Writing a screenplay is tricky business. To help structure the process, a handful of software developers have stepped up to create programs that help writers build up their works; but what if you want to pull a Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and co-write something? Check out Plotbot, a collaborative, Web based screenplay writing tool that lets you write alone or with others.
The best part about the service may be that the editing tool is not just a blank canvas, but it also lets you build up a project from the ground up. You can set the rights usage restrictions, the MPAA rating you're shooting for (which is basically a quick way to show others the content of your script), and a pitch about the project to get the interest of others who can join your project as fans, or full-fledged contributors.
When it actually comes time to write the script, the process goes through a small, simple editor that lets you swap between sluglines, action cues, and dialogue. Each line is automatically formatted on the fly, and can be edited simply by clicking on them, making building up a scene fast and intuitive.
The entire production is very webby. There are tags and favoriting tools for everything, and each project gets its own page that serves as a home base to track recent activity, shared documents, and a history of all the changes made to the project since its inception. Also, to help keep track up of updates, members can subscribe to the project's RSS feed.
When all is done, users can print out their work, or save it as a XML document, or RTF file, which can be imported into Final Draft, one of the more popular pieces of screenwriting software.
If this whets your appetite, be sure to check out the 140novel, a novel written by CNET's own Tom Merrit and Molly Wood alongside tech personality Leo Laporte. The entire thing is being written in Twitter.… Read more