Write Your Novel: 7 Tools You Absolutely Need

Write Your Novel: 7 Tools You Absolutely Need

What tools do you need to write a book? Years ago, crumpled up wads of paper torn out of a typewriter would surround a writer. I would hate to think how long it would have taken me to write my novel that way. Paper and pen might have been the better option.

These days technology has made it easier than ever to write. There are programs and apps designed just for writing and editing. In this blog, I will detail the tools I used to write Hollow Edge that may help you.

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7 Tools I Used to Write My First Novel

1. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the best word-processor on the planet hands down. Formatting is a breeze. You can delete or replace a word with the find and replace function. Copy and paste sections easily from one place to another.  Creating headings makes it easy to navigate in large documents. You can create an auto-correct for frequently misspelled words. These are just a few things that Word can do.


I wrote 90 percent of Hollow Edge in Word. A bonus when you write on OneDrive, Microsoft Word automatically saves your work. Word is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

2. Scrivener

A writer created Scrivener specifically for writing. It has a place to write, store and organize your research. Dual screens, a place for notes, a corkboard for visuals, and the binder doubles as an outline.

Scrivener screenshot (dual screen)

I do all my writing now in Scrivener because I can keep everything in one place, though sometimes I miss Words’ fully functioning word-processor. Scrivener is available as a onetime purchase of $49 USD.

3. ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid is “A grammar checker, style editor and writing mentor in one package.” The program is super simple to use. The app checks your style and grammar. It has a built-in thesaurus. The program checks for overused words, repeated words, and echos. It checks sentence lengths among many other reports. I love that it finds passive writing and suggests ways to make it active. I run all my writing through ProWritingAid.

ProWritingAid integrates with Word and Scrivener as an add-on, or you can use the online tool. ProWritingAid is a yearly purchase of $79 USD, but it is always half price on Black Friday.

4. Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is another writing and editing tool I tried. The app has a clean writing tab and an editing tab.

The editing tab flags hard to read sentences and even grades your writing level. It easily weeds out passive voice and finds unneeded adverbs. The online version of Hemingway Editor is free, but the desktop app is a onetime payment of $20 USD.

5. Grammarly

It never hurts to have another grammar and spelling checker. Grammarly also finds passive writing and gives suggestions along with uncovering wordiness and punctuation mistakes. The app can even check for plagiarism.

Grammarly integrates with Microsoft products, there is an online editor and a desktop app. The app also has a browser extension that I love when I type my blogs into word press. Grammarly has free and paid versions.

6 Microsoft Excel 

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. Before I discovered Scrivener, I kept all my novel data in Excel. It kept my writing organized with tabs for each character, timelines, world-building, and plot.

 Excel works great to keep track of your daily word counts. Excel is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

7. OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking program that you can organize into notebooks, sections, and pages. It is a great place to jot down ideas that come to me in strange places and times. I installed Notes on all my devices so what I save on one device becomes available on all.

I tried other note-taking programs like Notes on my iPhone and Evernote, but OneNote is my favourite. OneNote is a paid program available in the Microsoft 365 bundle for $79 CDN a year.

Final Thoughts

These are all the tools I used to write my first novel. I put my novel through ProWritingAid, Grammarly and Hemingway Editor at various points, as a new author I wanted to check all those nasty typos.

Have you tried any of these apps or programs? Let me know in the comments.


Until next time


Note: I am not an affiliate for any of these programs.

Feature image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.