Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Write! With what?

I posted about this on a forum the other day and thought I'd include it here.

I saw another one of those "Which screenwriting program should I buy" posts the other day. I asked the same questions when I started out and various answers like Final Draft, MMS (Movie Magic Screenwriter), Microsoft Word and Notepad came back to me.

I have since purchased a copy of MMS which does the job fine, and that's ok as I know I would love to write for a living so it was worth spending the money. However these posts come from people who are thinking about dipping their toe in the screenwriting pool. They know they would like to write a screenplay, but they probably don't know if they will be able to see it through.

Here is my answer to that question and it's one I wasn't given:

Buy an A4 pad of paper and a pen. Why spend £180 or so on a screenwriting program when you can spend £1.99? Write it out on paper first. If you see that process through to the end and have a finished screenplay, then it may be worth spending more money on some software.

I'm writing my current screenplay on paper. When it is finished I will type it up, moulding it as I go. When I have finished, hey-presto, I'll have a second draft!

When writing a first draft on the computer I find it hard to keep the flow going. I suppose I feel that because it is on the screen in the correct format, everything has to be perfect story-wise before I move on to the next page. There is no flow in that. Write a mess on paper the first time round (at least one you can decipher) and let the story flow.

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