Sunday, February 17

Screenwriting Software: Adobe Story

Screenwriting Software: Adobe Story

Adobe Story

Most people I've talked with don't know Adobe has developed Sreenwriting software: Adobe Story. Of course, saying Adobe Story is screenwriting software is a bit like saying a smart phone can make phone calls. The statement is true enough, but it barely scratches the surface.

 Here are a few things Adobe Story can do:

 - Reduce shooting time. Adobe Story works with other Adobe tools--programs such as OnLocation and Premiere Pro--to speed up production time. For instance, Adobe Story can automatically generate shot lists, dialogue, and so on.

- Collaboration. Often more than one person is involved in the creation of a script. Adobe Story allows everyone involved to collaborate online by tagging and tracking whatever changes are made.

This shortish video (7 minutes and 54 seconds) gives a great overview of what the software can do:

Instant Adobe Story Starter by Christopher Tilford

One of the reasons I'm posting about Adobe Story is that Packt Publishing asked me to review Christopher Tilford's book, "Instant Adobe Story Starter" (they sent me a review copy of the book). Although I normally don't do reviews, I have fiddled around with Adobe Story and it seemed like the sort of tool I would want to consider using if I were a screenwriter. That said, I don't know how it compares to other screenwriting programs (for instance, Final Draft or Movie Magic).

As computer programs become increasingly complex I sometimes find myself wishing I had a manual, but these days comprehensive users guides don't come with software programs, you have to buy them separately.

This is where Christopher Tilford's book, Instant Adobe Story Starter, comes in. Christopher has written a nuts and bolts guide to navigating Adobe Story. His book gets right to the point and doesn't include a lot of filler (here's an example).

I feel I should mention that Adobe Story has an online manual that, from what I've been able to see, covers everything that Christopher Tilford does and it's free! (See: Using Adobe Story)

The Bottom Line

I wish I could have been enthusiastic in my endorsement of Instant Adobe Story Starter but the bottom line is that Adobe puts out a free document that covers the same information. That said, Instant Adobe Story Starter isn't a bad book--I would give it three out of five stars--it just needs more original content. I look forward to reading Christopher Tilford's next book.

Have you used a screenwriting program? What did you think of it?

Other articles you might like:

- Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge: Write What You Know
- Writing A Feel Good Story
- How To Write Short Stories

Photo credit: "With great powers comes great responsability" by Juliana Coutinho under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.


  1. I've been using Adobe Story for a while now but I am just about ready to jump ship. I began using Story shortly after its initial release, and have had a "Plus" account for a while. The sleek design and promising features (and merely the fact that it was a Final Draft alternative) appealed to me. Now, more than a couple years after release, Story is still riddled with bugs and clunky features. It's gotten so bad that I'm even on a direct-email basis with a couple of Story's engineers because of how often I come across problems. They often ask me to submit various info and screenshots of problems with the software to help them work through it. Kudos to them for the direct approach, but it just doesn't seem like they have the bandwidth to make any meaningful fixes in a timely manner. I was happy to give Story a try.... but I find that the bugs are getting in my way more and more and think I'm going to have to abandon this ship for a more dependable app (though none of them are perfect -- WHEN WILL GOOGLE DOCS RELEASE A SCREENWRITING TEMPLATE?!).

    1. Blake, thanks for sharing your experience. Much appreciated!


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