Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter / Yoga Instructor

On Which Device Do You Write

There seems to have been an explosion of writing applications in recent years.

Which is good.

I remember when I started out basically you have a choice (for screenwriting) between Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter.

Nowadays if you do a Google search or you go to the app store and has become very difficult to decide with which application to go.

And I have bought a lot of them just to find out they are of no good use, at least for me.

What most of them seem to worry about most is offering you the possibility to write on the go. Many of them offer solutions for your iPad and your iPhone.

I tried those too.

Now, I don’t want to sound old-fashioned here but I have yet to encounter a situation where I need a screenwriting application on my iPhone.

And here is why.

What I do frequently in terms of writing on my iPhone is taking notes. Jotting down ideas quickly. A phone is great for that.

But I never did or felt compelled to do “real writing” on my phone. In terms of writing experience it’s a nightmare (I always struggle with these touchpad keyboards, if they were still around I would buy a Blackberry with a real keyboard), and the screen is so small you only see a couple of lines.

And if you have to go back and forth between different places in your script (or book for that matter), referring to notes, research material…

Forget it.

I realize that I do most of my writing either in applications that don’t even have a mobile option, or if they do, I don’t use it. I do all the writing on my desktop computer or my laptop (which theoretically is also mobile writing but you have the full desktop version on it).

Don’t get me wrong. I think mobile writing is a good option to have if it’s offered.

And I can imagine if you have the right iPad set up it can be a pretty good replacement for a laptop and can really help you.

The reason I’m addressing this is that in my opinion many software developers focus too much on offering mobile writing because it’s fancy and modern, but lack functionality in other areas.

I’d rather have a really good desktop application and just take notes on the go. Notes that I incorporate into my script the next time I’m on my desktop computer or laptop.

Writing is rewriting the whole time anyway. Even if you have your original document with you on your phone and you do a few quick changes on the way, the next time you go back to your full application, most probably going to do a rewrite.

So, the mobile application doesn’t really do more than the notes application that you have on your phone.

Just something to think about. Get clear on what functionality really helps your writing and don’t focus on marketing tricks of software developers!

If you really want to know which software application can do what, go to my {!global Membership Site Product Name}, the “Netflix” of writing software tutorials.