If you are a Linux user who is seriously considering professional screenwriting, then Celtx is your best bet. This free, cross-platform tool allows writers to create industry-standard screenplays in a quick, hassle-free manner. And, even though it comes with great screenwriting features like Revision mode, Text Lock, Index Cards and more, it is not a dedicated screenwriting tool.
Celtx, in fact, is a media pre-production software that allows artists to create and organize media projects like documentaries, audio plays, movies, podcasts and even comic books and games. However, despite being packed with so many features, Celtx is a competitive screenwriting software which might become an industry standard someday.
Coming to the user interface, Celtx is simple and easy to use. Initially, you get to choose what type of project you’ll be working on, whether it’s a screenplay, stage play or something else. Depending on the project you choose, Celtx provides you with a template on which you could start creating your work. Celtx is a free software licensed under the Mozilla public license. Veteran Firefox users will find some similarities between Celtx’s UI and that of other Mozilla-made softwares. Celtx also supports add-ons, some of which can be purchased from the project’s website.
To download Celtx, visit the project’s website : http://www.celtx.com/
Scrivener is a word-processing program specifically designed for writers. Even though it is mainly used for writing novels, it has a few scriptwriting features that make it a great tool for creating, formatting and editing a screenplay. Furthermore, Scrivener also supports exporting scripts to industry-standard programs like Final Draft. Though mainly available for Mac OS X, Scrivener has released free beta versions for Linux and Windows platforms. I won’t delve much into its features as they have been discussed extensively on OMGUbuntu before. Scrivener is a proprietary software developed by Literature and Latte and it costs around 45 USD for the latest version.
Official Website: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
Adobe Story (web-based)
Adobe Story is a Flash-based screenwriting tool that works on most browsers. Though a full Flash-based tool is enough to turn off any Linux user, Adobe Story’s only redeeming quality is its beautifully designed, simple and easy to use interface. After creating an Adobe account, you are presented with a dark grey interface with a few sample scripts. You can either view those scripts or start a new script. Writing a script from the start is not a bad experience at all, as the grey background makes writing a clean and distraction-free experience. Adobe Story is still in development with Linux support still being experimental, so expect a few glitches here and there. You can also install Adobe Story on desktop, but considering the recent Linux and AIR fallout , I guess you’d probably be skipping this one.
Official Website: http://story.adobe.com/
Scripped is an online screenplay-editor that works across all major browsers. It allows users to create and collaborate on screenplays, stage plays and even comic books using industry-standard templates. Writers can then share their script with the community or choose to protect their content using the Vault feature. Scripped already has a huge fan following with popular screenwriters like Ed Burns and Steven De Souza (48 Hours and Die Hard) backing it. Although it is an online tool, Scripped also comes with offline support which makes it easier to work on if you have a flaky connection. Unlike the softwares mentioned above, Scripped is not free. The PRO Lifetime version costs around 90 USD and the monthly version is priced at 10 USD per month with the first month free. Even if it’s not free, given the choice between Adobe Story and Scrivener, I’d suggest you go for the latter.
Official Website: http://www.scripped.com/
Google Docs or LibreOffice
If you are a Google Docs user, then you can try out different professional screenplay templates that are available in Gdocs template gallery. Go to Google Docs, click on the Create New button on the top left. From the drop-down menu, choose the option From Template. Now search for the term ‘screenplay’ in the GDocs template gallery and try out different templates until you find the one that suits your needs.
For LibreOffice users, there is a template called Screenwright which provides many features of professional screenwriting software. You can download that template from here ( installation instructions are on the same page)
On Screenwriting Softwares:
As far as Hollywood is concerned, the standards are Final Draft and Magic Screenwriter. However, many great directors have been using the trusted pen and paper method to bring their story to life. In fact, many legendary directors from J.L. Godard to Spielberg have relied on this method for years. In the end, it’s the method that suits you best that matters.