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Contour will help shape your screenplay

20120214-085154.jpgContour is an app designed to help focus the creative process of writing a screen or teleplay by utilizing a known structure and series of central questions to develop your main character as well as create and properly set up your story in a way that will draw the reader in and fulfill the requirements of the plot and pacing of your story. Contour was developed by Jeffrey Alan Schechter, a WGA, WGC, Emmy, and BAFTA nominated writer, producer, and director. According to Schechter the four questions you must ask and answer for your movie to successful are:

Who’s your main character?
What’s your main character trying to accomplish?
Who’s trying to stop your main character?
What happens if your main character fails?

The answers must be:

A sympathetic character, who is…
…trying to accomplish a compelling goal while being opposed by…
… a powerful and committed opponent, over…
life and death stakes.

The app’s script structure use four archetypes to develop the main character through the course of your script. These are the four classic archetypes that every main character moves through in every great movie:

ORPHAN in Act One
WANDERER in the first half of Act Two
WARRIOR in the second half of Act Two
MARTYR in Act Three.

For reference, the app includes a number well-known movies and dissects and analyzes them using this structure. These examples of successful movies are included for ready reference. The app has an extensive user manual which will help you learn the Contour structure and apply it to your own writing. There are built in links to the Contour website including  extensive references to current movies, message boards and tech support. The program costs $5.00. The program allows you to work and capture those ideas on the go whether it’s during a lunch break, between appointments or late at night while lying in bed. The program costs $5.00. For the cost of a Starbucks Chai Latte, Contour will help you shape your screenwriting.

Index Card – A Great Tool for Writers and Students

Index Card is a simple non-linear writing tool designed for use on the Apple iPad. You can organize your thoughts through the use of virtual index cards. You can also utilize different colored cards to identify and segregate different areas of your project. The program allows you to use the touch screen to reorder your cards. The beauty of this simple isytem and interface is it permits you to capture your ideas and store notes as they come to you.

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You can organize the flow of your project by using a simulated corkboard interface. By pressing down on a virtual index card, you can electronically grab it on the touchscreen and drag it to a new location. This is the perfect app for screenwriters, novelists, or students. The program allows you to compile your work into a single draft document that can be read by most word processors and specialized formatting programs. The cost of $5.00 seems quite reasonable given all this program does.