11 Best Story Writing Apps for This Year
Finding the best story writing apps to help with creative writing means looking at a writing tool on your computer that is more than just a plain text editor in a word processor like Microsoft Word.
The best writing apps and software should be easy to use and fit with your creative workflow. That way, you can concentrate on writing a story and not on learning how to use an app.
They should help you arrange your story ideas too. These apps should also enable access to your document on multiple devices and support how you publish your work. Expect features for changing text layout and formatting, tracking changes and story templates.
Blog writers, fiction writers, and those with content writing experience need an app or software that is more extensive in what it offers. A creative writer wants something that makes their process of writing easier and offers distraction-free writing. Here are some of the best story writing apps you can try.
Living Writer contains time-saving templates for authors and novelists. iOS and Android apps available
Apps We Recommend
Desktop story writing app. Mac, Windows, iOS.
Scrivener is by far one of the best story writing apps available. Many writers appreciate its versatility, as it can be used for writing novels, nonfiction, screenplays and other genres.
While the app does not tell you how to write, it does offer everything you need to start writing. Scrivener includes a handy drag and drop feature to help you revise your structure and organize different parts of your story.
It offers a selection of templates to help with any type of story you are writing, and it saves you time if you are starting from scratch. The full-screen mode helps enhance concentration, and a snapshot feature allows you to easily revisit earlier drafts.
Scrivener is exceptionally helpful for those who suffer from writer’s block because you can save all of your inspiration and resources from pictures to websites on a corkboard. You can keep photos for inspiration and use note taking space to remember what changes to make or how to proceed with a storyline.
Compatible with both Mac and Windows, Scrivener can export in almost any format. It also offers Scapple, an app that helps with brainstorming and storyboard work. Although this is a well-rounded app, Scrivener has a few issues.
Currently, it’s not set up for collaboration when working with another person on a story or trying to get feedback. Also, it is not yet available on the Android app store. Those points aside, Scrivener is one of the best writing apps available. It does not provide tutorials, but many are available.
The 17 Best Writing Apps to Boost Your Writing in 2022
Whether you’re writing an email, a blog post, or a full-on novel, you’ll likely find the task impossible without the right tools. Which raises the question: what are the best writing apps to help you with everything from basic composition to firing-on-all-cylinders productivity?
This blog post sets out to answer that question. Here we’ve divided our favorite writing apps of 2022 into three categories (writing apps, editing apps, and focus apps) and provided brief reviews of each, so you can decide which ones you can’t live without!
If you want to cut straight to the chase and find out which is the right writing app for you, we recommend taking this quick 30-second quiz.
Which writing app is right for you?
Find out here! Takes 30 seconds
Otherwise, let’s dive in! Let’s start with apps that fulfill the most essential need every writer has: getting words down on the page.
While Google Docs and Microsoft Word are more-or-less fine, a dedicated writer like yourself deserves something more substantial. Here are seven writing apps designed specifically for creative writing, with various organizational tools to take your work to the next level.
1. Reedsy Book Editor
Runs on: Web
Best for: Authors seeking an elegant, distraction-free writing interface that typesets your work into a professional-grade book
With its sleek interface and easily navigable formatting options, the Reedsy Book Editor is a first-rate choice for modern authors. You can drag and drop chapters, insert images, and even track changes to look at past versions of your work — a function that most paid creative writing apps don’t offer. And if you find that you’re falling behind on your writing schedule, you can just enable its built-in goal reminder system, which will encourage you to get back on track.
The Reedsy Book Editor’s advanced typesetting features will also save you hours of work when you get to formatting your book for publication. You can create intricate front and back matter and export it as a clean, professional file that can be instantly uploaded to any ebook retailer or print-on-demand supplier. If you’re looking for an all-in-one writing, formatting, and typesetting tool, look no further than the Reedsy Book Editor. Start using it for free right now.
Price: Free trial for 30 days, $45 license fee
Runs on: Mac, iOS, and Window
Best for: Novelists and other long-form writers who want an elaborate, organized interface
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list of book writing software that omits Scrivener, and for good reason: it manages to be both streamlined and incredibly sophisticated at the same time. With Scrivener, you can choose a template for your project (novel, essay, screenplay, etc.) and get organizing right away. The left-hand sidebar includes sections and virtual notecards for every element you could think of, and you’re able to arrange these elements however you like.
More advanced features allow you to track your research, create specialized materials like front/back matter, and even analyze the content of the text itself. Needless to say, Scrivener is an excellent book writing app for authors, and indeed ideal for any writer who values attention to detail. You can read our full review of Scrivener 3 right here.
Price: $4.99/month or $39.99/year subscription
Runs on: Mac and iOS devices
Best for: Writers who want to productivity-hack their formatting
At first glance, Ulysses looks a lot like Scrivener, but closer inspection reveals that they cater to different experience levels and interests. While Scrivener is known for its steep learning curve, Ulysses offers several tutorials alongside its features. This is especially useful because Ulysses uses “Markdown” rather than manual formatting — for instance, in Ulysses, you’d type # to create a header, or > to create a blockquote.
While it may seem inconsequential now, writers who familiarize themselves with Markdown will likely find that it helps them keep their “flow” during a writing session, and it also makes editing much easier. Other than this, Ulysses is a fairly standard writing app; it’s not as outline-friendly as Scrivener, but you’ll have no trouble staying organized with keyword labels, split view capability, progress tracking, and all your projects lined up neatly in the sidebar.
Price: Flat fee of $25
Runs on: PC and Mac
Best for: Authors looking for a software that will help them smartly and fluidly outline their books
Plottr may be the one plotting software to rule them all. While Scrivener and Ulysses are built to be all-purpose writing platforms, Plottr was created with one main objective in mind: to help you outline and plan your story.
To that end, it shines. Plottr lets you easily build the scenes, plots, and arcs of your story, which its intuitive interface then allows you to visually organize, re-arrange, color-coordinate, and filter until your plot begins to flow and make sense to you.
Additional features like timelines, plot cards, and starter plotting templates (including the Hero’s Journey and Dan Harmon’s Story Circle) are built into the program to help you plot smarter. The sum of its parts is a software that achieves the impossible: making this plotting process, dare we say it, fun.
Looking for some more guidance on your fiction-writing journey? Check out this post on how to write a story in 6 steps.
5. iA Writer
Price: Free trial for 14 days, $29.99 for Mac, $19.99 for Windows
Runs on: Mac, iOS, and Windows (free trial available for Android)
Best for: Writers who prefer simplicity over style
Reviews often compare iA Writer to Ulysses because it, too, employs Markdown for formatting. However, the interface is much simpler and more naturally integrated into your screen. This minimalist design fits perfectly with the mission of iA writer, which is “to keep you focused on just writing.”
In the upper-hand toolbar, you can still access features like dark mode (shown above) and syntax highlighting for different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on). But the purpose of iA Writer is to facilitate writing, and its setup clearly reflects that — a definite boon for distraction-prone and clutter-averse writers.
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Runs on: Windows
Best for: Authors who like to break their stories into bite-sized pieces
Pivoting to the non-Apple side of things, we have yWriter, a book writing app designed for Windows in a similar vein to Scrivener. yWriter boasts a well-organized interface that divides your story into scenes rather than chapters, which is less stressful for easily intimidated writers. This app is also great for tracking your progress, with features like a storyboard to review your narrative arc, and reports you can generate about your daily word count, the state of your draft, etc.
But perhaps the best thing about yWriter is that it’s a free writing app — astounding in light of all it provides. The only “missing” feature is story templates, which experienced writers can disregard anyway. However, we’d caution users not to disregard yWriter’s intended platform, as the Mac trial is pretty glitchy and unreliable.
Price: Free trial for 15 days, $59.99 license fee
Runs on: Mac and iOS devices
Best for: Screenwriters who are just getting started
Now let’s talk about screenplay writing apps. Though Storyist provides a solid foundation for novel writing, screenplay and stage play projects are where the app really shines. Upon creating a new project, you’ll work from a highly intuitive script template where each new line prompts you to choose action, character, dialogue, etc. This ensures proper formatting and keeps you conscious of which elements you’re using, so you don’t overdo it on dialogue or forget to transition between scenes.
You can also organize your characters, settings, and images via the sidebar tabs, which may be useful for screenwriters who like strong visuals to supplement their work. But Storyist is feature-minimal for a reason: it’s supposed to be basic and affordable for beginners, with just enough formatting flair to make you feel like an up-and-coming Hollywood darling.
8. Final Draft
Price: Free trial for 30 days, $249.99 license fee
Runs on: Mac, iOS, and Windows
Best for: Professional screenwriters who are ready to level up
Speaking of Hollywood, if you’re already such an advanced screenwriter that you’re frustrated by the limitations of “beginner” apps, Final Draft is the program for you. In addition to line-by-line formatting and other standard scriptwriting features, Final Draft offers countless options for comments, collaborations, content analysis, and more!
You can track story elements and measure your character’s traits using the inclusivity analysis feature. You can tweak your “beat board” until you find the arrangement that works perfectly for you. When you’re ready to bring in editors, you can all work simultaneously in real time. And if you want to shop your script around, Final Draft will export the file flawlessly.
The only drawback of Final Draft is the price tag — a struggling screenwriter may not have $250 to spare, no matter how stellar the software. If this sounds like you, stick to Storyist or a similar app for the time being, but keep Final Draft in mind for when you’re able to upgrade.
And what about when you’re ready to upgrade not just your tools, but your entire text? Well, that’s what this next section on editing apps is for.
But remember, no app can replace a human edit.
Luckily, all the best editors are right here on Reedsy!
Sign up to meet them today.
All writing is rewriting, as they say. If you’re ready to take on the “rewriting” stage of your project — or if you prefer to edit as you write, either because you’re a perfectionist or you just want to save yourself the work later — these five apps will let you revise to your heart’s content.
Runs on: Web, including browser extension
Best for: Writers who want to carefully check short pieces, such as articles and emails
Grammarly is the writing world’s go-to spelling and grammar checker outside of standard word processors. Like any good editor, it underlines the errors and weak phrases in your writing — but Grammarly also goes above and beyond by providing a label and detailed reason for each correction, so you’ll actually learn from your mistakes
On top of these notes, Grammarly has a number of nuanced features to ensure your writing accomplishes exactly what you want it to do. You can “set goals” in terms of your audience, formality level, and tone (happy, confident, urgent, etc.) and analyze your text for factors like clarity, engagement, and delivery.
All this makes for a very well-rounded writing experience. However, we will say that Grammarly, with its goal-oriented interface and meticulous suggestions, is better for short-form copywriting than long-form storytelling.
So if you write a ton of emails, Grammarly could be perfect for you! But if you write books, you might benefit more from the tools to follow.
Price: Free trial with limited features, $70/year subscription
Runs on: Web, Mac, and Windows
Best for: Long-form writers hoping to hone their personal style
ProWritingAid often draws comparisons to Grammarly, but this app’s approach to editing is a bit more holistic. Though it still points out significant errors, ProWritingAid’s suggestions tend more toward enhancing the flow of your prose — for example, reducing passive voice and filler words — than nitpicking for grammatical technicalities.
You’ll also find more methods of analysis with ProWritingAid, including auto-generated stats regarding your vocabulary, sentence structure, and more. ProWritingAid will let you know which words you’re overusing, which areas are inconsistent, and how you might connect your ideas more smoothly. Overall, it’s a great tool that will undoubtedly help you polish your writing (though keep in mind that you’ll have to pay to access the full range of features).
Price: Free online, $19.99 license fee
Runs on: Web, Mac, and Windows
Best for: Authors who value crisp, clean prose above all
Both a useful tool and clever homage to one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors, Hemingway is a must-have app for writers who like to keep things short and sweet. The purely prose-based editor gives feedback on sentence length, word usage, passive voice, and adverbs — simple elements that can nonetheless make or break a piece.
The app employs different-colored highlights to help you trim the fat in each area, and also identifies the text’s reading level to ensure you’re targeting the right audience. But that’s pretty much it! Just as simplicity was a trademark of Hemingway’s prose, so it is of this app’s design.
Price: Free online, $4/month for Readable Pro account
Runs on: Web (no browser extension yet)
Best for: Short-form writers who need their work to be easily digestible
Readable’s core mission is similar to Hemingway’s: to make your prose more, well, readable. But Readable has a few more bells and whistles to it, which may be helpful for writers who want really thorough textual analysis. Besides pointing out run-on sentences and other indicators of purple prose, this app collects tons of relevant statistics, from text composition to reading time. You’ll also receive scores on multiple readability scales — Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning Fog, etc.
As with ProWritingAid, you’ll have to upgrade for full access to features like keyword density and quality control. This may be worth looking into if you create content for a living, but for writers whose work doesn’t depend on SEO, the free version of Readable should serve you well.
Runs on: Web, Mac, and Windows
Best for: Writers who need fresh eyes — or rather, ears — for editing
Reading one’s work aloud is a great way to catch awkward phrasing and typos. But what if you’re already so accustomed to your own prose that, when reading to yourself, you skim right over these issues?
That’s when you can turn to NaturalReader, the best text-to-speech reader we’ve found this side of an actual person. To use it, simply copy/paste your writing into the text box, choose a voice and reading speed, and follow along with the magnified text at the bottom. You can pause, rewind, fast-forward, and change the other settings at any time; it’s all incredibly easy and conducive to comprehension. (Just make sure you’re actually listening, not zoning out.)
We’d recommend NaturalReader for anyone with a short piece to proofread, as it may not be practical to feed your entire book through the app. Then again, if you’ve got the time, have at it!
Now let’s talk writing apps for focus and organization. Buckling down and getting started is often the hardest part of the writing process. Fortunately, these apps will help you cut out distractions, organize your thoughts, and regain inspiration when writer’s block rears its ugly head!
Runs on: Mac and Windows
Best for: Overstimulated writers who want to get back to basics
Thought Ulysses and Hemingway were minimalist? You ain’t seen nothing yet. FocusWriter is exactly what it says on the tin: it compels you to focus on writing and nothing else. The interface takes on the appearance of a sheet of paper, and lacking any elaborate formatting options or research notes to mess around with, you have no choice but to write.
You can still adjust the font, track your progress, and even set a timer for writing sprints using the toolbar at the top — but it safely tucks these features away from view. If in-app distractions are your kryptonite, FocusWriter might be the solution you need.
Price: Free trial for 7 sessions, $6.99/month or $30/year
Runs on: Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android
Best for: Internet-addicted writers who can admit they have a problem
Of course, even a super-basic interface can’t protect you from distractions that lurk outside that interface. That’s why you need Freedom: app- and website-blocking software to curb your Internet and social media procrastination (which, let’s be honest, is an issue for all of us).
Freedom allows you to set timed blocks, schedule blocks in advance, and even “pause” before visiting distracting sites. It certainly covers all the bases in terms of potential diversions; users can customize a list of distracting websites and desktop apps, plus connect Freedom to their phones to block distractions on there as well.
But perhaps the nicest thing about Freedom is that it feels truly freeing — between the gentle branding and the ultimately self-imposed limits, you’ll come away feeling not restricted, but relieved that you can get some writing done at last.
Price: Free basic plan, $4.99/month for premium
Runs on: Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android
Best for: Multitalented writers who want a single space to collect all their thoughts
Another one of the best free writing apps out there, Evernote takes written organization to a whole new level. With dozens of templates for everything from classroom note-taking to personal planning to structuring a novel, Evernote makes admin not only easy, but fun!
Besides abundant organizational templates — again, all for free with the basic plan — Evernote also lets you tag everything in specific categories, share your notes with collaborators, and even chat with them in-app. One of its coolest features is the Web Clipper, which you can use to save any excerpt of web content that appeals to you. More than anything, Evernote is a work-saving app designed to be adaptable and accessible for all kinds of writers and their projects.
17. Reedsy Prompts
Runs on: Web
Best for: Writers who just need a spark of an idea to get started
Okay, this one’s not exactly an app, at least not yet. But after comparing Reedsy Prompts to similar writing inspiration apps like Writing Challenge and The Brainstormer, we can honestly say it has much more to offer. For one thing, you’ll get five new prompts every single week — and not just on the Reedsy Prompts page, but sent straight to your email inbox. And if you write a short story based on one of those prompts, you could win $50 in our weekly contest!
That said, if you’re not inspired by the prompts of a particular week, you can explore the infinite possibilities of the 700+ prompts that already live on the Reedsy Prompts page. Though you’ll only be able to enter the competition with one of the five featured prompts for that week, we’re always excited to see what our users create… so if you write a story based on any of the available prompts, make sure to let us know.
At the end of the day, that’s what writing is all about: creating something wonderful and unique to share with others, whether it’s an informative article, a personal essay, or a 300-page book. Whatever your writing project, we hope these apps can be of use to you — and indeed, of service to everyone who gets to enjoy your work.
Compare the best writing apps of 2022
|Writing app||Pricing||Best for|
|Reedsy Book Editor||Free||Writers who want to create a professional-grade book|
|Scrivener||Free trial for 30 days, $45 license fee||Novelists who want max organization|
|Ulysses||$4.99/month or $39.99/year subscription||Writers seeking an easy-to-pick-up interface|
|Plottr||Flat fee of $25||Novelists concentrating on outlining their books|
|iA Writer||Free trial for 14 days, $29.99 for Mac, $19.99 for Windows||Writers who prefer simplicity over style|
|yWriter||Free||Authors who think in terms of scenes|
|Storyist||Free trial for 15 days, $59.99 license fee||Beginner screenwriters|
|Final Draft||Free trial for 30 days, $249.99 license fee||Professional screenwriters ready to level up|
|Grammarly||Free||Writers seeking a triple proofread|
|ProWritingAid||Free trial with limited features, $70/year subscription||Long-form writers hoping to hone their personal style|
|Hemingway||Free online, $19.99 license fee||Authors who value crisp prose|
|Readable||Free online, $4/month for Readable Pro account||Short-form writers who need their work to be easily digestible|
|NaturalReader||Free||Writers who need fresh eyes for editing|
|FocusWriter||Free||Overstimulated writers who want to get back to basics|
|Freedom||Free trial for 7 sessions, $6.99/month or $30/year||Internet-addicted writers seeking an intervention|
|Evernote||Free basic plan, $4.99/month for premium||Writers who want a catch-them-all|
|Reedsy Prompts||Free||Writers seeking inspiration|
Didn’t find what you were looking for here? Check out our list of novel writing software for some more intensive writing programs, or this list of writing tools to help hone your creative process.
5 Apps to Help Boost Creativity for Writers
Finding a creative approach to storytelling these days doesn’t come easy – not only are we still figuring out how to adapt to this life of quarantine and face masks, but it’s made it more difficult to focus, feel inspired, and come up with fresh new ideas.
Maybe you haven’t been able to escape writer’s block and could really use a boost of motivation, inspiration, and, quite frankly, a quick and easy way to help turn on your creativity light bulb.
If you’re on a tight deadline and need a quick resolution, you’re in luck! You can download these five smartphone apps to get you back on a creative track.
Brainsparker is the perfect app to help you reignite that creative “spark.” The free app provides hundreds of creative cards that offer words, images, questions, and quotes to help trigger your imagination, initiate new ideas, and give you the inspiration you need to overcome a creative block.
Whether you’re a writer, journalist, blogger, student, teacher, or maybe you just need a boost of inspiration, this app has you covered!
The Werdsmith app makes it easy for writers on the go and serves as your own “portable writing studio.” Whether you’re at a coffee shop or outdoors, you can quickly jot down your thoughts and ideas the instant you feel inspired, any place or any time.
The features are simple and not difficult to use, which makes for an easier writing experience when you’re in a time crunch. Before you begin writing, choose from different themes and formats tailored to your novel, poem, story, or blog. Users can even set up writing goals and rituals for motivation.
You can also access extra features with the Werdsmith member program and unlock more themes, formats, tools, and hundreds of writing prompts. Other features let you share your content with your “Werdsmith pals” for constructive feedback and share directly to your social channels.
Bonus: You never have to worry about losing your work as it can be backed up and saved to the cloud on your iPhone, iPad, and AppleWatch.
If you’ve hit a mental block – WordPalette is what you need. This app will provide you with motivation to refresh, refocus, and let your creative energy flow.
Not only is the app’s design simple to use, but it includes a fun word palette to play around with. When you get started, you’ll see your “Word Palette,” which are jumbled blocks of words to help kickstart your creative mind. You can also shuffle your words around to help you create short phrases, as well as switch back and forth to your keyboard to write down your thoughts.
What makes this app unique is that you can import your favorite text sources — quotes, poetry, song lyrics, or your own philosophies — and have them converted into word palettes. This makes for a fun and easy way to break up your writing and spark inspiration.
WordPalette makes it easy to get into a consistent writing habit and stay productive.
Writerly provides you with more than just a way to store all your thoughts, ideas, and stories in one place – it’s also a toolkit for writers of all backgrounds to help strengthen their writing skills and boost productivity. It comes with some fun features and exercises that will help enhance your writing abilities.
Writerly’s exercises are more like creative writing courses to help motivate, inspire, trigger new ideas, and bring out your creative energy. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned writer, Writerly has everything you need to develop your skills, keep you focused, and unleash your creative juices!
If you’re like me, your mind is constantly running a mile a minute, making the ability to focus on one thought or concept challenging.
The Mindly app will help you structure the commotion in your mind and keep you focused on your concepts. If you’re a visual learner, you’ll love the look and functionality of this mind mapping app. Mindly is simple to use, eliminates needless clutter, and is visually appealing – making it easier to concentrate on your thoughts and brainstorm your ideas and associations.
The functionalities allow you to attach notes and images, change color schemes, and even create a visual clipboard of your inspirations. Mindly is the perfect way to stimulate your mind, ideas, and kickstart your writing.
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Celina Anton is a content distribution subject matter expert at Cision. You can follow her at @PRNhotels and @PRNFood and connect with her on LinkedIn. She’s passionate about the food and wine industry, as well as enjoys a good HGTV show to inspire her DIY home projects.