(In this edition of Screenwriting Software & Tools Q & A we answer a question about story development software…)

Hey ScriptBully,

So, I know you recommend getting screenwriting software, such as Final Draft or Movie Magic. But I just wanted to know your thoughts about other forms of story writing software. Such as Dramatica or Contour or Story Unlimited.

Do you think screenwriters SHOULD use story writing software like that – or not worry about it?

Orlando, Florida

Hey James,

Great question. I know it’s tempting to wanna run out and grab the newest/latest form of story writing software/screenwriting format software that will help you unlock the key to a killer Act II or a smash-bang opening.

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But…I think there’s one word in your question that troubles me.


The word, should presumes you NEED software in order to tell your story.

I hate to break it to you: but there’s no magic elixir in any of those forms of story software.

They are all just elegant visual storyboards to help you “see” your story. If you’re able to do that with a couple of index cards from Staples, or a piece from scratch paper from the bottom of your desk drawer…then you DON’T have to use story software.

But…that being said…here are some 3 story writing software solutions I like for screenwriters:

Save the Cat Screenwriting SoftwareSave the Cat Story Structure Software

Chances are you’ve probably read the book “Save the Cat” – the influential book from the dearly departed Blake Snyder. And this software really makes it easy to apply the timeliess story strategies to help you achieve a well-organized script in no time.

The only downside is that the story structure is a bit rigid – this will be a pro for some, a con for others. But overall a great product to add to your storytelling arsenal.

Highly Recommended – Great for Newbies and Veterans Alike

Storyist Story SoftwareStoryist 2 Software

So, this isn’t technically for screenwriting and is mostly created with novelists in mind. But i find the interface to easy to use – even for a right-brainer like me – and so visually welcoming that I like to lay out all my plots, subplots, character descriptions, setting notes, and overall research with this program.

Recommended – Great for all storytellers. Not technically for screenwriters.

Now, those are the two biggies that I use – but there are some other story software products that do specific things. Such as Persona, which helps you create characters. Or Inspiration, which helps with brainstorming. .

Or Outline 4D which helps you…well…outline.

But no matter which story software you choose to go with, remember the best story generating tool you have is the one between your ears.

Got a screenwriting software recommendation? Please let us know in the comments below!


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About The Author

Michael Rogan
Editor, ScriptBully Magazine

Michael Rogan is a former screenplay reader and optioned screenwriter. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of ScriptBully magazine, and has written a few non-sucky books including "How to Write a Book That Doesn't Suck (and Will Actually Sell)". He has made it his mission to help screenwriters kick ass - and rid the world of films based on action-figure lines.

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