5 solid script writing tools

Have you ever thought about writing a script for a play or movie? Here are five script writing programs that really are a cut above the rest. There are options available for both PCs and Macs, and also a web based option.

Final Draft: Known as the professional solution for script writers, Final Draft is the definitive script writing option. It’s also the most expensive. What it offers is pretty comprehensive, however. Final Draft automatically formats your script to current industry standard. In addition, it also offers Bookmarks and ScriptNotes that allow you to save specific pages of your script and organize your writing respectively. There are also quite a few ways to view your script. Final Draft is available for both Windows and Mac.

Scrivener: Not exclusively a script writing program, Scrivener is a thoroughly comprehensive tool for writing in all genres. I used Scrivener during last November’s National Novel Writing Month and was quite impressed by the features it offered. As well as short story and full-length novel templates, Scrivener has a script-writing interface, with templates available for screenplays, stage plays and comics. It is available for Mac users, while the first Windows beta was released earlier this year.

Celtx: For the script writer on a budget, Celtx is a good choice. Essentially it’s a basic version of Final Draft with a few extra features, like planning tools, storyboards and Index Cards that allow you to see your entire story in one simple frame. You can also use Celtx’s Idea Outline tool to jump-start your creative processes and add sound files, images and even video clips. This tool is available for both Windows and Mac.

Storyist: Mac users might find Storyist really useful. It lets you customize key commands in order to switch back and forth between basic screenplay elements. In addition, Storyist has a Storyboard feature that lets you add character bios and combine text and images seamlessly on one page. You can also link internally between text in your script and notes you’ve taken, which is a useful feature particularly during the editing process.

Script Buddy: If you’d prefer to be able to access your script on any computer, give web-based Script Buddy a try. Script Buddy gives you step-by-step guidance to create your script formatting with ease. You can also preview your progress every step of the way, which is convenient for perfectionists. Plus, if you thrive on constructive criticism, Script Buddy allows you to publish your work online for other users to review.

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