Today will be an interesting day for me - it will be for you too if you read my GITS guest post. Back to my day... It's been a morning of extremes - good and bad - so I can't wait to see how it ends. Hopefully it won't be a good kettle bell workout followed by a heart attack!
Maybe I should provide some context? It was good that we had blueberry pop tarts, bad that the box fell down behind the drawers in the pantry. It was good that #1 was able to drive #2 to the barn this morning on his way to school, bad that it took me 13 (!!) minutes to make a right turn on my way to the train.
Since the first thing waiting for me in the office today is a staff meeting (bad), there will hopefully be some good news... You know? This is a neat way to ponder the day. But it has nothing to do with my regular Tuesday column, "Tools of the Trade."
Every (don't you love it when I start a sentence with such confidence?) serious and seriously aspiring screen writer needs a script specific writing application for his computer. I chose Final Draft. It isn't for everyone and Movie Magic is another extremely popular choice that may be better for you. But you need one of them (or that free one, if you don't mind the learning curve).
So why did I chose FD since my recommendation is not exactly glowing? Personal preference. I tried the demos of both and found FD to be a little more natural. I don't like to be distracted by my tools - I want to reach blindly for the wrench and put my hand on it without having to think about it. FD does that for me.
I do the bulk of my writing on my iPad in Storyist (which I love and wrote about here) but there are formatting and analytical tools that the iPad version doesn't have. I could make Storyist work with MM, but it was easier with FD. I also don't use the advanced features that both of them offer - I don't track my revisions in a single file.
I also don't use the notecard feature. By the time I'm working at the computer, the script is written. I'm using it to look for name misspellings or to check the balance of description to dialogue, to count scenes, and to FORMAT the script correctly for printing when I'll be sending it somewhere. Like to contests, or for local productions - like the Spy Guy movie from the summer, or the Christmas Play we've just started rehearsals for.
I also like that FD will read my script out loud. I always edit by reading out loud, but hearing something else read it, even as mechanical as FD is, helps a lot. I found several errors in my BlueCat submission by sitting through a reading of it.
I do very little writing in FD though - mostly because I write when I'm out of the studio - so keep that in mind if you are leaning toward it based on my positive experience. Certainly do NOT buy the iPad version of Final Draft. But you already knew that, if you read anything about it.