Is there any script writing software to help me put a script together?

I'm going to be frank I have no idea how to write one. I always have an idea for a TV show where it's pretty much the aftermath of WW3. My ideas are dark and the only scene I absolutely adore is the one in the film Snowpiercer that shows life in the rear of the train. Also I love the book lucifer's hammer and world war Z, the only two books I've genuinely enjoyed in my adult life.

Does it really matter how I do it? I mean can't I just write down all my ideas then piece it together?

3 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Can you compose a song without learning how to and just do it? Of course not.  Without it, there's just a bunch of notes on a sheet of paper. Noise, not music. Script format is a language, much like notes. A script is a blueprint for a movie (or a TV show or a play). Its purpose is for the crew (and the people way before that) to see what you see in your head in order to then execute it. They're not mind readers.

    Now. There are several software and options... But there's a but, and I'll get to that in a minute. You have the professional but expensive ones that are also the industry standard: Final Draft and Movie Magic. If, however, you're not a professional or you're a beginner, or you're not even pursuing screenwriting as a career, I wouldn't spend that much money. I would go with a cheaper or a free one. The cheap and free ones have less functions that make your life and writing easier, but they will do the job. You've got Fade In, Highland, Trelby, and more. You should research, see what people say, try some on yourself to see which one you like. Every writer will give you a different recommendation. Either way, even though many will tell you Celtx, that's the last screenwriting software I'd use. That and Word.

    BUT, getting a screenwriting software is far from enough. You also need to learn HOW to use the format properties properly. There are rules - and they're there for a reason. You also need to learn how to break the rules properly. You need to learn how to convey tone and pacing. How to convey the exact image in your head. You need to learn structure (in this case, of a dramatic TV show pilot). Character development. Arcs and character journey. Voice and style. And more and more.

    It takes years of very hard work, several screenplays to write and dozens to hundreds to read to produce a quality (salable) product. This is a tough craft. You need to master the craft. To get to a professional level. To hone your skill. To develop your personal voice and style.To gain the knowledge of the craft AND of the biz. It could take 4 years (if you work hard, every single day) or it could take 20 years. Your first pieces will suck. That's just how it is. You could, of course, just write for the fun of it and settle for amateurish material. That's okay too.

    So download or buy a software and just start writing. At the same time, start reading screenplays to see: how they're formatted, the different styles of different writers, get a sense of tone and pacing, how the writers deal with things, etc. Just google: PDF screenplay + the title of a specific movie (or a TV show + pilot). Note that these are shooting scripts, and you're supposed to write a spec. The same rules don't apply. Make sure to learn the difference.

    There's nothing out there that covers everything. So learn from anything you can lay your hands on: Books, professional as well as amateur screenplays, articles, interviews, relevant blogs and FB/Twitter accounts, seminars/webinars, message boards, vids and podcasts, etc. If you're aiming for a career in it, it'd be a good idea to adopt a routine starting now - to write, rewrite, learn, and read screenplays every day. Set deadlines, if needed. You'd need to fully commit to it if you want to write professional-level screenplays, and especially if you want to be a professional writer.

    Personally, I'd start with something simpler to write. A simple drama, for example. Either way, right now just focus on learning the craft. Also learn the business side - the two go hand-in-hand. If it's more than just a hobby and you're taking the professional route, at some point focus on lower-budget ideas. Movie making is a business like any other business. No one wants to risk their money and time on a no one, so writing high-budget scripts wouldn't make much sense. Generally speaking, get used to thinking like a businessperson.

    Get a lot of feedback from people who know a thing or two about this craft AND the business of it. Meaning, not from your family, friends, teacher or your dog. Someone who's also unbiased. Then rewrite. Write your next script, rewrite a few times, proofread, get feedback, rewrite again and move on to the next script. Rinse and repeat.

    That's for the writing step. If you want to know about the next step - what you do with the screenplays you've written or how to become a screenwriter - read other answers I've given to people here or, you know, go out and educate yourself on the subject.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    As it's been said, scripts and screenplays need to adhere to a specific format when they're submitted, so it's not something that a person who doesn't have any experience with producing one can manage to get right on a first attempt without any base knowledge of what's required. My advice would be to produce a short story, novella, or full-length novel that can be adapted into a script or screenplay later. You might want to think about widening your scope when it comes to influences if you wish to avoid your work being completely derivative of the three works you mentioned. Post-apocalyptic fiction is a varied genre and there are heaps and heaps of books and films available that incorporate the concept. If you're aiming to write something like that yourself, then you ought to try and seek out a good number of books and films that are based around the idea so that you can see what's already been done. And of course, it wouldn't hurt to read a few scripts and screenplays yourself, just to get a basic idea of how they differ from books and stories, but again, it really wouldn't be a very good idea to try and crank one out cold - people who assess script and screenplay submissions can be very picky about certain things and it would be a shame to spend a lot of time trying to produce something in an effort to appeal to them only to have it get binned because you broke some rule they are conditioned to keep an eye out for.        

  • Logan
    Lv 5
    8 months ago

    Scripts have strict formatting requirements that you must adhere to if you want to submit it anywhere. There Final Draft, Scrivener, Celtex, StudioBinder, Writer Duet and many more. Google them. But you can t just piece it together into a script if you don t know how to make a script.

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