By Dain Schroeder on Wed, 02/16/2011
As is evidenced by the fact that I write for iPhone Life, I am a fan of writing, whether it's for a site like this or for one of my many independent film projects. Not only can it be fun, but it's a terrific way to exercise one's mind. When @brianhere asked me via Twitter to review the new app Screenwriting, I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know that I was about to experience what is probably the best writing app on the entire App Store.
The idea behind Screenwriting is that it should be easy and enjoyable to write a story, whether it be for a film, play, or some other form of scripted entertainment. The developers clearly have a solid understanding of exactly what a writer wants when using an app like this, because every single design decision in the app is implemented flawlessly.
When the user first opens the app, they are given the choice of working on an existing script, starting a new one, or importing one from a computer. When working on a new project, there are several buttons to easily add scenes, stories, and characters into your script. There is also a quite handy 'notes' tab, useful for jotting down quick reminders. Typing in the app works just as you'd expect, but there's one particularly wonderful feature that raises the bar for what users should expect in a writing app: the ability to easily rearrange. Let's say you've written a scene for your film that you later decide should take place earlier in the movie. Simply press your finger down on that scene and drag it to the part of the script you want to move it to; no need to fuss around cutting and pasting huge amounts of text.
Using Screenwriting to create a script is intuitive, fun, and extremely satisfying. The app costs $2.99, and is currently exclusive to the iPad (sorry, iPhone owners). The next time I draft a script for one of my video projects, I won't hesitate for a single heartbeat before deciding to use Screenwriting. This is an app that absolutely belongs on the iPad of anyone who enjoys creative writing.
Not quite sure what to write? As an added little treat, the above screenshot is a sample script that my wife (who also happens to be a writer) drafted using Screenwriting. Perhaps it will help you get your creative juices flowing. For the record, if any movie studio executives happen to be reading this, we are completely open to selling this script for use in a big-screen