NovelPad

The Best Free Writing Software Available in 2024

Ollie Ander
Is probably just a couple cats in a trench-coat—the hair shedding and sunlight napping are highly suspect.
When it comes to writing, we all have to start somewhere. That used to mean picking up a pen and paper, but even those cost money. Pursuing writing in either self-publishing or traditional publishing can incur a lot of expenses, but your writing software doesn’t need to be one of them! Let's go over the Best Free Writing Softwares available in 2024 so you can save money before you even start writing!

Browser Based Options

If you're looking for an in-browser writing software that you can access on any internet-enabled device, here are your options.

Google Docs

The first on the list is a tried and true favorite: $ Google Docs$ .
Depending on your age, you may have grown up with Microsoft Word on your school computers, or had to use the downgraded free version that came on your PC like WordPad or—godforbid—NotePad. Google Docs has all the standard features of those word processors and more!
Wordcount, spellcheck, and font selection, are the minimum you should expect from your writing software. However, an added bonus to Google Docs (aside from being free) is its sharing capabilities! You can edit in-time alongside your editor and writing partners, and receive comments and suggestions from anyone else you give an access link to the document. Google Docs is a browser-based program, but it can also be used offline if you pre-download the file you wish to work in, or you can export it as a .docx file to be used in any other offline program of your choosing.
Google Docs is available to use through any Google Account.

Reedsy

Many of you may know Reedsy as a company that pairs self-publishing writers with vetted freelancers, or through Shaelin’s writer craft videos on the $ Reedsy YouTube channel$ , but $ Reedsy$  is also a browser-based writing program! You can make a Reedsy account for free, or simply connect it through a pre-existing account like Google.
Logging into Reedsy, you will be presented with a lot of options—which is great—but can also be overwhelming, especially when given the "+Hire a pro" button on a manuscript when you’re not even done with the first draft. Reedsy is amazing for collaboration and connections, but if you’re someone who gets distracted by thinking about the possibilities ahead, this one might not be for you.
That said, the Reedsy writing app allows you to keep a library of your novel projects, organize things by chapters, and do all the metadata stuff you might otherwise have to pay loads for in another formatting software. If you want to export your book as something other than the standard .docx, Reedsy enables self-publishers with a few preset export options for Print-ready PDFs and Epubs.

Campfire

$ Campfire$  is a writing platform that’s newer to the game but is gaining favor fast! Campfire is more akin to Scrivener, where you can host your writing alongside extra content like character profiles, timelines, and keep track of key words/places. Campfire has three different tiers of access: free, subscription, and a one-time payment.
The free version is always available, but it is limited. The first 25,000 words of your manuscript are free, and additional metadata organizing options are available, but also limited, comparative to the paid options. Here is Campfire’s pay structure:

If you just want to do a small project, or want to find out what sort of organization system works best for your workflow, Campfire could be a great free start to any project.

Offline Options

If you need to keep your writing time and online access separate, there are several offline programs to check out. They may be a bit dated compared to paid-for softwares, and they won’t autosave to any "clouds" but, if you want something free and bare-bones that allows you to unplug, here’s what’s available:

LibreOffice

$ LibreOffice$  is a free, open-source alternative for the whole Microsoft Office bundle. The programs’ names and functions are as follows:
Writer—word processor Calc—spreadsheets Impress—presentation program Draw—vector and raster graphics editor Math—application for making mathematical formulas Base—data management program
You may not need all of these programs as a writer, but they all come included in the free open-source download, if you want to install them. You may find that once you’ve finished your story (or stories) that keeping a spreadsheet of your submissions, deadlines, and various draft statuses can be super helpful!
(Google Docs also has a spreadsheet application called Sheets, but if you want to be a wholly offline worker because the internet is a major distraction, LibreOffice might be your best ticket to go wireless—or, wifi-less, if you will.)
LibreOffice is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

OS Specific Programs

LibreOffice being the non-browser based catch-all to avoid having to pay for a Microsoft Office subscription, there are two Operating System specific writing programs to be aware of—that you might not even know you already have!
Pages is a writing software that comes pre-installed on the Mac OS. It is a simple word processor, but it gets the job done.
Alternatively, Focus Writer is a writing software on the Windows OS that is minimalist, but that’s what it’s going for. If all you want to do is stay focused, you can set a timer, and zone into doing nothing but typing for that duration.

Free Trials & Upgrades

Although the big, popular writing softwares require purchase or subscriptions, they usually have ongoing deals and free trials, so this is an honorable mentions category—for those of you who may wish to upgrade to a non-free option later down the line. Regardless, you can try them for a time and see if you like them!
All the following programs are much more than simple writing software—they offer extra writerly features, like tracking your progress, setting goals, and organizing scenes.

Scrivener

Scrivener has a constant 30-day free trial on offer: perfect for NaNoWriMo champions. The free trial only counts for the days you use the program, so it could extend far longer than a mere month. Afterward it’s a one-time payment, compatible with Mac or Windows OS.

NovelPad

NovelPad has no-credit card, no-commitment trials available at all times. In fact, you can start your free trial through this $ handy dandy link right here$ ! NovelPad offers features like custom dictionaries, intuitive goal-setting, character and plot tracking, linkable notes, and a clean, distraction-free drafting page.
NovelPad also gives away subscriptions every month on their Instagram, so $ check that out$ !
Share on

Similar Posts

The Writer’s Resolution Guide 2024

The Writer’s Resolution Guide 2024
Goal ideas and strategies for your new writing year.
Sage Kay
Writer, reader, outfit repeater.
What is a ghazal? The essence of emotion in poetry

What is a ghazal? The essence of emotion in poetry
Definition, examples, and history of the ghazal poem.
Hannah Lee Kidder
NovelPad Author
When is the best time to publish a romance novel?

When is the best time to publish a romance novel?
What is the best month and day of the week to publish a romance? Do romance novelists make money?
Rina Fontes Malka
A writer with too many ideas and not enough time.
How long is a fantasy book? Words, pages, chapters, scenes, & prologues

How long is a fantasy book? Words, pages, chapters, scenes, & prologues
What should wordcount goals look like for a fantasy novel?
S.R. Beaston
Crafty with words, wit, and wisdom, just add caffeine to make it more interesting.
When is the best time to publish a horror novel? [Peak Sales Method]

When is the best time to publish a horror novel? [Peak Sales Method]
Make the most of your horror book launch by strategizing with these tips.
Bella Rose Emmorey
book editor, rogue behaviorist, digital marketer, writer, brand builder, plant aunt, and cheese enthusiast.
Common Novel Revision Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Common Novel Revision Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
You've read the revision tip lists--here's what NOT to do when revising a novel.
Bella Rose Emmorey
book editor, rogue behaviorist, digital marketer, writer, brand builder, plant aunt, and cheese enthusiast.
Sign-up for our newsletter.
We'll let you know about new product features, blog posts, giveaways, and special discounts.