Writing Wrap Up: Writing Tools – On The Go Writing Apps!

Paula Landry explores writing tools, writing apps and online resources to spark your writing.

Writing is perfect for those with wanderlust, long commutes, or the need to be mobile.

writing toolsThanks to technology, we have more ways than ever to take our writing everywhere, to be with other writers no matter where we go, and to mine past movies for inspiration online.

MASTERING SOCIAL MEDIA – Screenwriting Tools For Mobile Writers

In addition to Script Magazine, there are many other communities of screenwriters and filmmakers to help us connect, stay current and in touch wherever we are.

Talentville: connects aspiring writers with Hollywood Insiders and was created by Final Draft co-founder and creator Ben Cahan.

The technological revolution is here and we have more ways than ever to be in touch, share, and research that sometimes we are not writing. If you use a smart phone or tablet, there are several apps to use on these or your computer to keep you on track, here are several I find provocative and helpful.

Write or Die: A productivity application that forces you to write by providing consequences for distraction and procrastination. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but if you become distracted, punishment will ensue. Everything is configurable, name your word goal, time goal and preferred punishment.

Help Me Write: You can solicit your audience to help you decide what to write about. You add things you are thinking of writing about to your profile page. Share your page via Twitter, Facebook (or wherever) and ask your networks what they would like to read most. Once you’ve written the thing that you think has the most interest you can then send it directly to all the voters.

Self Control: Lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites – even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

WriteChain: A word count tracking tool designed to remind you to maintain your writing practice.

The Brainstormer: A tool to randomly combine a plot, a subject and a setting or style, it can provide that elusive moment of inspiration for writers, painters, or any kind of creative endeavor.

writing apps Creative Whack Pack Brainstorming and prompts – interactive creativity strategies stimulate you to think creatively – where you can chose from 5 suits, or random help with an image and provocative exercise.

When your brain needs visual stimulation from great films, the site Movie Clips has a wonderfully curated selection of clips, categorized by theme, genre, chases, heroines, bad guys, endings, whatever you’re working on, they have it. Addictive at first, this is a helpful tool.

Another treasure trove of information surrounding films that can give a writer ammunition at the proper time (greatest disaster scenes, crowd scenes, song/dance moments) and on and on is Tim Dirks’ robust and awesome Film Site  sponsored and hosted by AMC. This site is doubly wonderful as he includes quotes from screenplays, capturing a moment in words when you most need it.

I appreciate how the site presents vivid moments – in the recounting of best scenes listed by decade. One example is how he features the famous scene in the diner between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sallyand quotes some of the dialogue, giving us both the mood, the setting, an illustration, and impactful screenplay snippets. Sometimes inspiration comes in a mix when we’re trying to illustrate a moment.

#99 When Harry Met Sally “[Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) describes how Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 1.23.05 AMhe can “just get up out of bed and leave” after sex by any number of fake excuses: “I say I have an early meeting, an early haircut, an early squash game.” Blonde, clean-living Sally Albright (Meg Ryan) is affronted by his insensitivity and sexist attitudes: “You know, I am so glad I never got involved with you… You are a human affront to all women. And I am a woman.” Harry confidently believes his sexual prowess satisfies his female partners and brings them to orgasm, until Sally explains how “most women, at one time or another, have faked it.]” Of course the fake orgasm acted out in the diner is described and then that famous line by another patron… “I’ll have what she’s having.”

The tools to deconstruct a scene or moment on film can be just what we need when we’re stuck in writing, whether it comes from a writer’s community, or app or website. New tools abound all the time, and I’d love to hear what you’re using!

INDUSTRY INCIDENTALS – What next?

Thinking about starting your next project and wondering where the money has been made?

This chart from The Numbers shows which genres made the most money over the last 17 years, and may inspire you to head in one direction or another. Do you write the story genre that is your favorite to see at the movies? I’d love to hear about your favorite genres – please write me and let me know – Paula@PaulaLandry.com

Top-Grossing Genres 1995 to 2012

 

 

Movies

Total Gross

Average Gross

Market Share

1

Comedy

1,751

$44,792,158,044

$25,580,901

23.48%

2

Adventure

521

$38,199,674,469

$73,319,913

20.03%

3

Drama

3,132

$33,621,012,632

$10,734,678

17.63%

4

Action

570

$32,066,637,809

$56,257,259

16.81%

5

Thriller/Suspense

561

$15,495,734,985

$27,621,631

8.12%

6

Romantic Comedy

403

$11,286,883,357

$28,007,155

5.92%

7

Horror

329

$9,093,205,812

$27,638,923

4.77%

8

Documentary

1,076

$2,063,950,710

$1,918,170

1.08%

9

Musical

113

$1,865,013,970

$16,504,548

0.98%

10

Black Comedy

85

$781,440,299

$9,193,415

0.41%

11

Western

36

$685,432,870

$19,039,802

0.36%

If history is any indication of the future, recent trends lean toward action and adventure leading in front of comedy, which was the most lucrative genre – as shown in this year’s table below (as of August 2013) which shows us the movies making the most money this year.

Top Grossing Movies of 2013

 

Movie

Release

Distributor 

Genre

MPAA

2013 Gross

Tickets 

1

Iron Man 3 May 3 Walt Disney Action PG-13

$407,676,359

51,344,629

2

Despicable Me 2 Jul 2 Universal Comedy PG

$338,314,195

42,608,840

3

Man of Steel Jun 14 Warner Bros. Action PG-13

$287,931,663

36,263,433

4

Monsters University Jun 21 Walt Disney Adventure G

$260,100,000

32,758,186

5

Fast and Furious 6 May 24 Universal Action PG-13

$238,286,725

30,010,922

6

Oz the Great and Powerful Mar 8 Walt Disney Adventure PG

$234,770,996

29,568,135

7

Star Trek Into Darkness May 16 Paramount Pictures Adventure PG-13

$226,803,000

28,564,609

8

World War Z Jun 21 Paramount Pictures Action PG-13

$197,473,000

24,870,654

9

The Croods Mar 22 20th Century Fox Adventure PG

$186,855,916

23,533,490

10

The Heat Jun 28 20th Century Fox Comedy R

$153,615,945

19,347,09

Whether this data influences your next project or not, it is good to be aware of trends in the industry.

Rock your writing, Paula
Copyright © 2014 PAULA LANDRY

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