5 min read

Building better software for collaborative writing

👋 Hello! Since you're reading this, you're probably obsessed with stories.

So are we. We're especially interested in how we can work with other writers, editors, and beta readers to make them as good as they can be. It's true: we've got that big nerd energy.

So, naturally, we set out on a search to find the best software for writing stories collaboratively. There are lots of writing apps out there, and we tried them all: from general word processors to novel writing apps, to high-end professional screenwriting software. Most of them had really great qualities, but none of them worked quite the way we wanted them to. And none of them were designed for collaboration.

Why is collaboration an important feature for fiction writing software, you ask?

Collaboration is an important part of storytelling

Even though only one person's name (sometimes two!) is printed in shining letters across the cover of your favourite book, most books are the loving work of multiple people: editors, co-writers, ghostwriters, and early readers.

Queenie, the debut novel from Candice Carty-Williams had two pages (!) listing every person who worked on the book at the end. Of those two pages of contributors, eight of them worked only on the words: they collaborated to craft the story, refine it, copy edit and proofread it. They did it by emailing Word documents back and forth and then trawling through these different versions to compare feedback and edits.

You see, storytellers don't have great tools to help them work together. They rely on software that wasn't built with collaboration in mind, and then do the best they can to work together because they love stories!

So, for us, it wasn't enough for a writing app to have limited collaboration, or collaborative features added on to a product that was designed for solo writing. We wanted an app that was made for collaboration. It needed collaboration to be its beating heart.

But, our dream writing app didn't exist. So, we decided to build it.

First Draft Pro is our answer

We're on a mission to empower writers, editors, and beta readers to work together more effectively. Building better tools for the wonderful humans who craft stories together is the first step.

We're glad you're here to take it with us, fellow story-nerd.