Ooh, so that’s a writing tool!

23 Jul

Have you ever used writing tools?  Not like a pen and paper, no I mean a dedicated programme. Dedicated software to make your life that much easier?

Well up until the last script, I had only ever downloaded a programme. I think I may have opened it, but I never used it. I think I may have decided it was far too complicated and learning hoe to use it would hinder my progress, after all, I want that story on the page NOW. (Not to mention the fcat that I am rubbish at technology – I don’t even have an iTunes account!!)

I guess my initial reluctance was my want to be traditional. Once upon a time all you had was  a pen and paper, before that, well, you know how it goes. The greats had to work without, why shouldnt I? Well simply the greats can go do one. Just because it was hard for them, doesn’t mean I am going to make myself suffer.

So, yeah, Microsoft word has been my companion. To be fair, I am happy with it too. I don’t need anything else. Well my pad and pen to make notes I guess, but to be honest, I’m just not a great note taker.

I digress. When writing the script, simply I got annoyed. Annoyed with scrolling and scrabbling around for bits of paper, it bugged me it wasnt in front of me each character description. I am ashamed to admit it, but when I started writing two of my characters kept getting muddled, checking who was who was a pain in the backside, however it did show a major flaw in my writing.

I downloaded Celtx.

Celtx is a free script writing tool. It takes the hassle of layout and just allows you to write, sorting the formatting as you go. You can add notes, edit sections to save for later, as well providing the tools for creating notes about your character (yep, those all important character bibles I always talk about) and the best bit for me, tools for providing descriptions of each of your settings.

It may not be the best, but for me, it was invaluable. I loved jumping from one scene to the next, having a sidebar showing the titles of each scene so you have a reminder at a glance,  and this is just the bits I used. I didn’t explore the software fully, that, remains, a task for another day.

There was one flaw. I exported the completed script into word, at with point I had to play around with the layout. It was acceptable, but I think this just came down to preference, and I just saw it as an extra editing exercise.

So how about you? What tools have you used?  I ask with genuine interest. I am wondering if part of my past lack of dedication to writing has been contributed to by my making, as in, I have making my life unnecessarily difficult by rejecting anything but word. So please, do share.

**If you are not familiar with my blog you will not know that although I complete work, I tend to give up on a lot, midway, due to disengagement, oops!**



7 Responses to “Ooh, so that’s a writing tool!”

  1. Writing Jobs July 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    That was an excellent post today. Thank you so much for sharing it. I
    really enjoyed reading it very much. Have a great day!

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  2. Rhys C. Ethan July 23, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Well, like gethinmorgan I use scrivener for my writing. A lot. it is a very helpful programme and i fell in love with it. I moved from word to scrivener overnight. It allows you to keep a folder with the book, another with characters, another with sceneries and whatnot, and another with notes, but you can add folders and stuff. In the manuscript folder you can add folders as chapters and then add scenes in that folder or simply create scenes as chapters. The former is what i use, and it makes my life easier. A lot easier. The website describes it as the complete writer’s studio and it ain’t lying 😛 here is the link for that http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

    Now for scripts i havent used scrivener so far although im sure its great. I use final draft (which is expensive) but is the ultimate screenwriter’s studio and it’s where i wrote my first episode. it’s easy to use and has formats for all different kinds of script. You can choose to write a musical, a bbc series, an american sitcom, a dramatic movie, or anything and it will format the script automatically and accordingly.
    Well, these are my secrets. I hope i helped.

    • Ellie July 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Hi Rhys,

      Thank you so much! Final script sounds amazing, but i may have to wait and see if I win the BBC thing before investing (yeah i know the chances are slim but if im honest, i think the end product was somewhat amazing – eek is that a bit conceited!).

      Scrivener I really feel i need to have a go at. Especially with two recommendations. I guess it is time to get the plot sketched out on the next project and then bite the bullet.

      Thanks again Rhys, really appreciate it!

  3. gethinmorgan July 23, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    I use Scrivener for most of my writing … like Celtex (which I used before) but less emphasis on the scripting, and more on bookbuilding. But it does cost (cough) £30 …
    And I use Write Or Die, which is brilliant in getting out a set amount of words in a set time. There’s nothing quite like the terror of seeing words disappear from the screen if you stop typing, get distracted etc.

    • Ellie July 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Hi Gethin,

      Tell me more about Scrivener. You say more emphasis on book building so in which way does it help to do this? It may seem like an obvious question but treat me like i am a three year old child that has only been given a ds to date (find me a three year old that really has ever only seen a ds bah ha ha!).

      Write or die? this sounds familiar – perhaps you mentioned it previously. Are you required to log in every day or is it as and when. I definietly have a fear of these tools, even just Nanowrimo, the pressure test as i like to call it feels me with dread!!

      • gethinmorgan July 31, 2012 at 11:09 am #

        http://writeordie.com/ is just a website that you can use when you need it, though there is a downloadable version for the measly price of $10. I rate it high because it gets out the first draft really quick … (but ONLY THE FIRST DRAFT – it wouldn’t work for rewriting or polishing) But the pain of badly-played-violin or little-baby-screaming sure does keep you writing!
        The clever thing about Scrivener is how many ways you can see/arrange/change blocks of text that make up your book. The most surprising thing is the compiler – I got a plugin frm Amazon, used it in Scrivener,. and tada! I had just created a Kindle Format .mobi book …

      • Ellie August 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

        OK, I am taking a look now!!

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