You can write on any device, on any software.
On phones Google Keep is great to quickly write dialogs ideas, and as it is synced with your computer, it’s easy to merge them up in your screenplay later. Google Doc is great as it offers backup and revisions history, and also simulataneous multi user! Dropbox Paper is great too, and Word can still do the job. Choose whatever suits you.
When writing remember that you never need to write in uppercase letters, this will be automatically fixed when you generate your screenplay as PDF. This is very helpful when you write on phone or ipad.
The app also provides some tools to fix and clean up various things (uppercases, spaces, missing periods, empty lines between paragraphs, …), so you don’t have to worry about many things when writing. Keep the (automatic) clean up for later.
EXT. ON THE STREET - NIGHT
But you can write it like that to help visibility:
** EXT. ON THE STREET - NIGHT
Scene's title ** INT. SCHOOL - NIGHT
The scene title is optional. It will appear in the outline view in the software but not in the screenplay.
You can also add scene numbers like that:
EXT. ON THE STREET - NIGHT #1
** EXT. ON THE STREET - NIGHT #2A
A night scene ** INT. SCHOOL - NIGHT #1-2
Just write plain text:
Geoffrey nods to his pilot and they swoop toward the ledge. He laughs as jill hits the deck. Jill lies laughing as the helicopter sets down. Geoffrey runs and suddenly dogpiles her. The copter WHIRRS away.
geoffrey.. Where the hell are you?
Note the .. (two periods) after the character name. It’s the “trick” that means it’s a dialog.
With parenthesis and extension:
geoffrey.. (loudly, filtered) Where the hell are you? (louder) Hello? geoffrey(OS).. (loudly, filtered) Where the hell are you?
Line starting with t. are transitions. Examples:
t. fade to black. t. fade in: t. match cut to:
This is *italic* and this is **bold** and this is both: ***boldanditalic***
This is italic and this is bold and this is both: boldanditalic
Just like “scene headers” but with *** instead of **
*** CLOSE ON: THE RING OF POWER
Every line starting with // is a comment.
// this is a comment, it won’t be in the generated PDF //////////////////// // this is also a comment // anna.. I think the writer kept this dialog for later use. //////////////////
You can add information about the structure of your screenplay. It will be visible in the app (and not in the generated PDF). Insert a # to insert a new layer in the structure. You can divide your screenplay structure as much as you want.
# Act 1 ## Sub-act ### Sequence A #### Sub-sequence #### Sub-sub-sequence INT. IN THE MANSION - NIGHT … # Act 2 …
This is optional. The app has a menu to easily set these informations.
@ScriptName=Sinking boat @Author=Jamy Cameran @ContactInfo=12 Victory Lane | Los Angeles | 202-555-01519 @PageHeader=Copyright TheWriterZone @PageFooter=Revision 3 @PageNumbers=yes/no (default: yes) @SceneNumbers=none/left/right/both (default: both)
A button in the app automatically update this. Useful to keep track of various versions.
A simple trick is to write character names with abbreviations. Example:
aa.. hello jo.. hi! aa et jo shake hands.
At some point, you’ll use the app to automatically rename “aa” to Anna and “jo” to John.
You can do this for characters, places, transitions, …