FREE SCREENWRITING PROGRAMS (The 7 Best Free Writer’s Software)
by Dov S-S Simens on January 19, 2018
THE BEST “FREE” SCREENWRITING PROGRAMS
If all you desire is a properly typed first draft then the below screenwriting programs, at no cost, are superb.
(1st) WRITER DUET: An excellent free software formatting program that allows real-time for collaborative writing.
(2nd) CELTX: Most commonly used screenwriting program. Has a paid and free version.
(“If you use a Free Screenwriting App make sure it (A) re-paginates and (B) helps with dialogue nuances.”)
(3rd) STORY TOUCH: Has a free version. Can write & analyze almost simultaneously.
(4th) ADOBE STORY: Must be used with Adobe. Free collaborative writing program
(5th) PLOTBOT: Free screenwriting software to use with your browser
(6th) DUBSCRIPT: Mobile free app for Android users
(7th) TRELBY: Open source free screenwriter software available for Windows & Linux users
SCREENWRITING SOFTWARE (PRO VS FREE): WHICH IS BEST?
All screenwriting software is not the same and just because it is free does not mean it is the best.
Yes, all the programs help you to write and print (Fade In, Fade Out, Dissolve, INT, EXT, DAY, NIGHT, Slug-Lines, Exposition, etc.) your script in the industry acceptable format.
(“Any great script usually has 3 drafts. The first for primary A-story, the second for 3 Sub-Plots and the third for dialogue.”)
Thus, using free software has it looking like a script… and this is important for the very first thing that a reader does, when you hand it to him/her, is to politely thank you and thumb-the-pages, as if shuffling playing cards, and look for two things.
First: Is it typed “correct format”.
Second: What is “page count”.
Because the reader, whether Development Executive, Literary Agent, Famous Producer, Bankable Actor or Independent Reader, assumes instantly that (1) if not typed “correct format” and (2) if the “page count” is not 120-140 pages for a Studio Feature, or 90-110 pages for an Independent Feature, assumes you likely don’t know what you’re doing,
Back to Free Screenwriting Software: All the above FREE programs format scripts in the “correct format” but what you must ask yourself, prior to using, is “is this program effective for re-writes and dialogue creation”?
First: A writer’s key phrase is “Nothing is written, it’s re-written” and FREE programs have issues with re-write (additions and deletions) when you desire the 90-110 or 120-140 pages to automatically re-paginates (re-number) itself.
Thus saving $100-$200, by not purchasing a Pro Screenwriting Software, may be “penny wise and pound foolish” and not worth the hassle of spending 30-40 hours re-paginating every time you re-write or tweak your script.
Second: The FREE programs give very little assistance with writing dialogue, absolutely needed to “create unique characters”, to take your sstructured, correctly typed story, into becoming a believable story via great dialogue.
The Pro Screenwriting Software (see below), have tools to assist with dialogue creation, cost only $50-$250 and I strongly advise to not be “penny wise and pound foolish” and purchase one.
The program I use is “FINAL DRAFT”. It is now version “10.0” and I have always been 100% satisfied.
However, if you are homeless and absolutely cannot afford $50-$250 and must use a free version then I recommend “Celtx” or “Writer Duet”
Please, “nothing is written, it’s re-written” and I advise purchasing a pro version.
BEST PRO SCREENWRITER PROGRAMS
For only $50-250 you can have unlimited re-writes that instantly re-paginate and print and have some tools to enhance your character’s dialogue to take it above the He-said, She-said, Hello, How-are-you, I-am-fine, How’s the weather, Where are you going… level.
(1st) FINAL DRAFT 10.0….. $169-$249
(2nd) MOVIE MAGIC….. $149-$249
(“It is assumed, with correct software and a work ethic, you will sell your 4th script. Only way to sell your 4th is write your 3rd. To write your 3rd you must write your 2nd… “)
(3rd) FADE IN….. $49
(4th) SCRIVENER….. $49
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