Writing a compelling screenplay is a craft. It takes a highly skilled craftsman to develop and painstakingly adorn his piece de resistance to be finally showcased. Or so you thought! Well, all you need to bring to the table is your creative juices, a captivating storyline and your basic writing skills. Your screenwriting software will do the rest for you. Instead of submerging yourself in an ocean of papers, leave it to the screenwriting software of your choice to deal with outlining, formatting, structuring, organizing and other technicalities. Abracadabra, you have a stellar and uber professional script in hand to pitch!
We bring to you a list of the top-notch players in the industry. Read along to make your choice.
Script writers swear by this software. It is considered the industry standard and has the giant’s share in the screenwriting market. In Hollywood, almost everyone is using Final Draft because it provides all the necessary tools and features to aid the writer. And other bells and whistles come along too, to format and produce a very professional and first-rate screenplay.
· Current Version: 9, Adaptability: PC/MAC , Mobile: iOS
· True to its tagline ‘Just add words’ the software puts your words into screenplay format as you type
· It offers effective production tools to break down the script for all production departments
· It has a huge base of character names and writing features like no other
· Final Draft 9 offers many improvements to the previous version’s core functionality, along with an elegant redesign of
its story analysis
· Is the industry benchmark and is used everywhere with maximum work efficiency
· It offers an exhaustive list of templates, a clean interface and ample script development tools
· Is very expensive though not as exclusive. Aspiring screenwriters swear by other options with more or less all the features of Final Draft for a fraction of its price
Movie Magic Screenwriter
Movie Magic Screenwriter vs Final Draft in the screenwriting market is what Android vs IPhone is in the smartphone world. For long, Movie Magic Screenwriter has stood up to arch rival Final Draft by introducing notable outlining and navigating tools.
· Current Version: 6, Adaptability: PC/MAC, Mobile: No
· Fully integrated customizable outlining tools
· Elaborate rewriting and revision features
· It is streamline –enabled
· Outlining can be customized
· Revision features are the best of all scriptwriting software
· Standard for production planning
· Not as expensive as Final Draft but not cheap enough
· Too much customization can confuse the screenwriter sometimes
· No mobile version
If you want a fuss-free, full-featured and inexpensive but efficient software, Fade In is your go-to choice. Fade In, offers many of the same features found in expensive alternatives like Final Draft, and many more features than the free and discounted software, such as Celtx.
· PC, MAC, Linux compatible with mobile versions for iOS and Android
· Organizing scripts in a customizable fashion
· Allows the user to import, edit, and export in the common .fdx format
· A good alternative to Final Draft with most of its features at a much lower cost
· Clean, less fussy and easy to use interface
· Good speed
· Some readers might find using Dropbox for cloud support cumbersome
· Using it on iOS device is not easy
Celtx is your best bet, when you are starting out as a script writer or writing a script on a stringent budget. Celtx is a free software with most of the bells and whistles of any expensive software, though a little toned-down.
· Current Version: Desktop v.2.9.5, Compatibility: PC/MAC, Mobile: Yes (iOS & Android)
· Quality screenwriting editor for screenplays, theatre (stage plays),radio plays, AV scripts and comics
· Storyboarding, clip arts, catalogues and specialized viewing at a minimal cost
· Can aid in creating production schedules, script reports, call sheets, shooting reports, etc. at a minimal cost
· Free of cost- Plus version too is not at all expensive and gives the most bang for your buck
· Has an inbuilt online community for idea sharing and teamwork
· Is available on Mac, PC and Linux
· App for Android and iOS
· Requires registration before the 15 day free trial
· Almost every additional tool is available at an extra cost
Other honorable mentions popular with screenwriters
· Highland –This software is often described as distraction-free. It is minimalist and plain-text oriented.
· Adobe Story – This is a simple scriptwriting application with lots of key features.
· Movie Draft – This software is known to provide more tools for structure and outlining along with other basic features.
· Scrivener –Apart from developing and outlining a screenplay Scrivener provides effective tools for research too.
The power of smartphone apps cannot be undermined when we talk of technology. If you choose to go the app route with your script, we bring you a list of some of the popular apps for scriptwriting on your mobile device.
· Final Draft Writer –iOS
· My Screenplays –Android
· Storylist –iOS
· Fade In Mobile –Android 2.2 and up and iOS 5 and up
· Celtx Script –Android and iPhone and iPad
· Lists for Writers –Android and iOS
· Screenwriter –Android 1.5 and up
· Contour –iOS
· Hanx Writer –iPad
· Scriptly –iPad
· Notably –iPad