If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming a screenwriter, this is the software you need to get started
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Star Wars. Jaws. Avatar. Back to the Future. What do these movies have in common, besides the fact that each was a massive financial success and has since become ingrained in the cultural zeitgeist?
Each global franchise started as an idea; a glimmer in the imagination of a creative person. And how does one take an idea and turn it into box office glory? It all begins with the script.
The art of screenwriting requires a set of skills separate from those used to write novels or newspaper articles or blog posts. A screenwriter must use words to construct setting, direction, and dialogue that will work in a visual medium. She or he must avoid long monologues, and instead tell the story through action. But even before all that, this screenwriter needs to be able to organize their ideas, build character arcs, and type up scenes quickly and correctly.
If you’ve ever tried to create a screenplay on Microsoft Word, you probably didn’t get very far before you tired of inserting paragraph breaks, correctly formatting the character names, and keeping your margins in check. The fact is, standard word processing software is just not built for writing scripts that adhere to the strict standards of Hollywood studios — but Final Draft 10 is. In fact, it’s the go-to screenwriting tool for the film and television industries and the top-selling screenwriting software in the world. Here’s why:
Professional screenwriters choose Final Draft for its ability to effortlessly paginate and format their scripts to entertainment industry standards, so they can spend less time worrying about formatting and more time bringing their ideas to life. Writers can choose from more than 100 templates, covering a wide array of entertainment media — from playwriting to scripting sitcoms to writing graphic novels. There are also smart features for adding title pages, importing scripts from other programs, automatically backing up files, working faster with keyboard shortcuts, and lots more.
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Tell Your Story
But easy formatting isn’t the only advantage you’ll get with Final Draft 10. This software can actually help you improve your stories. The newly added Story Map lets you construct a high-level outline of your acts, scenes, and sequences, so you can plot out that big action set piece in Act 2 and the climactic good vs. evil battle of Act 3.
Need to get a bit more granular? The Beat Board feature helps you keep track of important plot points, so your story stays coherent and emotionally resonant. ScriptNotes let you keep track of those spur-of-the-minute ideas that you don’t want to forget, and there’s even an Index Card manager if you want to simulate the popular method of structuring your story beats on pinned-up cards.
Some other story development features too cool to go unmentioned: a Names Database that helps you pick your characters’ names from a bank of more 900,000 suggestions, and a Text to Speech feature that will read your dialogue back to you in various voices corresponding to each character.
It Takes Two
No screenwriter is an island. Many pros work in tandem with a writing partner or turn to trusted colleagues to provide feedback. And if you want to double-team your dream project, Final Draft has you covered. Version 10 has added collaboration features that let you work with a partner, whether you’re sitting across the table from each other at a coffee shop or stationed on separate continents.
With its user-friendly formatting, story structure, and collaboration features — and compatibility with Windows, MacOS, and iOS on iPad — Final Draft 10 is a must-have for anyone looking to begin their screenwriting career. It regularly costs $249.99, but order here and get a 40% discount, reducing the price to just $149.99.