Comparing the Top Writing Tools for Fiction Writers

Writing a novel can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, the process can become less overwhelming and more enjoyable. In this article, we'll compare some of the top writing tools available for fiction writers to help you find the perfect fit for your writing needs.

1. Scrivener

Scrivener is a comprehensive writing tool that many authors rave about. It's designed to help you organize your research, outline your work, and write in a structured environment.


  • Great for organizing complex projects with multiple characters and plotlines.
  • Offers a corkboard feature for visual planning.
  • Full-screen mode for distraction-free writing.
  • Exports to various formats, including e-books.


  • Steeper learning curve compared to simpler tools.
  • Not free; offers a one-time purchase option.

2. Google Docs

Google Docs is a cloud-based word processor that is part of the Google Drive suite of productivity tools. It's a versatile and collaborative tool for writers.



  • Free to use with a Google account.
  • Real-time collaboration and sharing capabilities.
  • Accessible from any device with internet connection.
  • Version history and backup through Google Drive.


  • Lacks advanced writing features found in dedicated writing software.
  • Can be distracting if not used with discipline due to integration with other Google services.

3. Ulysses

Ulysses is a writing app that focuses on a clean and distraction-free writing experience. It's particularly popular with Mac users.


  • Intuitive and clean interface.
  • Markdown support for easy formatting.
  • Organizes writing into a library and allows for tagging and filtering.
  • Syncs with iCloud for cross-device access.


  • Subscription-based model, no one-time purchase option.
  • Not as feature-rich as Scrivener for larger, more complex projects.

4. Final Draft

Final Draft is a screenwriting software that has made its way into the writing community for its powerful formatting tools and industry-standard script templates.


  • Industry-standard for screenplay formatting.
  • Collaboration features for working with other writers or teams.
  • Powerful search and reporting tools.
  • Customizable templates for various types of scripts.


  • Pricier than other options; requires a one-time purchase.
  • Primarily designed for screenplays, not as versatile for prose writing.

5. yWriter

yWriter is a free writing tool that's great for plotting and organizing. It breaks down your manuscript into chapters and scenes, making it easy to rearrange and view your work.


  • Free to use.
  • Outliner feature for breaking down scenes and chapters.
  • Supports character profiles and locations.
  • Suitable for both beginners and experienced writers.


  • Not as polished or feature-rich as some paid options.
  • Lacks the advanced editing and formatting tools of other software.


Choosing the right writing tool depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the type of writing you do. Scrivener is a powerhouse for complex projects, Google Docs is great for collaboration and accessibility, Ulysses offers a sleek and focused writing experience, Final Draft is the go-to for screenwriting, and yWriter is a solid free option for those on a budget. Experiment with a few to see which one fits your writing process best.