This MacNews Category Review looks at copywriting software for the Mac. Products covered include Contour, Final Draft, Montage, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Movie Outline, Power Structure, Storyist and StoryO.
Contour (http://www.contour.com) is story development software for Mac OS X. It offers screenplay list sorting and screenplay data is now accessible when attempting to import a corrupted XML file. Contour enables writers to develop a movie concept from the idea stage to a bulletproof outline. Along the way, Contour guides the writer through plot points of all three acts and explains the major storytelling secrets to crafting a marketable movie.
Final Draft (http://www.finaldraft.com) is a word processor for writing screenplays, sitcoms, stage plays or any format for movies, television or theater. There’s also an AV version designed for the professional writers of commercials, corporate and training videos, documentaries and presentations.
Montage (http://www.marinersoftware.com) is screenwriting software exclusively developed for Mac OS X. It lets you create, edit, and manage screenplay. Once your masterpiece is complete, Montage allows you to submit, track, and send your query, synopsis, and scripts to hundreds of included industry contacts through Montage’s integration with Apple’s Address Book.
Movie Magic Screenwriter
Movie Magic Screenwriter (http://www.screenplay.com/) is an all-in-one program for script typing and formatting. It contains and templates for features, television, stage and multimedia and a script card system. It imports from Dramatica and exports to Movie Magic Scheduling.
Movie Outline (http://www.movieoutline.com/) offers a way for screenwriters to outline their story while simultaneously referencing successful movies of all genres.
Power Structure (http://www.write-brain.com/power_structure_main.htm) offers a story building environment with nine unique views of the story, starting from the biggest overall themes and premise, down to the smallest “beats” or “plot points.” In between are tools to graphically track conflicts, subplots and dramatic threads.
Simplenote (http://simplenoteapp.com/) is an app for keeping notes on your Mac, a mobile device and the web. You can find notes quickly with instant searching and simple tags. With Simplenote, you can share a list, post some instructions or publish your thoughts.
Storyist (http://www.storyist.com/store), a story development tool for novelists and screenwriters, provides a word processor with the features writers expect from a top-notch writing program, including spelling and grammar checking and a page layout view with support for headers, footers, and style sheets. It also provides a number of features not found in typical word processing applications and screenplay formatters.
StoryO (http://www.junglesoftware.com/home/) is a story organization tool. It starts out as an outlining tool and advances from there. Once you’ve got your outline sketched, then you can enter all of your ideas onto electronic index cards, rearranging them and attaching them to multiple sequences and timelines. With StoryO, you can play with multiple story lines and “what if” scenarios. Characters can be fleshed out with complete background information and even artistic renditions. StoryO also comes with over 50 built-in character images. The app is designed for aspiring and professional writers, students, bloggers, journalists and technical writers. You can use StoryO for screenplays, stage plays, novels, short stories, webisodes, essays, term papers, non-fiction works, and more.
By the way, Los Angeles based Micah Moss says he uses Montage for OS X to craft screenplays, Simplenote for Mac OS X and iPhone to outline scripts, jot scenes and dialogue down, and Pages to fill out beat sheets.