recommended writing software

 

FREEWRITING

 

OneNote

Has a slick, feature-rich and friendly interface. Highly customizable. Easy cross-platform document editing thanks to cloud storage. Great for Windows users given the Microsoft, Office and OneDrive integration.

 

OmmWriter

Full screen, distraction-free editing. Ultra-simple interface. Customizable backgrounds, music or ambience and key press sound effects.

 

Write or Die

Highly customizable writing sessions. Designed to keep you typing. Give yourself "rewards" for maintaining a self-specified rate of words per minute, or "consequences" for idling. Consequences include bloody screens, generation of images of spiders and horrible screaming sounds.

 

FocusWriter

Feature-rich, ultra-minimal interface. Distraction-free full-screen editing.

 

Notepad++

Free plain text editor. Intended for programmers, but works for writing anything. Unlike regular Notepad, this allows for multiple documents to be opened within one program instance in the form of tabs. Numbered rows of words. Automatically highlights only the active row. File type simplicity allows for simple cross-platform and cross-software editing.

 

OUTLINING

 

Outline 4D

The ultimate outlining software. Create tabbed or color-coded heirarchies of anything -- ideas, paragraphs, entire chapters of text -- with up to ten or so levels, one inside of the next. Highly customizable. Traditional top-down view or a vertical, visual timeline of your project. Seamless exporting to Movie Magic Screenwriter as both pieces of software share the same developer, although I prefer Movie Outline for screenwriting.

 

Scrivener

Highly customizable. Intended for writing of any kind, including a screenwriter mode. Organize project "binders" with its page and folder system.

 

Character Writer

Not for writing and editing documents, but developing characters specifically for storytelling. Highly valuable. In-depth, step-by-step character creation with a built-in psychological illness database allows you to really flesh out your characters.

 

Save the Cat

Good for beginners wishing to understand basic story structure, but veterans may find that it's restrictive and encourages overly formulaic writing with its beat by beat "fill-in-the-blank" approach.

 

SCREENWRITING

 

Movie Outline

My screenwriting platform of choice. Smooth performance. Obeys industry formatting rules. Break large screenplays down into chunks as small as you want. "Feel factor" tab allows for graphs of various emotional intensities against the script's run-time (horror, romance, action, etc.). Color-coded outline and index card views.

 

Movie Magic Screenwriter

Solid software, I just slightly prefer the interface of Movie Outline. Imports Outline 4D projects easily -- same software developer.

 

Final Draft

The industry standard software veterans swear by. It's good, but I often experience performance lag with Final Draft 8, I haven't tried the 9th version. Best automatic screenplay formatting. Integrated speech engines can read your script aloud.

 

CeltX

The go-to software for screenwriters who want something free that works. Cloud service makes working on a master project file by a team of people easy. Includes tools for drawing location maps and shot geographies.

 

MUSIC CREATION SOFTWARE

 

Sequencer: FL Studio

Sound Engine: Sytrus

Soundsets: Vengeance