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Thread: Screenwritng and microsoft wordpad

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Screenwritng and microsoft wordpad

    Hi. I have read so many conflicting things about formatting microsoft word for screenwriting. Is it doable or is there another way ( i.e. free software, etc)? I have wordpad 2013 and am curious if there is a relatively simple and effective way to go about formatting it for screenwriting? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    What's your hardware and software platform?

    Is there anything in the screenwriting tips sticky thread that might help you? Screenwriting programs are listed.

    Before I got a screenwriting program, I used Word for a couple of years, it was actually pretty simple to make up styles for each element, and also to add keyboard shortcuts, e.g. whenever I tapped Alt-C the current line switched to the Character style I'd set up, correctly indented, and when I hit Enter after typing the character name the style switched from Character to Dialogue, etc. So it was useful, and if you held a gun to my head I could do it all over again, I'm sure. But with free screenwriting software available, why go to all that trouble?

    -Derek
    The Sunday night Flash Fiction Challenge! Write a story in 90 minutes! If you dare.
    The challenge is open all week, all writers are welcome!
    Check out FFC forum (password=flashed)


    My web page! Published short stories & novellas,
flash stories, Sci-Fi webcomics, omg screenplays too, lol
Does the excitement never end?!

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi. Thanks for the reply. I don't mean to ask a stupid question, but what do you mean by what is my hardware / software platform? Do you mean software / hardware that would be applicable to screenwriting or what capacity my computer has? I will have to look more thoroughly through that link when I get a moment. Thanks again for reply.

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW Bacchus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeffa View Post
    or what capacity my computer has
    ^I would suspect this - ie is it a Windows PC, an Apple laptop, or Raspberry PI running a bespoke operating system written by a nerdy college friend etc. etc.

    Some software runs better on certain platforms (or runs at all!)

    There is a wealth of info on the thread that DPaterso linked to; I have used a free (downloaded) version of Celtx which I found extremely easy to use.

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeffa View Post
    Hi. I have read so many conflicting things about formatting microsoft word for screenwriting. Is it doable or is there another way ( i.e. free software, etc)? I have wordpad 2013 and am curious if there is a relatively simple and effective way to go about formatting it for screenwriting? Thanks in advance.
    It would be easier to download the free Trelby screenplay software (http://www.trelby.org/) providing you're using Windows and it still works with your version (Trelby is getting kind of long in the tooth) Trelby is kind of ugly, doesn't support fancy fonts, but it's a very solid screenplay formatter.

    Instead of WordPad, you might want to consider using NotePad and writing in Fountain format (the way I'm going). Fountain is a markup language that allows you to write a script in plain text and then copy or read it into a Fountain interpreter -- online ones are available at https://afterwriting.com/ or https://youmescript.com/.

    For example ... in NotePad you write ...

    ------
    INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

    JOHN NONDESCRIPT, the right height for his weight, is sitting on his couch watching NASCAR.

    JOHN
    (laughing hysterically)
    Lookee at 'em go!

    He passes out from all the beer he's been drinking.
    -------

    Just straight text. After importing it into afterwriting (which can only save to PDF or Fountain) or youmescript.com (which can save to PDF, Fountain, Text or Final Draft (fdx) you get this ...

    Code:
    INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
    
    JOHN NONDESCRIPT, the right height for his weight, is
    sitting on his couch watching NASCAR.
    
                          JOHN
                    (laughing hysterically)
              Lookee at 'em go!
    
    He passes out from all the beer he's been drinking.
    The beauty of Fountain is that you can use any text editor (afterwriting has a built-in text editor -- and you can download afterwriting and use it offline in your browser).

    Here's a page with the Fountain text format (it was developed by John August and another professional screenwriter).

    https://fountain.io/

    Or you could just use one of the online script writing services (like youmescript.com). The advantage there is that it looks like a script as you type it.

    Sorry to ramble -- I do that.
    Last edited by Centos; 04-27-2017 at 01:16 PM.
    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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