Resources and Recommendations



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  • Resources and Recommendations

    (2012.06.06) This list of links to resources should be regarded as obsolete. I revised one font link here after someone pointed out to me that it did not work anymore. However, I have not checked the other links for several years. - ComicBent)


    The two big players in screenwriting software are:
    • Movie Magic Screenwriter
    • FinalDraft
    Celtx is a free cloud-based program. It also has various advanced production features that you can obtain by paying a subscription fee.
    Screenwriting software on the web.

    Trelby, programmed in Python, is available for several platforms. Check it out.

    Please note that the website address of a software company is likely to remain the same, but the download address of the free demo may change. If you do not see a demo, look around for it on the main page.

    A program for editing .fdx scripts on the iPad.
    Sometimes you need to convert a PDF into a formatted text document. This can be very helpful in transferring a screenplay from a PDF file to a screenwriting program. No, you cannot just copy and paste from the PDF. If you do that, you will lose all the formatting. The same thing happens when you "Save As Text" from within a PDF reader.

    This free program works pretty well. The only problem in getting it is that you first have to download an "installer" from CNET that, when you run it in order to download the converter program itself, will try to make you accept a toolbar or other advertising crap. Just download the installer and then, when you run it, say no to everything except any obvious licensing agreement for the program itself.



    The Courier font is standard for screenplays. FinalDraft and Movie Magic Screenwriter come with their own versions of the font.
    In this essay I discuss the Courier font and related screenwriting issues, including:
    1. What is Courier, and which Courier can I use?
    2. Why does the page count change when I switch to a different Courier font?
    I use embedded fonts to illustrate the various types of fonts that belong to the Courier family.
    The best free Courier is
    This font is truly excellent. It is indistinguishable from Movie Magic Screenwriter Courier and Courier 10BT.
    Another Courier font, available for free from Hewlett-Packard, is
    I saw one remark on the web that said that this font will not work with "more recent" versions of Windows. I do not know if this is true. I am including the font here just because it was a fairly nice font and may still work on your operating system. Honestly, since I initially recommend this font, some better free alternatives have become available, but you might like its appearance, which I thought was similar to the Courier on the old IBM Selectric Typewriter.


    You have to use Courier for screenplays, but if you write for the stage, as some of us do, you can use other fonts for your scripts.

    A nice free font is Gentium, available as Gentium Book Basic or Gentium Plus (the latter being a complete Unicode font).
    This is the complete Unicode version. Do not select this font unless you really need Unicode. It is a very large file, and it currently is still a work in progress; it contains only normal and italic faces, no bold or bold italic yet. It also has increased line spacing to accommodate the diacritical marks in languages that you have never heard of.
    This is the Gentium font that I recommend when you want a serif font that is a little different in appearance. It is darker than Gentium Plus and has tighter line spacing.
    The downloaded file will contain both Gentium and Gentium Book Basic. Just forget Gentium and install only the Book Basic faces (regular, italic, bold, and bold italic).

    Let's not forget that these Done Deal screenwriting forums are part of the greater Done Deal Pro site, which offers reports on script, book and pitch deals, development news, an advice column, interviews, examples, links, and many other valuable resources. If you have not checked out the main site recently, you might want to take a look at it today.
    Essays, interviews, and BBC scripts are available for viewing.
    This site used to have downloadable Word templates for scripts for screenplays, teleplays, and radio plays. However, I cannot find these anymore. In any case, the templates were for Word from several generations before Word 2010.
    Visit screenwriter Bill Martell's "Script Secrets" site every day to soak up Bill's screenwriting tips. Take a look at the various links to classes, seminars, CDs, and other educational materials. Bill has also made some of his many scripts available for educational purposes.
    is another great site. It offers information from industry insider Christopher Lockhart and provides a forum for open discussion of screenwriting issues. Highly recommended.
    has screenwriting and playwriting forums. It is definitely worth checking out.

    Click around in the VCU Playwriting Seminar, and you will find information on screenwriting, too.


    Various members of Done Done Pro have recommended the following
    how-to books, presented here in no order of preference:
    • The Secrets of Action Screenwriting (William C. Martell)
    • Save the Cat (Blake Snyder)
    • The Screenwriter's Bible (David Trottier)
    • Screenplay (Syd Field)
    • 4 Screenplays (Syd Field)
    • Story (Robert McKee)
    • Screenwriting 434 (Lew Hunter)
    • Screenwriting 101 (Neill D. Hicks)
    • The Writer's Journey (Christopher Vogler)
    • Poetics (Aristotle)
    • Writing Screenplays That Sell (Michael Hauge)
    • The Technique of the Drama (William T. Price)
    • Playwriting (Bernard Grebanier)
    • Backwards & Forwards (David Ball)
    • Dramatic Technique (George Baker)
    • Writing Great Scripts for Film and TV (Dona Cooper)
    • Writing Great Scripts and her Writing Unforgettable Characters (Linda Seger)
    • Writing Character-Centered Scripts (Andrew Horton)
    • Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach (Paul Gulino)
    • The Writer's Journey (Christopher Vogler)
    • The Art of Dramatic Writing (Lajos Egri)
    • The Power of Film (Howard Suber)
    • How NOT to Write a Screenplay (Denny Martin Flinn)







    Wordsmithteer, a member of the Done Deal Pro board, put together this compendium of approaches to structure.
    Last edited by ComicBent; 06-06-2018, 12:00 PM.

    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

  • #2
    Re: Resources and Recommendations

    NOTE: At least for the time being, as long as I have time to do it, I will take your suggestions, put them into my first post, and then delete your post. That way, we will not have the thread turn into a long and meandering conglomeration of various links and comments. I will keep a summary, below, of who has suggested what. Feel free to make your suggestions in this thread.

    • COLIN HOLMES suggested Script Pro for editing .fdx files on the iPad. This is now listed under Screenwriting Programs ... Miscellaneous Programs.
    • MARK SOMERS pointed out that we did not have a link to Aristotle's Poetics. I have corrected that. See Theory & Format. Thanks, Mark.
    • LATE DAY9 commented: A lot of good stuff here!
    Last edited by ComicBent; 06-16-2012, 08:44 AM.

    "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.