews.
|FocusWriter||Simple, distraction-free word processor|
|Calmly Writer||Billed as the ultimate distraction-free writing tool|
|Plume Creator||Project manager and rich text editor for writers|
|Bibisco||Write your story, in a simple way|
|Ren'Py||Used to create over a thousand visual novels, games, and other works|
|Twine||Visual tool for creating interactive stories|
|CherryTree||Hierarchical note taking application packed with features|
|MyNotex||Manage textual notes and activity management|
|Freemind||Visualise ideas, projects, brainstorming, concepts, internet research|
|WikidPad||Wiki-like notebook for storing thoughts, ideas, todo lists|
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Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.