Nobody from WriterDuet is paying me to say this about their product. I am just a huge fan.
When I first got into writing my own films, I was doing it in Google Docs, aka the least efficient way to do so. Sure, it is feasible, but when wanting to write a professional-looking screenplay, it’s way more effort than I am willing to put in. Yes, I know there is a plugin, but I have never really been a huge fan. Being a broke high schooler, I searched far and wide for a screenwriting software that I could both afford and would help me learn how to correctly write screenplays.
The standard softwares like Final Draft, Fade In, and Celtx came in through my research, but none offered anything quite as unique as WriterDuet. One of the things that I personally love about WriterDuet is how the need to stop never sets in. WriterDuet is relatively accurate in depicting the type of line that I will most likely write allowing me to just keep writing.
WriterDuet is a cloud-based software. Being a high schooler that would often write on four or five different machines throughout the day, this idea of accessing WriterDuet from anywhere was a lifesaver.
However, everything changed with WriterDuet V5. On the surface, nothing much appeared to change, but it just felt too different to me. So I switched to Celtx. Now I will say that Celtx is a much more robust service. Celtx allows one to storyboard, budget, breakdown, pretty much anything you need to do. Celtx also has a social media component that, while I have never fully taken advantage of, it is still great to know exists.
But being able to collaborate on Celtx is a nightmare. Sure it’s possible, but it is also possible to jump off the Empire State Building, a sea of red and yellow filling the streets. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. That and Celtx is way too expensive to be considered truly indie.
So when working on The Janoshow, I decided to make the switch once again to another writing software called Scripto.live. This is an interesting one because while it is less well-known than the others, it also has the most exciting backstory founded by Late Night’s Stephen Colbert. It’s honestly fascinating to look at. I am unsure if they are still doing it, but they offered it for free to creators during COVID -19.
With that said, the interface is geared towards the television world. It is excellent for prompters and much more easy to organize by episodes and by who wrote what. However, the primary type of writing I do is short films, and Scripto is not designed for that type of workflow. Also, I find the interface minimalist, but to the point where it becomes distracting. That is just a personal preference, though.
So when writing my latest short, SnapMaps, I went back to Celtx. Halfway through, I asked why I am paying for all these features if I have never used them? So decided that it was time to revisit my old friend WriterDuet. At this point, we were on V6, and I actually appreciated the changes much more. It felt like I was reconnecting with a friend, one whose presence I haven’t felt in years. The people at WriterDuet are also fantastic when it comes to customer service.
Now, WriterDuet isn’t perfect. I occasionally have to clear my cache or switch to a different browser to log in, even though I just worked on the script yesterday. However, for what I need from it, it is perfect. Can I see myself switching softwares? Maybe back to Scripto if more IndEP Shows have multiple writers, but for now, WriterDuet is here to stay..
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