How to Write a Novel in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Writing a novel can seem like a daunting task, but with the help of Google Docs, it can be a breeze. Google Docs is a free, web-based word processor that allows you to write, edit, and collaborate on documents from anywhere with an internet connection. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to writing a novel in Google Docs, from setting up your document to writing and editing your manuscript.

Step by Step Tutorial: Writing a Novel in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that writing a novel in Google Docs is a process that requires patience, dedication, and a lot of creativity. The following steps will help you set up your Google Docs document and organize your writing process, but the actual writing is up to you!

Step 1: Create a New Google Docs Document

To start writing your novel, you’ll need to create a new document in Google Docs. Simply go to, sign in with your Google account, and click on the ‘+’ button to create a new document.

Once you have a new document open, you can start writing your novel right away. Google Docs automatically saves your work as you go, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of your progress.

Step 2: Set Up Your Document

Before you start writing, it’s important to set up your document properly. This means choosing a font, setting your margins, and adding headers and footers.

To choose a font, click on the font dropdown menu in the toolbar and select a font that you like. For margins, go to File > Page Setup and set your margins to your desired width. And for headers and footers, go to Insert > Header & Footer and add any information you want to include, such as the title of your novel and the page number.

Step 3: Organize Your Writing

To keep your writing organized, it’s a good idea to use headings and subheadings to break up your text. You can also use the ‘Outline’ feature in Google Docs to create a table of contents for your novel.

To add headings, simply highlight the text you want to use as a heading and select a heading style from the toolbar. And to create an outline, go to View > Show Document Outline and start adding your headings and subheadings.

Step 4: Write Your Novel

Now it’s time to start writing! There’s no right or wrong way to write a novel, so just start typing and let your creativity flow.

As you write, you can use the ‘Comments’ feature in Google Docs to leave notes for yourself or collaborate with others. And if you need to do some research, you can use the ‘Explore’ feature to search the web without leaving your document.

Step 5: Edit and Revise

Once you’ve finished writing your novel, it’s time to edit and revise your work. Google Docs has a number of tools that can help you with this, including the ‘Spelling and Grammar’ checker and the ‘Suggesting’ mode.

To use the ‘Spelling and Grammar’ checker, go to Tools > Spelling and Grammar and let Google Docs check your document for any errors. And to use the ‘Suggesting’ mode, click on the pencil icon in the toolbar and select ‘Suggesting’. This will allow you to make changes to your document without actually changing the text, which can be helpful for revision.

What Happens After You’ve Completed Your Novel

After you’ve written and edited your novel in Google Docs, you can share it with others for feedback, download it as a PDF or Word document, or even publish it as an ebook. Google Docs makes it easy to share your work with others, so you can get feedback and make revisions before publishing your novel.

Tips for Writing a Novel in Google Docs

  • Use the ‘Research’ tool to easily look up information while you write.
  • Take advantage of the ‘Version History’ feature to keep track of changes and revert to previous versions if needed.
  • Customize your toolbar to include the tools you use most often.
  • Use the ‘Voice Typing’ feature to dictate your novel if you prefer speaking over typing.
  • Set goals for yourself, such as writing a certain number of words per day, to stay motivated and on track.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I write a novel in Google Docs on my phone or tablet?

Yes, you can write a novel in Google Docs on your phone or tablet using the Google Docs app, which is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Can I collaborate with others on my novel in Google Docs?

Yes, you can collaborate with others on your novel in Google Docs by sharing your document with them and giving them editing permissions.

How do I format my novel for publishing?

To format your novel for publishing, you’ll need to follow the guidelines of the publisher or self-publishing platform you’re using. Google Docs has a number of formatting options that can help you prepare your manuscript for publication.

Can I export my novel from Google Docs to another word processor?

Yes, you can export your novel from Google Docs to another word processor by downloading it as a Word document or PDF.

Is Google Docs a good option for writing a novel?

Yes, Google Docs is a great option for writing a novel. It’s free, easy to use, and has a number of features that can help you organize and edit your writing.


  1. Create a new Google Docs document
  2. Set up your document
  3. Organize your writing
  4. Write your novel
  5. Edit and revise


Writing a novel in Google Docs is a great way to take advantage of the many features this word processor has to offer. From organizing your writing to collaborating with others, Google Docs provides a flexible and user-friendly platform for writers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned novelist or just starting out, Google Docs can help you bring your ideas to life and achieve your writing goals. So why not give it a try and start writing your novel in Google Docs today?