Screenwriting software

aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264

So my long-term film idea is evolving and coalescing, slowly taking shape. It's ages away, as there's so much to do and learn before I even begin production, and I am now looking at screen writing software, so I can put together the script and all those other bits and pieces you need to do the job.

I am probably going to get Fade In, but am curious if anyone else uses or can recommend software to assist in movie creation.

I'm also looking to write a novel as back story for the movie, so novel writing software suggestions (I have googled the living snot out of them but real world "I use this, it's great" pwns google) would be much appreciated also.



  • rgbiirgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out

    I've mostly used Celtx, but recently started using Fade In, but haven't used it extensively yet.    Celtx is a good solution and free. It's a good place to learn about what features are important to you.   I'm giving Fade In a try because of it's dropbox feature. By storing your script in dropbox, you can edit/add notes from anywhere, any device.  If I get an idea or want to make a note in the middle of the night, I can grab my phone and add it to the script.

    Celtx has some nice features for once you take your script into production, such as what props and other resources are needed for each scene. Even though the reports are usable, I think they could be improved on.

    I haven't been through the production phase with Fade In yet, so I can't comment on that yet..

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264
    edited May 2015

    Thanks rgbii

    I would have thought any software could use dropbox - just store the files in the dropbox folder and they are accessible anywhere else via the File | Open menu item?

  • rgbiirgbii Website User Posts: 965 Just Starting Out

    True, but not all software works on all devices (I probably should have explained this better). Celtx has software for android, but when I tried it, it was very limited and unusable in my opinion. It just wasn't the same software as the PC version.  Fade In for android is actually usable on a phone, and when you take it back to a PC, you haven't lost anything. 

    If you're mostly going to write on a PC, Celtx is worth trying out. But if you tend to write whenever and wherever you get the chance, Fade In might be a better choice.

  • jinchoungjinchoung Website User Posts: 55
    edited May 2015

    oooo... this is an area that i can comment on.

    i would highly recommend SCRIVENER from literature and latte. fantastic general writing software that has tools for writing everything from scripts to novels and really awesome organization tools that let you switch freely from your prose to index card views to outline views. at $45 it's a no-brainer for me.

    if you have a single writing computer like a laptop that you use for all your writing, this is a great way to go. or if you have a computer and an ipad, the iOS version will be released later this year too.

    so i have and use scrivener but personally, more than these tools, i really value the ability to just call up my writing anywhere i'm at with minimum fuss about synching and stuff so i've started using a web based service called .

    no matter where i'm at or what client i'm on, i can log in and start writing. and as big of a procrastinator i am, i REALLY needed something that just strips away every excuse.

    only thing with this is that it is a monthly subscription after the current beta period if you want to continue using but they're letting 200 people sign up for lifetime memberships for $100... for me, it was too useful to pass that up.

    on the mac and also for ipad (with good syncing options), i hear ulysses is fantastic. personally, i would have liked to use ulysses over scrivener because ulysses goes with  plaintext over rich text (when i write, i just want to write and i don't want to think about formatting stuff) but destiny kind of chose for me since ulysses supports only mac/ios.


  • UbiUbi Website User Posts: 85

    Personally, after trying all the "Big Bosses" I went the FadeIn way. It has lots of bang for the buck. I'm not in the production phase and cannot comment on that, but I have the suspicion it lacks something respect to, say, FinalCut. But we are speaking of different prices, and many users complains the many FC bugs. Anyway, I'd feel FI has enough for my needs now and I would be happy to end with my screenwriting in my hands for now. Production let's see then.

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264
    edited May 2015

    @Ubi I think you mean Final Draft - only mentioning it so others not up to speed can work out what you're trying to say :D

    I emailed the Fade In guy and asked about writing a novel and also publishing an ebook. Ebook is no problem, but the novel doesn't quite fit, apparently. He said he is looking into what he can do in that regard, so I am happy to wait a week or even more to see what he can do.

    Lots of reading and learning and research to do beforehand, and I am happy sending myself emails to keep track of ideas and concepts in the mean time.

    Thanks for the scrivener tip, jinchoung. I'll add it to the short list.

  • UbiUbi Website User Posts: 85

    @aarondc: Ouch! Here's what happens when you reply after hours :)

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast

    I've used Celtx and it does a good job.

    As for novel writing - I'll second Scrivener. AMAZING software for writing long-form or complex narratives. It's especially useful when it comes to editing, as it helps you visualise your structure.

    The only drawback is the lack of a tablet version, which confines me to my computer. 

  • PencilandincPencilandinc Website User Posts: 143

    Just going to throw this one out there for anyone who happens to be reading this thread who might be running a Windows/linux combo. Trelby is open source, and exports to rtf, pdf, html and Final Draft formats. It will (having done this myself) install on a Mac through WINE.

  • TommyCampbellTommyCampbell Website User Posts: 35

    I'll cast my vote for Fade In also.  I tend to write most of my stuff using Fountain and then bring it in to Fade In or Slugline for the final revision.  

  • wolfbroswolfbros Website User Posts: 25

    @Pencilandinc that software looks interesting I'll have to try it out. That or Celtx.

  • KeeganKeegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out

    I have an android phone and just use the web-version of Celtx through chrome when I need to edit on-the-go. It would be way easier if I had a tablet, but the functionality is pretty much the same as on a PC.

    I DO NOT recommend the app for celtx. 

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264
    edited May 2015

    Fade In guy got back to me and also mentioned Scrivener for novel writing, as well as just a plain old text editor, but methinks Scrivener definitely deserves a second look now. Doesn't sound like he's too optimistic about doing something with Fade In hehe. le sigh.

    Much appreciated for all the feedback. Thank you.

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264

    Oh and I struggle sending SMSs. I doubt I could write constructively on a fricken phone. I took an iPad to New Caledonia on a holiday a few years ago and couldn't get comfortable typing on that, so laptop all the way for this black duck.

  • MandalorianMandalorian Website User Posts: 79

    Pencilandinc mentioned Trelby.  I've been using it lately and love it.  It's free (which can't be beat when you're just trying out options), and extremely simple.  It still has basic tools for formatting, but for the most part seems to get out of your way whereas something like Celtx, while awesome, has a lot more to it.  Just something else to try out.  Good luck.

  • aarondcaarondc Website User Posts: 264

    Thank you Mandalorian.

  • ColinPROductionsColinPROductions Website User Posts: 15

    I am a mac user, and I use writer. It is a free app on the mac app store. If you use windows I would recommend celtx or Adobe Story.

  • SteveKarstensenSteveKarstensen Website User Posts: 336
    edited March 2017 this thread is two years old, I'd imagine the OP has already settled on a software package.  However, someone else mentioned Trelby, so I wanted to throw my vote in for it as well; I've been using it for a year or two and it suits me just fine.  At least, if you need a simple, free option that isn't tied to the Internet like every other free screenwriting tool that comes up on the Google.

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