Screenwriters have a lot to think about as it is, the last thing you want to have to worry about when crafting your story is whether or not your indentation spacing follows industry standards. Screenwriting apps are designed to take formatting out of the equation, giving you the freedom to focus on what really matters. Here are some of our favorite screenwriting apps of 2019.
A new screenwriting experience brought to you by Amazon Studios. Amazon Storywriter allows you to write your screenplay and focus on the story with features like auto-formatting, offline writing, and import/export in your favorite file formats. Keep your scripts safe with unlimited, secure storage in the cloud. Share drafts with trusted readers right within the app to get their feedback. When you’re finished writing your screenplays, you can submit them directly to Amazon Studios for consideration!
Cost: Free (or) Subscription for $15 a month
Celtx is a comprehensive screenwriting app designed for creating and organizing media projects like screenplays, films, videos, stage plays, audio plays, documentaries, machinima, comics, games, and podcasts. Some of its functions include a script editor, Index Cards, Storyboard, Script Insights, Revision Tracking, Shareable Links, Script Imports and Final Draft Support. Celtx offers email support and has a pretty comprehensive online help center.
Contour is a screenwriting app that is best used for developing and fleshing out storylines with a helping hand. Its fill-in-the-blanks approach allows you to figure out what exactly fits in your story. It is pretty pricey when it comes to software, but it is a great aid when writer's block approaches. Also, if you are in need of a little inspiration, Contour gives you access to entire scripts from Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. Its software is also in conjunction with Final Draft.
Cost: Free (Basic) or 4.99
With written testimonials by famed directors such as Rian Johnson and Kelly Marcel, there seems to be a lot of buzz surrounding this app. It has a collaborative edge to it, allowing you to work on the same screenplay at the same time with multiple collaborators, anywhere in the world. It also has a fully-featured interface that's organized and a full-page mode that you can use so you don't have any distractions. There are also a lot of reviews saying that this app is great in the fact that there are little-to-no glitches, allowing you to not worry about losing any of your writing.
Final Draft is an industry-standard screenwriting software used by a big chunk of working professionals in the film industry. The program can also be used to write documents such as stage plays, outlines, treatments, query letters, novels, graphic novels, manuscripts, and other text documents. It features a "Story Map," which gives you a high-level view of your screenplay and makes it easy to navigate around and preview specific scenes. "Beat Board," which lets you organize your story in beats as new ideas come to you, as well as an "Alternate Dialogue" feature which lets you write different lines of dialogue for characters within a scene. So while it does not have as many features as Celtx, it's still a very strong option that in the long run will cost you less than Celtx, since it is a one-time purchase. It also has an iPad only version which costs a lot less ($19.99).
Cost: $9.99 (IOS only)
Scripts Pro is a mobile screenwriting app specifically designed for screenwriters. Its formatting is entirely up-to-date with industry standards such a font styles, margins, and spacing. It is straight to the point and there are no unnecessary features. It keeps everything organized and easy to navigate. There is a reader preview mode that allows users to edit easily and make any changes to their drafts. You can also export to Dropbox, iTunes, and your email so you can access your files anytime, anywhere. It is also compatible with popular software such as Final Draft and Celtx while also maintaining your notes and formatted text in perfect condition.
Cost: $19,99 (IOS/iPad)
Slugline is a screenwriting software that prides itself on its simplicity. There is no overture; everything is simple and outlined. There is a How-To user guide as well as a screenwriting basics option that is great if you're new to screenwriting. There is a character tab key that allows you to paste the character's name from a drop-down list, instead of constantly having to write in the name every line. Formatting is also simple, with templates provided, even the famous Blake Snyder Beat Sheet from Save the Cat. There is also a night writer option, that allows a darker screen for a change of pace. There is a desktop version available for Mac, which costs $39.99,
Cost: $59 (Mac OS X) or 14.99 (IOS).
Storyist is a screenwriting app designed for screenwriter's and novelist's alike. It provides plenty of overviews, with index cards designed for you to refine your plot, character's, and setting's alongside your manuscript so you can keep track of new additions to your story. Storyist also provides screenplay templates so you can focus on the story, not the formatting. Unlike other screenwriting apps, Storyist provides a full page layout view, headers, footers, and style sheets included, so you don't have to worry about exporting your final draft to another word processor for formatting. It is tailor-made for Mac's/IPad's so you can store all of your writing in the cloud and access them wherever you are. Storyist also has a detailed step-by-step user guide as well as online tutorials for any new or returning users.
Okay, we know that this isn't an app, but that's not to say it can't be applicable. A typewriter is pretty old-school, but it is a great tool to use to flesh out any ideas you may have. Everything you type cannot be erased, so it allows you to get all of your thoughts out of your system without second-guessing yourself every second. It's great in the fact that when you sit down and begin to write, you already have a physical copy of your screenplay, finished or not. And typewriter's aren't exactly portable so you are forced to sit down in your workspace and really write without any distractions popping up. An oldie but a goodie, as they say.
Cost: Free (or) $6.25 a month.
WriterDuet is an interesting cloud-based screenwriting app. The app combines the power of cloud-based word processing with the intuitive nature of industry-leading screenwriting software like Final Draft. The formatting is pretty standard, allowing you to switch between action and dialogue relatively smoothly. It's the cheapest of the bunch, but still quite buggy. Like Celtx, it does have an automatic back-up so you won't constantly feel the need to press save with every sentence you finish.
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