Screenwriting : Celtx took a dump: can you recommend a free scriptwriting software? by Cherelynn Baker

Cherelynn Baker

Celtx took a dump: can you recommend a free scriptwriting software?

Hi Stage 32 writers, I used Celtx to write the script and have had trouble with it not saving all of the text and formatting being way off in the PDF conversion. I see Trelby as a possible free resource. Do you have any suggestions for what you are using and is working? Thanks in advance for any input you may have!

Pierre Langenegger

If you want free, go WriterDuet.

A. S. Templeton

How much do you spend on lattés or other frivolities every week? Do the numbers, then budget & buy a decent, affordable, and non-overkill app like FadeIn Pro.

Ana Carolina Betarello

I don't like apps made for writing. I prefer writing in Word. I feel like I have more control. :)

Jaclyn Natoli

I heard on black Friday final draft has a big sale

Craig D Griffiths

I use Celtx apps on my iPad and sync it to the website. I have never had a problem.

Vasco Saraiva

Fade in, has a free version

A. S. Templeton

Writer Duet seems oriented at collaborative writing. Again, do the numbers: The WD "free" version is online-only, so if you have no net connection or if their servers go offline, you're SOL. One could lifetime-buy or subscribe to the on/offline desktop app, but then it's suddenly not so cheap; those monthly charges add up.

Ana: I used to do my story development in Word (I co-write novelized versions of my screenplays), but the size and number of development docs rapidly became unwieldly. Things got much better when I moved my projects to Scrivener. In novelization I can quickly export a screenplay rev from FadeIn Pro to delimited .rtf, then import into Scrivener, with each scene being handily separated into a stack of scrivenings.

Also, even with the best screenplay styles and templates (I've tried them), Word is fundamentally incapable of keeping track of scenes, locations and characters. 95% of Word's features are not useful to screenwriters, and Word mostly lacks the ones that are useful.

Mimi Ninaweza Yote

I love celtx too

Jody Ellis

Sometimes it is just worth it to spend the $ and get final draft. I've never used any of the free options, so i don't have an opinion on which one is best, but I've found final draft well worth the money. To have software I am not constantly messing with, to not have to worry about the technical aspects of my script (margins, etc) so I can concentrate on my story, those things are invaluable to me. I see it as an investment in myself and my work.

Richard Gustason

Hey Cherelynn Baker , I use Adobe Story. It's free and has not giving me any problems. It's based off the web too so no need to download and has all the screenwriting features.

Here is the link to it to check it out: https://story.adobe.com/

A. S. Templeton

"Free" has some pretty strange definitions... only the trial version of Adobe Story is free; thereafter it's "ransomware", in that one must pay a monthly/annual subscription fee for the privilege of using the software. The same caveats and gotchas apply as with Writer Duet.

Also I'll challenge any suggestion that a screenwriter must inevitably end up using FD.

Jody Ellis

A.S. I don't think a screenwriter has to use FD, but it's certainly way easier than messing w some of the other stuff out there. The working writers I know use FD and execs consider it the standard software. I don't think it's necessary and I know there are people out there using other programs with success. I just found FD the easiest and most reliable option for myself.

Cherelynn Baker

Hey all, thank you for your insight! I appreciate the feedback

Pierre Langenegger

FD and a Mac laptop for me.

Anthony Moore

Free is for me! I use Writers Duet. I came from Celtx and I too had some of the same issues, especially using speech-to-text. WD is easier to use and more fun. I especially like that I can format a plain text file a certain way on my tablet while on the road, upload it and WD will reformat it into screenplay format. Even FD can't do that. I've used WD to become a finalist in more than one screenwriting contest, so I know what I'm talking about. When you go PRO use FD but in the meantime use what you can afford.

Mario Rivas

Hi Cherelynn Baker! I was a devoted Celtx user pretty much since it launched -- both the desktop and iPad versions -- but found the latest release sorely lacking. Too bad 'cause it used to be great...

Are you familiar with Fountain? It's not a PROGRAM per se, but rather a FORMAT that lets you mark up elements in your text in ways which can LATER be reformatted into proper screenplay form by programs that recognize Fountain. (I swear it sounds more convoluted than it is! Full explanation at: https://fountain.io/)

It was co-developed by John August ("Big Fish") as a way to let screenwriters write on basically any text editing software--not just those "only" for screenplays. You can write in plain .txt, in Word, on Mac's Notepad, in an email...

Once you're done, there are several programs (Slugline, Highland, etc.) that range from free to around $40 that will take your Fountain text and format it properly . (Of course you can work in any of those programs from the get go, knowing you can always type anything anywhere and add it w/o issue). As long as you're sticking to Fountain's markup conventions, any of those programs will recognize your sluglines, characters, dialogue, etc.

I also love that Fountain uses symbols to indicate notes to yourself, and for sequence, scene, and beat headings, which is great for structure.

I started writing my new script in Word, but using Fountain markups, and it took a few days, but once I got the hang of it, I'm really liking it--especially when it comes to structuring. I'm sure Final Draft is great, but honestly if you just wanna write and not worry about a million bells and whistles, this might be a great way to go.

Aray Brown

FD and A Dell laptop

Erik Grossman

WriterDuet has a free version.

Tony Cella

FadeIn saves in Final Draft file formats and costs less. I use it and have had no complaints.

Pierre Langenegger

No offence to those who use Fade In, people need to find a tool and method that they're happy with and which also suits them, but I recently completed proofreading for a client who uses Fade In. I didn't like using the tool at all so I exported it as an fdx, did the work in FD then imported back into Fade In.

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