PROS / This software offers an organized and structured process to help you write top-notch movie screenplays.
CONS / It lacks a feature to develop settings and has no thesaurus or word processor.
VERDICT / This is one of the best creative writing software programs to help you develop characters, story, plot and narrative structure to write successful screenplays.
Contour is a system to produce a comprehensive outline that will take you through steps needed to write a good screenplay. This creative writing software guides you through the process of defining characters, scenes, plot points, action and all the elements that make a good movie.
This program has a specific system that takes you through a series of simple questions to define your characters and set them in action. It helps you to write 44 plot points in three acts and gives you examples from top-rated movies for inspiration to let you see what it looks like when it’s done right.
This writer software works easily if you follow the application’s structured steps. Screenplay writing is hard work, and this software gives you the prompts and tools to complete a comprehensive outline from which to write your movie script. It lacks a word processor, so you won’t compose the screenplay in the software, but it offers tools to help you organize the project throughout the process.
Contour also offers suggestions to paint compelling scenes. This creative writing software provides details and tips to help you model your story after the best screenplays. The software comes with unique features, such as screenplay outline templates from popular movies that serve as reference guides for a point-by-point breakdown of good movie making. This is a great feature because it draws from 18 successful movies including "American Beauty," "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Sixth Sense," "King Kong," "Up" and more. The movies represent 10 genres including Thriller, Horror, Drama, Action, Science Fiction, Action, Comedy, Adventure, Suspense and Animation.
The Contour model centers on four questions and four archetypes. The questions help define your protagonist and include the following:
1. Who is your main character?
2. What is he trying to accomplish?
3. Who is trying to stop him?
4. What happens if he fails?
The four archetypes are transitions through which your protagonist moves. They include Orphan, Wanderer, Warrior and Martyr and represent your protagonist's development as the outline progresses. Contour coordinates each act of your screenplay with the archetype phases of your protagonist. For example, Act one is the Orphan phase. The first part of Act two is the Wanderer phase and the second part of Act two is the Warrior phase. Act three is the Martyr phase.
Unfortunately, this software lacks a feature to develop settings, and when testing the archetype questions, we could not tab to question fields, as directed by the user guide. Instead, we had to use the pull-down menu under View in the interface to access the archetype question fields.
This screenplay-writing software has an Ideas panel to write ideas or inspiration that may come to you during the writing process. You simply click the Ideas button in the lower right corner of the user interface and a window pops up in which to write your ideas. Contour has a progress bar that lights up in green at the top of the user interface as you fill in each of the steps of writing your outline. It's a good way to see how far you've come and how much is left to do with your screenplay.
Contour has a host of tools within the application to let you outline your screenplay. They include a dictionary, writing examples and automatic spell check. It lacks a thesaurus and has no word-count function or built-in troubleshooter to fix any problems that may arise with the application.
This creative writing software is easy to use but the key to learning its features and functions is through its built-in user guide. The comprehensive guide gives simple usage instructions and explains how a good story should be structured and developed. The multi-paneled user interface is easy to navigate, and the progress bar at the top of the screen gives you the ability to navigate to any section of the outline by simply clicking on the lighted, green timeline. In comparison to other products, however, the interface is a bit old-fashioned.
Tips for your story or screenplay are included on the right side of your screen. Covering everything from character traits and motivation to scene composition and plot progression, these convenient tips are taken from successful movies such as "Titanic" and are a valuable tool to help you develop your storyline.
Multiple options are available for technical questions regarding Contour. If you aren’t able to find an answer to your question in the company's FAQs page, email services and phone lines are ready for your inquiries. Another exceptional technical support feature offered by the Contour creative writing software package is the online forum. Contour’s forum is a message board where you can post experiences you’ve had with Contour, problems you’re trying to resolve, and even story ideas.
You can download a helpful PDF manual from the website that walks you through the various features of the software. It will answer many of the questions you have when learning how it all works.
Contour creative writing software offers a host of features and tools to help you write a detailed outline for your screenplay. It guides you through a series of helpful questions and plot points to develop a three-act script. The software lacks a feature to develop settings and has no thesaurus or word-count function. It offers expert examples to follow and leads you through a structured process that makes you think every step of the way to foster inspiration. Contour is designed to help you buckle down and follow steps to successful writing.