Screenwriting : Template by Robin Thaxton

Robin Thaxton


Hello, I have been preparing my script for the past few months. Getting all of the story line beats ready, and now I'm finally starting to write it. I have searched endlessly for the proper formatting and I have read many scripts posted on The Tracking Board forums. I was wondering if anyone had a template for Word or Google Docs?

Anthony Cawood

Robin - I agree with Sam, Celtx is free and helps you format, works online, iPads etc... Word isn't really considered the right tool for screenwriting.

Pierre Langenegger

The industry wants and expects a standard and unless you're going to do the entire film yourself you need to adhere to correct formatting rules. If you're going to format it AFTER you've written it then that means you need to write it all over again. Why not just start your writing in the correct format by using screenwriting software? Nobody's stupid enough to expect the software to write the story for them because obviously, that's not what it does.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Robin, if you plan to write many screenplays then do yourself a favor and buy Final Draft. Final Draft is considered industry standard. With automatic format settings and tons of other screenwriting tools, you're free to focus on writing a compelling story rather than deal with tab settings or margins. Final Draft is roughly $130 for the Academic version, $200 for the professional version -- well priced for software. Check "Deals" here on Stage 32. It's also a good investment for the long haul -- certainly for the amount of headaches and time it will save you! For formatting questions buy a hard copy of the book "The Screenwriter's Bible" by David Trottier. I believe the Sixth addition was recently released. DO BUY IT! You'll need a great reference book for any and all formatting questions. As far as writing a well-structured, creative, original and engaging story, well... that's a whole different thing. :) However, having the right tools makes creating more productive. Best to you!

Leo Sopicki

Beth has it nailed. Also, and I've done this a couple of times, importing a script from one format into another screenwriting software is a real pain and a waste of time. Mortgage the house, whatever, get Final Draft.

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