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5 Free Tools to Write Stories With AI


Have you ever sat down, ready to pen the next big fiction or non-fiction story, only to hit a writer’s block before completing the first paragraph? It’s a common tale that often ends with the story being abandoned. But what if there was a way to push past these creative obstacles? Thanks to modern AI writing tools, it’s now easier than ever to bring your ideas to life. This list presents the top five best AI story generators that you can use for free.

1. ChatGPT

Free version limitations: no access to the latest model

ChatGPT hardly needs an introduction, as it set off the entire AI craze when it launched on November 30, 2022. It first offered a Web version, and later a mobile interface, to interact with OpenAI’s advanced large language models (LLMs).

Even though ChatGPT is a jack-of-all-trades AI, I find it to be the best AI story generator currently available, thanks to its remarkable ability to follow detailed instructions and generate compelling content. I’ve been using it to flesh out ideas, develop characters, and even come up with interesting plot twists. It also has a fantastic ability to suggest names for characters, locations, and places.

Screenshot Of Content Generated Using Chatgpt

The latest and most powerful iteration from OpenAI is GPT-4, which has set new benchmarks for AI performance customization. Unfortunately, this version isn’t available in the free version of ChatGPT. As a free user, you can only chat with GPT-3.5. But don’t be too disappointed – its performance is still remarkably good.

Pros

  • Highly intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Benchmark-leading performance
  • Offers both a Web interface and a mobile app
  • No limits on the number of words you can generate

Cons

  • Free version limits users to GPT-3.5

2. LM Studio

Free version limitations: none

ChatGPT and other similar AI tools have one major downside: they require you to share everything you write with a third party. If that doesn’t sit well with you, LM Studio may be the right AI story generator for you, as this desktop application allows you to experiment with local and open-source Large Language Models (LLMs).

Screenshot Of Lm Studio Main Screen

LM Studio runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and provides a chat-based user interface reminiscent of ChatGPT’s. However, getting started requires a bit more technical setup, including sourcing a compatible AI model from HuggingFace. Additionally, the software demands substantial hardware capabilities: in particular, a powerful GPU. Without the appropriate hardware, users may find the performance lacking, with some models being entirely unusable due to insufficient memory.

Screenshot Of Lm Studio Output

But for those with the necessary hardware, LM Studio offers a compelling, completely free, and private AI writing assistant that doesn’t even require a connection to the Internet to work.

Pros

  • Completely free and runs entirely offline for enhanced privacy
  • Compatible across Windows, macOS, and Linux
  • Offers flexibility in choosing open-source LLMs

Cons

  • Requires a powerful GPU for optimal performance
  • More difficult to set up

3. NovelCrafter

Free version limitations: 14-day free period

You can think of NovelCrafter as a Web-based Scrivener alternative. Its Story Board provides a convenient overview of your narrative structure, Codex is an information vault for story-related ideas and facts, Manuscript is where you write, and Workshop is a place for ideation.

Screenshot Of A Story Outline In Novelcrafter

Unlike Scrivener, NovelCrafter can be integrated directly with AI, allowing for the simultaneous use of multiple AI models. Supported AIs include GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, Mistral AI, and even locally run models. You can then use these models for generating content, brainstorming ideas, and refining your stories.

Screenshot Of Novelcrafter Ai Settings

While NovelCrafter can be used for free, accessing its integration with large language models requires a Tinkerer subscription, billed at $8 monthly. However, every plan comes with a 14-day free trial, providing ample time to explore the platform’s full capabilities and potentially complete at least one story.

Pros

  • Modern Web-based user interface
  • Complete writing toolbox
  • Integrates with different AI models

Cons

  • AI integration requires a paid subscription

4. NovelAI

Free version limitations: only 100 text generations are free

NovelAI is an innovative platform for storytelling. You and Kayra, the platform’s AI model, can together let your imagination run wild, while drawing upon specific themes, mimicking the styles of famous writers, or even developing a unique module with your own data.

Novelai Coming Up With A Simple Story Idea

The service boasts an impressive memory capability, retaining up to 8,192 tokens of context. This means the AI can remember significant details over long stretches of text to ensure continuity and depth in your stories. Additionally, you can enter important facts about your story in the Lorebook so that both you and the AI can maintain consistency.

Novelai Content Generation Options

The free tier of NovelAI offers users 100 free text generations. You also get 100 free text-to-speech generations, which you can use to turn your story into an audiobook.

Pros

  • Can be configured and trained to output a specific style
  • Text-to-speech and image-generation (paid only) capabilities
  • Impressive memory retention for continuity in long texts

Cons

  • Unlimited access requires a subscription, starting at $10/month
  • Context length is limited to 6,144 tokens in the free version

5. QuillBot

Free version limitations: text length restrictions and missing features

QuillBot established itself before the widespread fame of ChatGPT. While this tool can help you write a story from scratch, I recommend it mainly for its ability to refine your writing with its AI-powered thesaurus, so that every word you choose packs the intended punch.

Quillbot Paraphrasing A Short Story

You can choose from eight predefined modes to adjust the tone and style of your writing. It’s also possible to create a custom mode that fits your specific writing needs. Because QuillBot integrates seamlessly with Chrome and Microsoft Word, you can maintain your workflow without the hassle of switching between different tools.

Quillbot Generating A New Paragraph

Sadly, the free version of QuillBot has its limitations, only allowing users to paraphrase up to 125 words at a time. Additionally, some of the more advanced features are reserved for premium users, including faster processing speeds, recommended rewrites, tone insights, and a plagiarism checker.

Pros

  • Can refine existing stories and write new ones
  • Integrates with Chrome and Word
  • Customizable tone and style

Cons

  • Free plan has limitations

Whether you’re drafting the next bestseller or fleshing out an intricate world for your fantasy novel, embracing the power of AI story generators can significantly enhance your writing process. Of course, there are many other tools writers should keep in their toolboxes, including markdown editors for Android and iPhone, which make it easy to capture ideas even while on the go.

Cover image: DALL-E. All screenshots by David Morelo.

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David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application. His interest in technology started at an early age and has only grown stronger over the years.

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