Here is a list of best free story writing software for Windows. You can create stories by developing plots and scenes with various characters, locations, and other elements.
The below listed story writing software let you easily build plots for your stories with details like story goal, brief description, importance, and other essentials. You can write scenes with characters, locations, real world items, etc. to build a fantasy world for your stories. You can create characters by adding information like name, age, importance, description, bio, conflicts, etc. You can also add locations as well as real world items with descriptions to your stories. Some of these story writing software also let you add images to the stories. Also, a software lets you create interactive stories. In case you want to write long stories, you can add chapters to them. Other items to add to a story project are notes, cues, ideas, thoughts, etc. You can also format front and back matter sections of a story project.
You can modify the content of story by customizing font type, size, and color, highlighting text, adding typographical emphasis, etc. You can also choose a custom dictionary to use while writing. Some of them also provide advanced features like text-to-speech converter and vice-versa. You can view analysis reports of characters and locations in few of these story writing software. These freeware also offer other tools like spellcheck, frequency analyzer, etc. All in all, these freeware provide standard functionalities of a word processor.
After writing a story, you can export it in different formats. Most of these freeware support formats like RTF and TXT to import and export. Many of them allow you to publish your story as a PDF, XPS, or a web page (HTML). You can checkout the list to know specific formats supported by each one of them.
My Favorite Free Story Writing Software:
Manuskript is my top favorite from this list of story writing software. It lets you easily create characters, locations, etc. and use them directly while building plots for your story. Also, it provides different kind of views to see the output. yWriter is another favorite of mine as it provides some advanced tools like Storyboard, text-to-speech converter, etc. If you want to create interactive stories and publish them as web pages, Twine is a good software to use.
You can also checkout the list of Script Writing and Screenplay Writing software for Windows.
Manuskript is an open source story writing software. It lets you create short stories by adding number of scenes and specifying number of words per scene. You can then add general information about your story like title, author, genre, etc., and its summary.
Now, the characters of your story can be created in Characters tab. You can add characters as main, secondary, and minor (based on importance) with detailed info (motivation, goal, description, conflicts, etc.). It lets you develop plots of your story as main, secondary, and minor by adding basic information and resolution steps. You can use the created characters directly while developing a plot. You can also add other items (wildlife, science, education, dresses, etc.) for fantasy world building. You can now create outline of your story by writing scenes with summary and POV.
In the Redaction tab, you can view and edit scenes of your story as text, index card, or outline. You can also customize the properties (color, border, etc.) of all these three items. It also lets you modify stories by setting POV, status (todo, draft, final, etc.), and labels (scenes, ideas, notes, etc.).
You can use Compile option in File menu to export your story in formats of plain text or markdown.
Manuskript is a portable story writer software which lets you create novels, stories, research papers, non-fiction books, etc. In addition to tools provided for writing, it also provides tools like Spellcheck, Frequency Analyzer, and Dictionary. Home Page Download Page
Storybook is a free story writing software. You can write a story by adding scenes with characters (central/minor) and locations. You can create characters by adding information like name, gender, birthday, occupation, color, etc. and locations by adding address. You can further customize a scene by adding title, summary, and date, linking to a strand, specifying its status (outline, draft, edit, or done), writing notes, etc. These scenes can be saved as TXT files separately. You can also add chapters to your story and add scenes to them.
It lets you view charts like appearance of characters by scenes, gantt chart of characters, occurrence of characters or locations, etc., which you can export as a PNG image individually. You can also add ideas to stories for reference in future. It provides tool for spellcheck to search for misspelled words and replace them.
You can export a story in formats of TXT, PDF (with watermark), HTML, CSV, RTF, and ODT. You can also choose the kind of report you want to export individually like character list, location list, summary, etc.
Storybook is basically a writing software which lets you create stories and novels. You can easily navigate through a project and make changes. It provides different views like chronological view, book view, etc. to manage a project. Home Page Download Page
yWriter is basically a word processor which can be used for writing stories. It lets you create multiple scenes with characters (major/minor) and locations. You can add information about characters with name, description, tags, bio, notes, goals, and picture (JPEG/PNG/GIF/BMP). You can write a scene by adding some details like type of scene (actor or reaction), importance (plot or subplot), status (outline, draft, edit, or completed), scene beginning and ending time, ratings, viewpoints, items, notes, goals, etc. You can also add image to a particular scene.
To modify the content, it provides basic editing tools of a word processor like typographical emphasis options. You can also highlight text within a scene. It also offers a built-in text-to-speech converter to read aloud the text of a scene. It also provides a Storyboard feature which can be used to view scenes as a sequence of cards.
You can import or export a story in TXT, RTF, and HTML formats. You can also save a story in PDF or XPS format using Print option. It also lets you export specific chapters and other data from a story in RTF and XML formats, respectively.
yWriter is another good story writing software to look out for. It has a clean and user friendly interface and provides standard functionalities of a word processor. Home Page Download Page
FreeWriter is another free story writing software. Firstly, you can enter the title and a target word count for your story. You can then build the architecture of a story by specifying fore matter and back matter pages to include in a story. Now, you can create a story by writing scenes and plots with characters, locations, etc. You can also add an image to your story in formats of JPEG, PNG, BMP, and GIF. In addition to that, you can align the image and resize it. You can also import a TXT or RTF file to add to a story.
It lets you customize font and layout of the content of your story. You can use Spelling tool to check for misspelled words . It also lets you dictate text through microphone, using Speech tool. You can also add thought links, labels, and sticky notes to a story project and export them individually as a PDF. You can also design cover page, introduction page, etc. with pictures.
You can export your story in formats of PDF, XPS, RTF, and TXT by using Publish option.
FreeWriter is basically writing freeware which lets you create novels, stories, and reports. It provides standard functionality of a word processor. It has various interface skins to change to. Home Page Download Page
Twine is an open source story writing software to create interactive stories. You can start with choosing a desired story format from Responsive, Jonah, and Sugarcane. You can then add title of story and author’s name. After that, you can add multiple passages to your story. Now, you can edit these passages by writing content for them.
You can create link from selected text and check for outgoing and incoming links. You can also add an image to a passage. But, to do so, you have to import an image to the project and add its link in the passage like:
[img[<image name>]]. You can know more about Twine here.
It lets you customize general preferences like type, style, size, effects, color, etc. for normal font, monospace font, and full editor font. You can also customize text and background color of the editor. You can set some story settings and enter story metadata.
The created story can be published as a web page (HTML). The ‘Build’ menu lets you build and rebuild your story and play it in a browser. You can also export it as a proofing copy (RTF).
Twine is a free interactive story creator. You can create stories with pictures and share them with your friends as web pages. Home Page Download Page
Plume Creator is another open source story writing software. It lets you create short stories by entering count of acts, chapters, and scenes. You can then add characters, locations, and other items with their description. To create characters for your story, you can specify their importance (main/secondary), type (protagonist/antagonist/supporting/neutral), age, and description. It also provides Attendance Settings window to manage list of characters. You can then build plots and write scenes with the created characters and locations in your story.
It lets you choose text style as Normal or Poetry. You can write content for acts, scenes, etc. in different tabs at a time. You can customize font type, size, style, etc., change theme, interface language (English, Spanish, German, etc.), style, and display, etc. You can also choose a custom dictionary for the Spellchecker tool.
You can export a story in formats of PDF, HTML, ODT, CSV, and TXT. You can also choose parts (story, synopsis, and notes) to include in the output.
Plume Creator is a good free writing software with various customization options. Home Page Download Page