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 built-in word processor.
Verdict / Contour is a decent creative writing program that can help you develop all aspects of your story.
Contour can help you produce a comprehensive outline that will take you through the 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 of the other 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 writing software works easily if you follow the program’s structured steps. Screenplay writing is arduous 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, however, so you won’t compose your screenplay within the software; you’ll have to provide your own word processor or note-taking program.
Contour also offers suggestions to paint compelling scenes. The creative writing program provides 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 an excellent feature, as it draws from 18 successful movies such as “American Beauty,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Sixth Sense” “Up,” and more. The movies represent 10 genres, including drama, horror, animation, science fiction and comedy, amongst others.
The Contour model centers on four questions and four archetypes. The questions help define your protagonist and include the following:
- Who is your main character?
- What is he trying to accomplish?
- Who is trying to stop him?
- 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 is the warrior phase. Act three is the martyr phase.
This screenplay writing software has an Ideas panel where you can write ideas or inspiration that may come to you during your writing process. You simply click the Ideas button in the lower right corner of the interface and a rich text editing window pops up. Contour has a progress bar that lights up in green at the top of the interface as you fill in each of the steps of your outline. It’s an effective way to see how far you’ve come and how much is left to do with your screenplay.
The software has a host of tools 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, nor does it have a built-in troubleshooter to fix any problems that may arise with the application.
This software for writers 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 atop 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 the 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 avenues are available for technical questions regarding Contour. If you are unable to find an answer to your question from within the company’s FAQs page, email services and phone lines are ready for your inquiries. Another exceptional technical support feature is the online community user forum. This forum is a message board where you can post experiences you’ve had with Contour, issues you’re trying to resolve, and even story ideas.
You can download a helpful PDF manual from Contour’s 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.
- Usability Score
- Efficacy Score
Contour’s creative writing program 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 and imagination. Contour is designed to help you buckle down and follow steps to successful writing.