Monday Morning Editor Picks: Screenwriting Software & Books to Start Your Career

There’s nothing I love more than tools for writing. I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to writing goodies. Come on, admit it. You know you drool at the thought of walking into Staples. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite books and software that helped me in my craft and career. I had a hard time picking only four, so I took some liberties. Enjoy!

Enter the code “JEANNEPICKS” at checkout and get 15% OFF
today’s editor picks until October 18, 2013
(except for Final Draft 8, which is already on sale).

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

I can say, without hesitation, this book changed my life. Stephen’s experience opened my eyes to my journey as a writer, and that living as a writer is about so much more than just writing screenplays. After I read it, I coined my label, “Writer of Things.” I could write on and on about Stephen’s wisdom, but instead, just trust me. Get it. I even have two copies.

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Anything and Everything by David Trottier

Once I decided to become a screenwriter, I had to learn how the heck to write a script! Enter David Trottier’s Screenwriter’s Bible. It’s a fantastic all-in-one resource. But David’s regular column in the old print Script Magazine got me hooked on his “Dr. Format” persona and expertise. When I saw his Dr. Format book series, I had to have them! They are the one constant that is always within reach of my desk. Plus Dave is just one great guy. If you don’t follow him on Twitter, you should (@DRTrottier).

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Movie Outline 3.1

I’m a procrastinator. No question, starting projects is the hardest part of writing for me. So, after I scoured through Dave’s books, I knew I needed some way to organize my ideas. Movie Outline 3.1 has everything under one roof. I could work on my outline and script at the same time without needing two different pieces of software. There’s also a chart so you can plot the emotional factor along the way. Now I have no excuse not to start a new project. Uh oh.

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Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 and/or Final Draft 8

Why did I list both? Because i actually have both. I started out with Movie Magic, and I love using that when I’m working with a writing partner. For me, it’s about the notes feature. I know a lot of people like neat desks, but I’m not one of them. I like my papers and files to be constantly visible. With Movie Magic, I can see the notes on the page and even make them different colors. It’s an easy way to communicate with whichever partner I’m working with at the time. Final Draft also has a notes feature, but theirs keeps the notes neatly in a box you simply click on to reveal. I used FD8 when I wrote my short film Impasse and seamlessly made the transition. Both work well in my world. There are free demos of each of them at The Writers Store. Check them out and decide for yourself.

Click to Order Movie Magic or Order Final Draft

Get more suggestions in Jeanne’s Monday Morning Editor Picks »

Editors Picks

jeannevbJeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager of Script Magazine and a webinar instructor for The Writers Store. She is Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Jeanne also is President of Implicit Productions and consults with writers on how to build and strengthen their online and offline networks as well as face their fears in order to succeed in writing and in personal peace – a screenwriter’s therapist. More information can be found on her blog, ramblings of a recovered insecureaholic. Follow @jeannevb on Twitter.