So this is a follow-up to a post I wrote a few weeks back about the apps I use when writing. The number of apps I use for this particular style of writing is much more limited than for prose, but that’s not to say that
And before you get into this post, none of these are affiliate links. i’m not getting paid for recommending any of these.
This is the main app I use for getting first drafts down. Using the Fountain syntax, you just write and Slugline does all the formatting work for you. Nice and easy. Plus, you can use any standard text editor to write wherever you like, then import it into Slugline later, all formatting completed for you on the fly.
It’s this, among many other reasons, why I really love using Fountain for getting stuff down on the page. Initial editing is a breeze, as is outlining each script. I just wish I’d bought the app sooner.
Why spend a huge amount of money on Final Draft when you can get Fade In at a fraction of the price? I’ve tried demos of Final Draft in the past and, for the most part, I found it a difficult and cumbersome beast to get to grips with. More time was spent trying to figure out how to use it than was spent actually writing. Clearly something was wrong with this picture.
So I went on a quest to find another bit of software that would provide all of the advanced features I need from a screenwriting app, such as character reports and accepting scripts in multiple formats. This is all the more important since Celtx made the move into the cloud and I left their app behind. I’ve always preferred having something installed locally for writing just in case of any accidents.
Of course, the ultimate irony is that I save a lot of my work in the cloud these days, so I could have probably stuck with Celtx in the end. Never mind, I have no regrets with buying Fade In, it does everything I need a screenwriting app to do, and then some.
There are plenty of other options out there, however. Maybe one of the following will be better for you?
Final Draft (https://www.finaldraft.com/) is the granddaddy of screenwriting software, and has just reached its 25th anniversary. I didn’t get along with my free trials of it, but if you have $250 to spend then it could be just the thing you’re looking for.
Celts are still around (https://www.celtx.com/index.html) if you want to take either your writing or your team’s work into the cloud.
Whilst primarily aimed at those putting a novel together, Scrivener (https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php) can be used for screenwriting too. I’ve got lots of good things to say from my time using Scrivener, although I tend to use that for novels and prose than I do for scripts. But, if you’re operating on a budget, the ability to export from Scrivener into various formats is a plus point.
Very similar in approach to Slugline, Highland (http://quoteunquoteapps.com/highland/) lets you write in plain text but formats the script using the Fountain syntax. Another cool feature is its ability to “melt” Final Draft and PDF scripts into an editable format. If I didn’t already use Slugline as much, I’d also buy Highland for its other features. In fact, I probably will one day regardless.
I have a subscription to Creative Cloud, and Story (https://story.adobe.com/en-gb/) comes bundled with it. I’ve not looked at it in any great detail so far, Story lets you collaborate on a script with others within the Creative Cloud infrastructure. On first glance it looks a little clunky and unwieldy and not something I would spend much time trying to learn – I could have written a script in Slugline by the time I’d done that.
This is another one that I haven’t looked at in any great detail, but Trelby could be worth a pop.
Do you need to collaborate on a script? Then WriterDuet (https://writerduet.com/) might be ideal for your needs.
Now, before you dive into the world of shared, cloud scriptwriting services, do so with a word of caution. The last thing we want to happen is another Scripped debacle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scripped).
Otherwise, try one or more of the above and see how you get along. Are there any apps that you use that I haven’t covered here? Leave a comment and let me know.