My writing system

Hello fellow screenwriters!

One of you recently asked me what software I use for screenwriting. I believe my answer was, and I quote:

“Uhh… No I don’t use Final Draft… I sort of use a few different things together… it’s kind of complicated… I can’t really recommend it”

This apologetic admission caused me to take a look at the byzantine process I’d set up and try to actually understand it. This is what it looks like:

Screenwriting cloud setup

So the reason for this is that I am a bad writer. I don’t do it diligently or oftenly or frequently or responsibly or any other -ly that indicates a professional writer writing in a professional manner. To counteract this I try to remove all mental obstacles to writing, so that I have no excuse not to put it down when it pops into my head. The screenplay must be always accesible to me and omnipresent. We have the technology.

The Technology

Fountain

http://fountain.io/
This is not a program, but a markup language, which sounds complicated, but it really is not. It’s just a way to type in plain text so that multiple programs can interpret it into correct screenplay formatting.

Scrivener

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
This is an amazing composition program, full of features the depths of which I can’t even understand, but it has a screenwriting mode and can sync, in Fountain format, with DropBox.

ia Writer

http://www.iawriter.com/iphone/
This is a simple word processor that also reads Fountain, and can sync with DropBox

DropBox

http://db.tt/pwY6Lpe
This is the key to uniting the various programs on different machines, it makes the screenplay accessible everywhere, on any device you can install it on.

The way I’ve set up and synced these programs means that no matter where I am, I have no excuse not to work on the screenplay.  If I’m on the bus, or at a bar, or not altogether sure of my location, it doesn’t matter. I can pull out my phone and work on it. And when I find my way back to a computer, it’ll be updated and waiting for me to keep working on it.

This works for me and I swear I’ve tried to make it clear.  If it’s not, feel free to ask questions.