For Your Next Great Movie Or Play: 16 Free Scriptwriting Tools & Resources
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scriptwriting softwareWriting is hard. Most of us know the feeling of having to pull an all-nighter to wrap up a thesis paper due in the morning – and those papers rarely broke 40 pages. I can’t imagine the pain, blood, and sweat that gets poured into writing a screenplay of 150 pages. That just doesn’t happen without any help.

Have you ever had dreams of writing for the big screen? Do you think you have the next blockbuster idea – the next Inception? Even if you’re more interested in short films or theater, scriptwriting is what you’re looking for. And rightfully so, the scriptwriting business is extremely difficult to break into.

Fortunately, the Internet is full of kind and helpful souls who are willing to share their secrets, tricks, and lessons with aspiring and budding writers. Here are some of the best scriptwriting resources that free can buy.

Tools

scriptwriting software

Resources

free scriptwriting software

  • Screenwriting Info: The absolute best resource on the Internet if you want to know all about script formatting, what to do, and what not to do. There are actually a lot of factors that go into making a readable piece of script, so this is mandatory reading for anyone new to the whole idea of writing for the screen. Also works as a good refresher for intermediate and advanced writers.
  • Screenwriting Tips… You Hack: “Because you suck at screenwriting, and I’m here to help.” That’s the tagline of this amazing Tumblr-based resource. Every day (yes, literally) the microblog is updated with a new piece of screenwriting advice that will help you improve your scripts and stories. With over 1,000 tips, you know that this resource is both serious and consistent.
  • Script Frenzy: Ever heard of NaNoWriMo NaNoWriMo.org - Write a Novel In 30 Days! Read More ? Script Frenzy is just like it–an international writing event that pits scriptwriters against the personal challenge of having to write 100 pages of scripted material over the course of 30 days. Every year in April, scriptwriters all over the world come together and see what their words are worth. It’s a great way to meet other writers and sharpen your skills.
  • Simply Scripts: If you’re the kind of person who learns by example, then Simply Scripts will be invaluable to you. This website is a free archive of hundreds of scripts, screensplays, and transcripts of everything from movies to television shows to anime and even radio. There are tons of scripts here waiting to be read and analyzed.
  • TVTropes: Often lauded as a black hole that sucks away all of your free time, TVTropes is a wiki-based website that catalogues all of the different techniques and tricks that are used in writing–whether it’s short stories, novels, video games, TV shows, or movies. It’s a great way to scope out what’s been done, how it was done, and what’s starting to creep on the edge of cliché.
  • Writing Excuses: Writing Excuses is a topical writing podcast that covers everything that could possibly be related to the process of writing. From idea inception to character creation to plothole solving, it talks about all of it. New episodes are released weekly and each episode is 15 minutes long, but with an archive of 7 seasons, it’ll be a long time before you run out of listening material here.

Blogs

scriptwriting software

  • Genre Hacks: A blog created and led by veteran screenwriter and filmmaker, Sean Hood. He’s best known for his work on horror films, but lately he’s been involved in action-thriller films. In this blog, he writes great posts about the industry and his own experiences as a writer.
  • Go Into The Story: This blog is run by Scott Myers who has been involved in writing over 30 projects since 1987. Every day, he updates his blog with multiple posts–sometimes a motivational quote from a famous writer, other times he’ll discuss the various aspects that make a successful story. Definitely worth a look.
  • John August: It’d be hard to find a serious screenwriter out there who hasn’t heard of John August and his blog. It’s consistently ranked in the top 5 screenwriting blogs and for good reason–there is a ton of fantastic material here waiting to be consumed. He has hundreds of posts about the writing process, the industry, the pitching, the creation, and more. You’re doing yourself wrong if you don’t read this blog regularly.
  • ScriptShadow: ScriptShadow is a blog that reviews the latest scripts floating around Hollywood. He analyzes each script, delving into what makes them spectacular and what makes them fall flat, then gives each one a qualitative grade. This is an excellent resource if you like learning from the mistakes and successes of others laid bare.
  • StoryFix: StoryFix is not exactly a scriptwriting blog, but it’s very relevant. The blog has a massive archive of posts that go through the process of story structure. What is it that makes a particular story intriguing? Why do some stories flop while others blow up? How can you replicate such success? Read this blog to find out.

Image Credits: Movie Clapper Via Shutterstock, Typewriter Via Shutterstock, Film Reel Via Shutterstock, Writer Via Shutterstock

Explore more about: Filmmaking, Writing Tips.

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  1. trinaeaaross
    September 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Great list! I love that you can also you Celtx for fiction writing as well. I just started using it myself and it looks like a good tool to add to the writing arsenal.

  2. Joe Johaneman
    September 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Great stuff. I have to take at least one screenwriting course while I'm in college, so this will come in handy.

  3. bonioloff
    September 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Wow, great list.. Although i am not interested in art, but i think making a techno blog also need something like this to stay on track.

  4. Andrei Anikin
    September 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

    the kind of dream i've never found strength to bring to life, thanks, definitely worth checking out.