As a screenplay writer, people often ask, “What is the best writing software to use?” I respond with my usual answer “WriterDuet”. Others also suggest Celtx or recommend Final Draft. Personally, I’m not sure what other writing software is out there, because I stopped at WriterDuet. It’s the only thing any writer needs to make scripts, and it beats out Celtx and Final Draft hands down.
The interface is laid out in a very easy to use and organized way. It can even format to anything, so, if you want to use Celtx or Final Draft for whatever reason, it can help you transfer scripts back and forth.
One major issue many writers have is backing up scripts. We can only imagine how many scripts have been lost because it wasn’t saved to a personal drive. But with WriterDuet, your script saves instantly to the Cloud as you write, so, there is no need to worry about losing your possible oscar winning script.
To make things even better, I actually know Guy Goldstein! I met him a couple of years ago at the Austin Film Meet Wordsmiths Script Swap, which is something I host monthly with Austin Film Meet. I was able to speak with him about the project as he was developing it. It was great to hear about the project then, and now be able to use it. I also see Guy monthly at the Austin Film Meet Open Mic Night promoting WriterDuet, and we always have good conversations.
I wanted to help spread the word about his awesome website, so, I decided to do an interview with the creator himself.
1) What made you decide to make writerduet.com?
“Initially, it was the need for collaboration in screenwriting and film production. E-mailing scripts back and forth is inconvenient, and Celtx’s collaboration feature doesn’t work properly (you can’t see each other’s changes immediately, and you may overwrite work without knowing it). WriterDuet was built from the ground up to make real-time collaboration seamless, so anyone can work on a script anytime, and there are never problems merging changes – even if two people are typing on the same line at once!”
2) How many users do you currently have for the site?
“It’s in the tens of thousands. A lot of Hollywood writers use it, including Ed Solomon (Men in Black, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Now You See Me, etc.) who gave a great testimonial: “Writer Duet is the most intuitive, most user-friendly scriptwriting software I’ve ever used. And it’s truly amazing to be able to write and share screens with one, two, or many different people at once. … I wish I’d had this earlier in my career. I can’t say enough good things about Guy Goldstein and Writer Duet.””
3) What are you future prospects for development?
“There’s a ton of interesting stuff I’d like to develop, mostly based on requests from writers and filmmakers. For example, WriterDuet already lets you import multimedia (YouTube, SoundCloud, images, and hyperlinks) directly into a script – I’d like to enhance that for storyboarding and comic book/graphic novel creation.”
4) How is your site better than Celtx or Final Draft?
“Compared to Celtx, it’s better in just about every way. Industry-standard formatting, better interface, more fluid writing process, more customizations, more reliable – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Comparing WriterDuet to Celtx for screenwriting is like comparing Word to Notepad.”
“Compared to Final Draft, we have the same default formatting and you can import their .fdx files (Celtx files as well, plus Fountain, PDF, and Word), so it’s easy to transition. WriterDuet has real-time collaboration, automatic infinite revision tracking, an amazing outliner, and generally a much more user-friendly experience. WriterDuet is cross-platform, fast, modern, feature-rich, and easy to use. Final Draft is old technology that many writers only use because it’s got name recognition and they don’t realize there’s something much better.“
“In fact, I wrote up a list of how WriterDuet is better than Final Draft.” CLICK HERE to read the blog post.
5) What is the cost benefit?
“Versus the free version of Celtx, WriterDuet’s free version beats it hands down. In fact, Celtx’s free desktop version is no longer released, updated, or supported by Celtx. And their other free version is an online-only website that has a lot of problems.”
“Versus Final Draft, which is listed as $249.99, WriterDuet Pro has more features and better design for less than 1/3 the cost ($69).”
6) Is this strictly for screenwriting, or can it format to any creative writing form?
“It’s generally meant for scripted writing, e.g. screenplays, staged plays, audio plays, etc. You can use it for novels as well, but that’s a different writing style, and I really optimized the behavior for script writers (especially for film and TV).”
7) Do you keep it updated on any “regulation formatting”?
“The WriterDuet default formatting and page counts are virtually identical to Final Draft’s, and are also highly customizable. Unlike Celtx (where PDFs are mostly not customizable and have serious problems), WriterDuet’s PDFs are professional quality. And since we export .fdx format (as well as Celtx, Fountain, etc.) you can always share scripts with someone using another program.”
8) You also created ReadThrough.com, correct?
“Yes, ReadThrough.com is my original product for screenwriters and actors. At no cost, writers can have either a wide range of high-quality computer voices or an even wider range of higher quality volunteer voice actors perform an audio version of their script online. Actors can use it for practice, and also use its sister site ReadCues.com to learn their lines when they can’t find a friend to perform cues with them.”
9) Do you have plans of combining the two, WriterDuet and ReadThrough?
“Yes, that’s definitely something I’m considering. WriterDuet is the much more popular tool, and is better designed in many ways (I learned from my mistakes while creating ReadThrough). I hope to pull in features from ReadThrough into WriterDuet.”
10) Any other ideas in the works?
“Always. Not only is WriterDuet the best screenwriting software, it’s the most frequently updated (pretty much daily). I get a ton of feedback from writers and I often incorporate their ideas immediately. WriterDuet is built to make the writing process as simple as possible, and as long as I can keep improving it, that’s my plan!”
With all that said, why not recommend this writing software? Did I mention that this can be used online and offline? It can! It’s really great, and if there is anything you think would make it better, then just contact him and he can make the product better. WriterDuet is especially good for long distance collaboration, or team writing in general. I personally can’t wait to collaborate with others while using this software.
In addition to Writer Duet, check out Readthrough.com. It’s great for writers to hear their scripts and find out what works and what doesn’t. It’s also a wonderful resource for actors because you can develop your skills and read some interesting scripts. I was very likely the first “Austinite” to use Readthrough.com, and now I use both WriterDuet and ReadThrough on a regular basis to hone in on my creative skills. They work for my writing and acting career, and it can help yours too!