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How Screenwriting Software Can Help You Write Better Scripts

By Dan Bronzite

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Screenplay Software To Format Your Screenplay & Structure Your Story

This series of articles is intended to educate those of you who are currently either using a regular word processor such as Microsoft® Word to write your outlines and scripts or using multiple applications to outline your story, develop your characters and format your screenplay.

At the end of the day, we are all creatures of habit, and "change" is often something we are forced into. But change is sometimes necessary in order for us to progress in life and in this case, as a writer. Traditional word processors are great for writing standard documents, and some of them even have features to help you outline and create your own formatting templates using macros.. but no standard word processor can handle the specific screenwriting requirements such as auto-pagination, auto-complete and scene numbering and none are a practical solution for screenwriters.

As a writer your key aim is to tell a story and not worry about how you are going to format and present it. You need to focus on the creative process and not the technicalities of script formatting guidelines and macros. That's why screenwriting software was invented and that's why a tailored solution to writing scripts will ultimately save you time on rewrites and make the script writing process more fluid.

Table Of Contents

  • How Do I Write A Screenplay & Format A Script?
  • What Are The Rules To Format A Movie Screenplay?
  • Can Screenplay Software Help Structure My Story & Film Script?
  • How To Use Screenwriting Software To Organize Scenes & Plan Script Rewrites?
  • How Do I Write Believable Characters & Develop Their Character Arcs?

How Do I Write A Screenplay & Format A Script?

Well, some writers like to use a pad and pen. Others like to use index cards and a corkboard. While most use a combination of the above in conjunction with some kind of word processing software.

But as a screenwriter you must learn to juggle all manner of skills in order to produce a professional screenplay, which include: script formatting, story structure, scene organization, character development and emotionally engaging narrative pacing, It's no good just coming up with a fantastic character, or an equally entertaining story, because when you're writing for the big screen it's a long process. And along the way, unfortunately, others have to get involved. This means that the people reading your script have to understand what you are trying to say. 

To help script readers, development executives, producers, directors, actors and so on, get to grips with your movie idea, certain rules have been established over the years. Now I know all creative people absolutely detest the idea of conforming to any kind of rigid formula or rule set but it's not called "show business" for nothing. The simple truth is, studios are going to have to invest millions of dollars into making a movie so you, as a writer, need to make the selection process as easy as possible for them right from the get-go. Movie Outline Auto-Formats Your Script As You Type

That's why "Script Formatters" were introduced, to make the "technical" process of professionally formatting a screenplay to industry-standard guidelines simple, so you can focus on writing your story and not the rules. Screenplay software is now an essential tool for writers learning the craft and those making a career out of screenwriting.

Next Article: What Are The Rules To Format A Movie Screenplay?

About Dan Bronzite

Dan is a produced screenwriter, CEO of Nuvotech and creator of Movie Outline 3 screenwriting software. He has written numerous specs and commissioned feature scripts including screenplay adaptations of Andrea Badenoch's Driven and Irvine Welsh's gritty and darkly comic novel Filth. Dan is a contributor to Script Magazine and has also directed two award-winning short films Finders, Keepers... (1995) and Absolution (2001) which have played the international festival circuit. His most notable feature to date is Long Time Dead, a supernatural horror for Working Title Films starring Lukas Haas, Marsha Thomason, Lara Belmont, Alec Newman and Joe Absolom. His spec horror Do or Die was recently sold to Qwerty Films and he is in the process of developing his directorial feature debut and various US and UK projects.

Screenwriting Article by Dan Bronzite

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