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Writing Scripts on the Go

July 4, 2011

In the digital era of screenwriting (more or less the last 25 years, since Movie Magic Screenwriter and Final Draft became the dominant authoring tools for screenwriting), one constant issue would be writing a script while moving around. You might be on a plane frequently due to work or other commitments; you might have a regular weekend getaway spot for the family; you might commute on a train daily; you might live in a college dorm room or off-campus apartment but come home for most weekends.

Personally, I’ve used a laptop as my sole computer for a dozen years, and this certainly consolidates where my scripts are. But my chiropractor will tell you this is not a good idea, ergonomically speaking, and many people prefer working on a desktop computer when they can (bigger screen, better ergonomics, etc.). A typical configuration may be to have a desktop computer at work or school, and a laptop for home use.

And if you’ve only got the laptop, but it’s got a widescreen display, you’re still dealing with weight issues when you go mobile. Who wants to lug this thing around for an overnight trip, when there are now lighter weight device alternatives (iPads, etc.)?

But you immediately start running into real trouble when you compose and edit content of any kind on multiple devices. Where is the most current version of the script? Have I synced my laptop and desktop versions?

And if you decide that the iPad is going to become your secondary device, you’ve got a real problem with Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter — they’re not going to work on a tablet. You can export a script to RTF, then email it to yourself, then import the file into Apple Pages, then edit and export out to RTF for import to Final Draft … yecchhh… (If I had all the time back from importing and exporting files in my career, I’d add a couple years to my life.)

Enter Celtx Script, the mobile app designed by Celtx. Wanna go back and forth between desktop, laptop, iPad and even iPhone while composing and editing your script? The combination of Celtx and the mobile Celtx Script app fully enable this.

Celtx Script isn’t going to provide the storyboarding, sketching and scheduling features of Celtx — but if your focus is composing, editing and polishing the script, Celtx Script will do everything you need. The iPad becomes a full-fledged script editing device. Even the iPhone or iPod Touch becomes a convenient script editing tool.

Magically (OK, not so magically — but it’s nice and transparent, so you don’t have to think about it, which is pretty close to magic), Celtx Script will sync the script between all devices. So you can always trust that you’re working on the current version.

Using Celtx Script will increase your scriptwriting or novel writing productivity, guaranteed. While you’re taking the train into the city, work on the project on your iPhone. At work, sneak in a little writing time on your desktop. Back at home, tweak the project on your laptop. Go ahead and visit your in-laws for the weekend: just take the iPad and find a little editing time after they go to bed.

Chapter 13 of Mastering Celtx explores Celtx Script and its uses. You might be writing the Great American Novel, the next great spec script, or a script for a corporate video you have to shoot next week. Get the project done sooner, and get it done better — Celtx Script will help.

  1. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

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