On Writing : Self-editing software by Victoria Kuzmina

Victoria Kuzmina

Self-editing software

Hi all, A question for self-editing authors: what do you think about Fictionary (StoryTeller)? Also, do you have an editing routine?

Rohit Kumar

Since no one was answering this, I wonder are you asking about a software? Because, there are many software like Fictionary . I couldn't get what were you really interested to know.For example I just saw this https://www.squibler.io/screenwriting-software software too.

Victoria Kuzmina

Yes, I was asking about Fictionary software. Thank you!

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Victoria Kuzmina I don't use it, and seldom use any software tool for story structure outside of the scene cards option in final draft. I frankly tell my script writing students to absolutely FORGET about format and structure during the writing process at least until they are happy with a full draft. Because (a) it's technical, not creative, and the technical distraction gets in the way of the creative, and (b) although such tools can help with editing, it does tend to make it more difficult to play with act structure, artistic pov, etc. Your mileage may vary byt I recommend using such things only when it comes time to put your work into a saleable format for one reason or another.

Victoria Kuzmina

That’s a valuable comment, thank you! I’m avoiding software while I’m writing the first draft. But editing is quite different activity. So I’m looking into options (also, since English is not my native language, I have to be sure that structure and style are at least decent).

Rohit Kumar

I usually use Scrivener software for outlining and Kit Scenarist or Trelby for writing scripts. The software I use are all free. Sometimes use Fountain markup option for writing scripts with my own creative flow without a software blocking it.

For Scrivener I found this template recently which I use for story structure. https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/resources/scrivener-template...

I have my own structure which I made in both the software as well. Most often I have the story structure back of my mind and I don't know how, but I write with that flow using fountain on any plain text editor the initial draft and later use editors to fine tune the script. But at times I go through these software templates if needed for reference.

There is a site by Abbieemmons, https://www.abbieemmons.com . She shares that 3 act structure outline properly which for some scripts I have that template. Most often for me it comes down naturally so lately I don't use it anymore, but yeah you can try her website or check there are sure many templates available for free for whatever software you are using.

Even you can simply create a google form or excel sheet for that. Abbieemmons do share an excel as well as word format for that. If you want I can share that with you. Let me know. Hope that helps. I often avoid using online tools for structuring/outline/editing or writing scripts. I better use notebook or simple editing software with fountain and for a reference an image of 3 Act structure, only if needed.

Victoria Kuzmina

Thank you for such a detailed answer!

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Victoria Kuzmina As far as format, the ONE AND ONLY application which is acceptable across the board in production is Final Draft. And having used several, I still recommend Final Draft as being the easiest. It is also the ONLY one which even partly integrates with standard production budgeting and scheduling application, so producers have a much easier time of breakdowns and budgeting process. So at some point, someone will ask you for your script in Final Draft format... might as well use it from the start. Other applications DO NOT properly convert to FD format in my experience, even when they say they do.

Victoria Kuzmina

Thank you! I'm writing in Highland (as I'm a Mac user) and I'm happy with it since it's not only for screenplay writing, but for novels and articles. It has export in FD feature, but I didn't try it yet. I have Final Draft as my long-term investment, but atm that's not my priority.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Also, as to the second part of your question, my routine: (1) I have a general development book to jot down story ideas, scene fragments, sample plots, etc. (2) when I have something with enough interesting to develop a story/script, I open a separate dedicated notebook and do more development notes there. (3) when it comes time to write... a separate notebook (usually 2 or three) in which I write the whole script, by hand. (As compared to typing, the process of cursive writing has been shown to activate more of the creative areas in one's brain - it's manipulating symbol by definition. Also, I just find it easier on the eyes. I use fountain pens, so I don't get the cramping you get with a ball point in long writing sessions). (4) When, and only when I have a complete script which I feel is workable, I then transcribe it into the software (Final Draft). During this phase, I also do the first copy-editing pass and obvious revisions. (5) I leave it for a week or two. (6) I read it through, taking notes, and make obvious, necessary or important changes, copy-editing as I go. (7) I leave it a week or two. (8) I read it again. By now it is flowing properly for the most part, or it isn't. If there are obvious or big changes, I repeat 6 until it seems to flow. (9) I print it out and then read it through, making notes on facing pages. (10) I transcribe all changes into the software, again making copy-editing changes as I go along. (11) I now consider the script to be in it's "first final draft." NOTE that as I said, I do not write spec scripts to sell to others, though I do write on commission on certain projects. Nor is it my practice to show any work to anyone else until it gets to the "first final draft" stage.

Victoria Kuzmina

I also handwrite first drafts of everything, including articles. I never had a "writer's block" when I write by hand, while blank screen is very intimidating to me. Thank you for sharing your workflow!

E. Lamoreaux

Hi, Victoria. My editing process is actually rather simple though pretty time-consuming. After I finish a screenplay in Final Draft, I would proofread the entire script to look for typos and grammatical errors while making any other necessary changes along the way. Recently, I've resorted to putting the entire rough draft into the Grammarly application as I can't rely on instinct alone. This method is mostly technical editing though I try to do some creative editing at the same time. The true revisions come when I feel like there are elements in my story that either don't work or need to be fine-tuned and that takes time to realize this.

David E. Gates

I find reading what I've written on an alternative device, like a Kindle compared to Word, can often highlight mistakes/errors or typos or formatting issues. Also, try reading sections in reverse order. That can help to distance yourself from the flow and blind-reading what's there/not there etc.

Kiril Maksimoski

My very first draft is a vomit draft I show no one...then it's usually 2-3 weeks of cooling off period, then I go through it with fresh take and edits...

Dale Swaby

Edit as you go it's easy. Paying for this service is writer sacrilege.

Sherry Lee Peterson

Hi Victoria, I usually hand write my first draft. It's just part of my process. From there, Final Draft is the software I use. As far as editing goes, I don't care how many times I've gone over something, and had other eyes look at it too, I find some things that need to be changed. Since English isn't your native language, I'm sure there are really adept and skilled people that can look at your work, and quide you. I so respect anyone that's writing, and producing creative content. It takes a special breed for sure!

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