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Best Book Editing Software 2024: Top 5 Tools for Writers

Best Book Editing Software

Navigating the murky waters of book editing software can feel like a herculean trial.

There are countless options out there, each promising to be the holy grail for your writing woes. But how do you discern which tool truly has the potential to transform your writing process? The key lies in understanding your specific needs as an author and finding software that addresses these challenges head-on.

Fictionary is a tool that stands out from the crowd for story editing. Designed by authors for authors, it’s a creative writer’s steadfast companion in the journey from rough draft to shiny story. With Fictionary, you’re unlocking a roadmap to better storytelling skills, one that will guide you through the complex layers of perfecting plot, creating character, and shoring up settings.

So, are you ready to elevate your writing process?

Stay tuned as we delve into the world of book editing software, keeping Fictionary as our benchmark, and help you make an informed choice. This is your ultimate guide to the best book editing software of 2023.

Let’s dive in!

5 Best Book Editing Software Programs

In the sections below, we’ll look at the top features of the best editing software out there so that you can make the best decision based on the kind of writer you are.

1) Fictionary: Best Overall for Fiction Writers

Image showing two Story Arcs together for comparison

In the vast ocean of book editing software, one platform stands tall, making waves with its innovative approach to story editing: Fictionary.

This platform is not just a tool, but a companion for creatives and fiction writers, helping you transform your raw manuscript into a captivating story that enchants your readers. Let’s delve into some of Fictionary’s key features.

Story Arc

A well-crafted story arc is the backbone of any great novel, the thread that weaves together the fabric of your narrative.

But crafting a compelling story arc is easier said than done. This is where Fictionary shines.

Fictionary’s automated Story Arc feature analyses your manuscript, plotting out the pivotal points in your narrative. It helps you visualise your story’s progression, making it easier to identify any weak spots or missing links in your narrative chain.

The result?

A robust story arc that propels your readers from the first page to the last, maintaining their interest and emotional engagement throughout.

Story Map

Your story is a journey.

But without a map, you and your readers can easily lose the way. Fictionary’s Story Map is the compass you need to stay on track.

It captures every Story Element, giving you a bird’s eye view of your narrative’s flow, point of view goals, tension, conflict, and hooks. This enables you to spot and rectify any narrative gaps that could disrupt your story’s momentum.

With the Story Map, you can ensure that every piece of your narrative puzzle fits seamlessly, crafting a coherent and engaging story that keeps your readers hooked from start to finish.

Skeleton Blurb

Imagine being able to encapsulate the essence of your story in a few compelling lines, a skeleton blurb that can pique the interest of readers and literary agents alike. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it?

Not with Fictionary’s Skeleton Blurb feature.

This tool helps you craft a concise, enticing blurb for your novel, providing a template that guides you through highlighting your story’s key elements:

The Protagonist: Main Character’s Name [Protagonist]
Must: Want something [Story Goal]
Otherwise: Something bad will happen [stakes of not achieving their goal–what happens if they fail?]

With Fictionary’s Skeleton Blurb, you can create a powerful snapshot of your story that can intrigue potential readers, pique the interest of industry professionals, and also keep you focussed on the overall plot goal as you write.

Fictionary, in a nutshell, is a comprehensive solution to your story editing needs.

Its user-centric design and robust features make it the gold standard in book editing software for creatives and fiction writers.

2) ProWritingAid

ProWritingAid Software

Navigating the labyrinth of grammar rules and writing conventions can feel as annoying as a bad head cold.

And that’s where ProWritingAid comes in.

It’s like your very own personal style coach and copyeditor all rolled into one. Its extensive grammar and spelling checks help you weed out errors that could mar your prose.

But it doesn’t stop there.

ProWritingAid delves deeper, offering readability analysis, detecting overused words, and even highlighting awkward sentence structures.

The software acts as your second pair of eyes, providing comprehensive feedback to refine and elevate your writing. With ProWritingAid, you can polish your prose to near-perfection, ensuring your readers stay immersed in your narrative world.

3) Scrivener

Scrivener Screenshot

When writing complex novels or managing several projects simultaneously, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. Scrivener addresses this challenge effectively, serving as more than just a word processor—it’s a comprehensive writing suite.

Scrivener’s corkboard and outlining tools allow you to organise your narrative structure efficiently, keeping your scenes and chapters in order.

It also offers an innovative research storage feature, enabling you to keep all your notes, ideas, and references within the same workspace—no more hunting down lost notes or misplaced ideas.

However, where Scrivener truly shines is its compatibility with ProWritingAid.

When you pair these two together, you get the best of both worlds: Scrivener’s powerful writing and organisational tools along with ProWritingAid’s robust editing capabilities.

ProWritingAid, when used with Scrivener, can delve into your manuscript, highlighting grammar errors, awkward phrasings, and even offering readability scores. This combination of comprehensive project management and in-depth editing makes Scrivener and ProWritingAid a formidable duo for any writer aiming to elevate their manuscript to professional standards.

4) Hemingway

Hemingway Editing Software

Every writer struggles with clarity and brevity at some point.

The Hemingway app tackles these challenges head-on. It’s like having Ernest Hemingway himself as your editor, guiding you towards clear, concise, and impactful writing.

Hemingway highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors, nudging you to make your writing more accessible and engaging.

It also identifies passive voice and adverb overuse, helping you to write with more vigor and immediacy. Hemingway is a powerful tool for writers keen on crafting lean, compelling prose that resonates with readers.

5) Smart Edit for Word

Smart Edit for Word

Editing can feel like looking for a specific grain of sand in the desert.

As you scour your manuscript for overused phrases, redundancies, or potential clichés, you may feel overwhelmed. Smart Edit for Word simplifies this process, scanning your manuscript and flagging potential issues that could undermine your writing.

Smart Edit checks for repeated phrases, monitors adverb usage, and even keeps an eye out for misused words.

It also provides a list of named entities, helping you keep your characters and places consistent.

With Smart Edit, you can focus on the craft of storytelling, knowing that the technical aspects of editing are well in hand.

Top Features to Look for in Book Editing Software

There’s no shortage of book editing software options out there, but not all are created equal.

As an author, your aim should be to find software that meets your unique needs and enhances your craft. Here are three essential features that top-notch editing software, like Fictionary, should offer:

Help with the Story Arc

Your story arc is the backbone of your narrative.

It’s what keeps your readers turning the pages, breathlessly awaiting the next twist or revelation. Unfortunately, keeping track of a story arc can be a daunting task, especially in a lengthy novel with multiple subplots.

That’s why the best editing software should provide tools to visualise and manage your story arc.

Fictionary excels in this aspect, enabling you to see your story arc at a glance, with clear indications of crucial elements such as inciting incidents, climaxes, and resolutions. By using Fictionary, you can ensure that your story stays compelling from the first page to the last.

Help Keeping Track of Your Edit

Editing a book isn’t a one-time process. It involves multiple passes through your manuscript, refining and tweaking different elements each time. This repetitive process can be taxing, and it’s easy to lose track of what’s been done and what’s left to tackle.

A top-tier book editing software should help you keep track of your edits, and Fictionary does just that.

It tracks your progress, noting which scenes have been reviewed and which ones still need attention. This feature not only keeps your editing process organised but also prevents you from overlooking any aspect of your manuscript.

Story First. Prose Later.

Every author knows that writing isn’t merely about putting words on a page—it’s about weaving a compelling narrative that resonates with readers. Therefore, the best editing software should focus on your story first, and the prose later.

This is where Fictionary sets itself apart.

It encourages authors to focus on the bigger picture—the plot, character development, and setting—before delving into the nitty-gritty of prose editing. This approach ensures that your story is strong, engaging, and well-structured, providing a solid foundation upon which beautiful prose can be built.

Your choice of book editing software can significantly impact your writing process.

By choosing a tool like Fictionary, which offers these vital features, you’re equipping yourself with a platform that truly understands and caters to an author’s needs. You’re not just investing in software—you’re investing in your potential as a writer.

Book Editing Software FAQs

As you navigate your writing journey, you may have a few questions about book editing software. It’s a significant aspect of the writing process, and understanding its value and purpose can greatly benefit your work.

Here, I’ll shed light on some common questions, positioning Fictionary as a top-tier solution that stands out amongst its peers.

Why Do You Need a Book Editor if You’ve Used Editing Software?

While editing software like Fictionary provides a robust toolset for self-editing and manuscript refinement, employing the keen eye of a professional editor is still beneficial.

Editing software excels in identifying structural issues, inconsistencies, and areas for improvement. It enables you to polish your story’s foundation, making it the best version it can be.

However, a book editor brings human insight, nuance, and intuition to the table.

They can discern subtleties in your text that a machine might overlook. They can offer suggestions for enhancing your narrative voice, deepening your character development, and refining your prose. An editing software, no matter how advanced, supplements the work of a human editor—it doesn’t replace it.

In this sense, Fictionary and a professional Fictionary Certified StoryCoach Editor can work in tandem.

Fictionary allows you to deliver a well-structured, consistent manuscript to your editor, who can then focus on the finer nuances of your prose.

It’s a winning combination that results in a book you can be truly proud of.

What is the Value of Outstanding Book Editing Software?

Outstanding book editing software, like Fictionary, is an invaluable asset to any writer.

It offers a comprehensive approach to self-editing that elevates your manuscript to a higher standard. It takes you beyond simple grammar and spell-checking, delving into the heart of what makes a story captivating: its structure, its characters, and its narrative flow.

Fictionary empowers you to visualise your story arc, track your characters, and identify gaps or inconsistencies in your plot.

It transforms the often overwhelming task of editing into a manageable, structured process, freeing you to focus on your creativity and storytelling.

The value of this cannot be overstated.

Not only does it improve the quality of your work, but it also enhances your understanding and mastery of the craft of writing. This growth and development is a benefit that extends beyond any single manuscript—it’s an investment in your future as a writer.

Why Should You Invest in Book Editing Software, Instead of Using Free Versions?

While free editing software can be a good starting point, it often falls short in providing the comprehensive, in-depth tools that a serious writer needs. Free versions usually focus on basic proofreading, leaving the structural and narrative aspects of your story largely unattended.

This is where Fictionary’s free trial differs. You get access to all the software features, with nothing held back.

Want to take it further?

Investing in a premium book editing software like Fictionary means you’re taking yourself seriously as an author. With Fictionary, you’re not just getting an editing tool; you’re getting a virtual writing coach, offering insights into your plot, characters, and structure that go far beyond simple grammar checks.

Moreover, with premium software comes premium support.

Fictionary’s team is committed to your success, offering responsive support and a wealth of resources to guide you in your writing journey.

In essence, investing in quality book editing software is a declaration that, “YOU ARE AN AUTHOR!”.

It’s about committing to your craft, honing your skills, and producing work that meets professional standards. It’s about giving your story—the story only you can tell—the respect and attention it deserves.

Conclusion: The Best Book Editing Software 2023

As you step onto the path of self-editing, it’s essential to arm yourself with the right tools.

Editing software plays a crucial role in polishing your manuscript and refining your craft. But with so many options out there, finding the ideal tool can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

After looking at the landscape of book editing software available this year, it’s clear that Fictionary stands towers above the rest, particularly for those focused on crafting compelling fiction. It goes beyond simple grammar checks and spell corrections, delving into the heart of your story—its structure, its characters, its narrative flow.

Fictionary is designed to empower you, the writer.

It provides a robust toolkit that transforms the oft-overwhelming task of editing into a manageable, structured process. It helps you visualise your story arc, track your characters, and identify areas in your plot that need attention. It’s not just an editing tool—it’s a virtual writing coach.

While other tools like ProWritingAid, Scrivener, Hemingway, and Smart Edit for Word each have their strengths, none offer the comprehensive story-focused approach that Fictionary does.

They make excellent supplements, but when it comes to a robust, all-encompassing editing platform…

Fictionary takes the prize!

Take a Free Trial of Fictionary StoryTeller

In the end, the best editing software is the one that caters to your specific needs and supports you in your writing journey.

The one that helps you tell your story, your way. And for many of you, that software is Fictionary. Here’s to writing stories readers love, telling them more effectively, and making your mark in the world of fiction!

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Article Written by Shane Millar

Shane Millar

Shane Millar is a Fictionary Certified Story Coach and the author of the Write Better Fiction craft guides. He is also the author of the Myth & Magic and Chosen Vampire urban fantasy thriller series.

Shane holds a BA in journalism and is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). He lives in Buckinghamshire, England.

He has taken too many writing courses to count and enjoys reading as much as possible. Shane is obsessed with five things: the writing craft, mythology, personal development, food, and martial arts movies.

Want to hire Shane to edit your novel? Visit: