03-14-2007 08:22 PM
Not to put the cart ahead of the horse, but do you have any recommendations / preferences for screenwriting software?
I've used Movie Magic Screenwriter for many years (exclusively for stage plays, however). I just downloaded a demo of Final Draft, which looks like a sharper version of the program I already have. A friend who has written a screenplay that was produced recommended Sophocles, which I know nothing about. And of course, there are a host of word processing templates for screenplays.
What about programs designed to jump-start the creative process in addition to helping format your work? Would you recommend any programs in this genre?
Thanks in advance for any tips and/or warnings.
03-14-2007 09:03 PM
Character Pro leads you thru an Enneagram-process of character-building. You fill out forms with basic information, name, age, race, gender, etc, then the Enneagram, wherein you decide the characters Overall Health at the start of the story, and the character arc, toward growth and goodness, or toward death and evil. In this way, you can design a bad character that gets worse, or a good character that gets even better, as well as the tried-and-true hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, or corrupt-police officer types and everything in between. Then the prgram offers a basic paragraph describing the core character based on the health and arc you have chosen.
The program asks a few pointed questions about the internal workings of your character, Personality, Background, Dialogue, Relationships, Arc; asking from 5 to 10 detailed questions in each category for you to build your character. Then, there is a portion where you can include any other notes on the character that didn't fit into any other section of Q&A character-build, and finally, the program dumps all your responses into a summary, so you can see your character laid out as designed.
It's pretty basic, but quite a nice little inspirational guide.
Quick Story is similar to Character Pro in its simplicity and design, and enables the user to build a story-tree, broken down by Acts and Plot Points per each Act. There is even a Plot Point Generator, which generates pre-determined generic plot points such as 'Hero sets off on quest' or 'Hero confronts an obstacle in his path' or 'Hero faces Villain, but does not conquer Villain'.. generated plot points are dependant upon their location in the overall story-tree, which is kinda cool!
also, a Story Generator, similar to plot point generator except that it generates the entire tree-full of plot points into a cohesive story. The user can than go in and alter any specific plot points to whatever desired effect. There are places within the story-construction to enter character names and relationships, which are then used by the program when plotting the various points of the story. In the end, the bare-bones basics of the tree are summarized to a readable, printable screen for the user's perusal.
both tools (or all 3, including Movie Magic Screenwriter) are useful individually, possibly unmatched when used together, definitely worth a look for anyone serious about writing but not so sure about keeping track of character and/or story ideas.
build and save characters in Character Pro, build and save their story tree in Quick Story, and translate it for the big screen via Movie Magic Screenwriter, and you are GOLDEN!
03-14-2007 11:29 PM
I defer to others on the 'creative process' programs, since I've never used one.
03-14-2007 11:53 PM
Thank you for the info. I downloaded a Sophocles demo, and it looks like a little more than I want/need at present. Given that I already have MMS and am familiar with its interface (+ the instructive and persuasive comments that Daniel linked to), this one seems like a no-brainer, at least for now.
I will, however, check out the development tools that crAZRick mentioned, as I think my main roadblock lies in the early development phases, rather than cranking out the scenes in the production phase.
03-15-2007 09:58 AM
03-15-2007 01:25 PM
03-15-2007 09:20 PM
03-15-2007 09:35 PM
Can you export from Word into any of these programs? I'd hate to have to re-type everything into a new program. I'm leaning toward MMS, but I'm going to download the demo first.
Sorry for misspelling your name in previous post -- cardinal sin for a professional editor.
Yes, you can open Word files directly into MMS, and the program reinterprets each element. If you start with a clean, industry-standard Word script, you'll end up with a clean MMS script. May have to do a little tweaking, but shouldn't be very much.
03-16-2007 08:23 AM
That's great that MMS can do that. I'll be downloading the demo this weekend and if it proves simple enough for me to use, I'm pretty sure I'll invest in it.
03-19-2007 10:45 PM
Here's one leading to QuickStory and CharacterPro
Movie Magic Screenwriter $170
maybe a little spendy if you're just dabbling, but heck, all you have to do is sell just one screenplay and the tools have paid for themselves and then some!!
03-20-2007 11:22 AM
the dedicated screenwriting software apps really do a better job of formatting and also make the writing process a bit easier as the formatting and entry of oft-typed things is automatic. Most of the packages carry steep price tags but also have demos.