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Guide Dramatica for Screenwriters

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Click on ScriptZone's page ''sample analysis'' of a yet to be produced film called ''Dirty Money'' and decide if your screenplay needs the same exhaustive criticism. Can't wait until you get that Emmy or Oscar nomination? If the actual writing of a script is proving troublesome, it may be time to call the Scriptdude.

The Scriptdude Company is one of many that sell what is called story development software, programs that will almost write a screenplay for you.

Dramatica Pro

Or, as the advertisement for one writing program says, ungrammatically, ''Story Builder will get rid of your fictional troubles away. This one includes a built-in story coach; a premise developer; ''22 Steps Toward Weaving a Surprising, Interesting Plot''; a dialogue coach and 16 examples from hit movies to ''build the script the studios want. What I see happening is a new you-too-can-be-a-hack attitude and reducing things to formula.

There's all the difference in the world between form and formula. McKee, who also published a thick book on the subject, said the creators of a popular screenwriting software program called Dramatica asked him to come in and inspect it a few years ago. McKee recalled.


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They were not happy with me. Stephen Greenfield, the president of Screenplay Systems and the architect of Dramatica, said the company had just come out with a simpler version. And while he says that many well-known screenwriters use Dramatica, they ''are in the closet.

Dramatica for Screenwriters by Armando Saldaña Mora

It begins by asking the user questions about his or her story that can take up to four days to complete. The answers are fed into Dramatica's ''story engine,'' which can monitor and help structure the plot, add and delete characters, cross-reference their motivation, question their subconscious, preconscious and place in the universe, and much more.

Dramatica has its own arcane lexicon that sounds like a cross between Michael Crichton and Carl Jung; it refers to ''storyencoding'' and ''storyforming,'' includes ''theme browsers'' and outlines eight archetypes. It even coins its own words, like contagonist, which turns out to be an archetype who represents temptation.

Novelist, screenwriter and author of the Touchstone time travel saga

But story development software has its defenders. Erik Bauer, the editor of Creative Screenwriting and a self-proclaimed wannabe, said he occasionally used some plotting programs. Joe Mefford, owner of Screenstyle, an on-line software company, said the programs were valuable for beginning screenwriters. The software is popular now, but when Mr. Mefford, a former BBC story editor, returned to the United States in , the only screenwriting software available was Final Draft, a year-old formatting program that provides the structural template for the roughly 33 elements, like scene and dialogue, required by a typical screenplay.

Now there are three other major types of formatting software, along with the writing programs. What is difficult for screenwriters, however, is figuring out what will help them achieve success in Hollywood -- and what won't.

Screenwriting Software: Closeup Review #4

McKee's course. Agents at International Creative Management in Los Angeles are required to take the course, and many studio executives have attended. McKee, and ''he would be wise to come. Field, who has his own list of star pupils like the writer-directors James Cameron ''Titanic'' and Frank Darabont ''The Green Mile'' , now has a video version of his book but also recommends several other well-known Hollywood screenwriting author-gurus like John Truby, Linda Segar and Michael Hague. But even though Creative Screenwriting magazine went undercover last year to investigate 22 on-line screenplay analysts and found eight to be valuable, Mr.

Field shudders at the thought. No well-established screenwriter will admit to using Write a Blockbuster, but almost everyone in Hollywood uses formatting software. Kelley, who writes on yellow legal pads. Click here for details Our Bestseller! A step by step approach to story development, from concept to completed story for your novel or screenplay. More than interactive Story Cards guide you through the entire process.

The most powerful story structuring software available, Dramatica is driven by a patented "Story Engine" that cross-references your dramatic choices to ensure a perfect structure. The next generation of Dramatica software is now available for Macintosh! All new interface, and including many new tools for practical story development. Skip to content. Posted in Screenwriting Comments Off on Screenwriting Posted on July 30, by Melanie Anne Phillips. Search for:.

You'll develop your story's world, who's in it, what happens to them, and what it all means. An industry standard, MMS is used by professionals and studios around the world. Proudly powered by WordPress.