WriterDuet v4!

We’re really proud of the newest version of WD, WriterDuet version 4. This is our most dramatic update yet in terms of user experience and design, and we also have a number of new features in our never-ending quest to enhance the creative process.

Here are some of the awesome things to look out for in the new version:
  1. Total design overhaul. As you can see below, we have a new layout designed around maximizing the amount of the page that is visible at any one time. Without sacrificing simplicity, we’ve also gotten sleeker on menus, modals and everything else.
  2. Faster performance. All scripts should be faster and write smoother, whether they are one page or one thousand pages.
  3. Better portfolio. The portfolio is now just a popup, with way faster load time, shared folders, search, and easy click-and-drag.
  4. WriterSolo modeFor Pro users who have the desktop application, WriterDuet files from your computer open in this new, strictly offline mode instead of opening a new WriterDuet project. If you already used Save within WriterDuet to save a project file to your computer, then double-clicking that file will still open the existing project in WriterDuet. This same rule applies to using File > Open File in the WriterDuet desktop application. If you want to save a new file to the cloud, open WriterDuet and then use File > New and File > Import from there to import the file. Note: There is no need to download the separate WriterSolo app, as WriterDuet already has that built in.
  5. Lots more! Simpler auto-save, new templates (books, plus right-to-left scripts), Adobe Story import, and a new notification system, to name a few. And as always, the groundwork for a future of endless creative possibility!

Other than that, things should be pretty familiar! We’ve moved a few things around the menu, but you can still find them with the feature search under the Help menu. If you’re looking for some guidance on the new layout, our new Quick-Start Tutorial is on Youtube.

Understanding Files in WriterDuet

Everything you write and everything you have written for a project is stored in a WriterDuet file (the .wdz filetype). This file is kept on our servers, in the WriterDuet cloud. Data is added ~constantly (note: added, not replaced) based on edits made by you and your collaborators. This enables real-time collaboration between writers and devices, as well as access to any point in your script’s history.

You can export WriterDuet project files under File > Export > WriterDuet, but that creates a copy of the file. Instead of living in the WriterDuet cloud, that file is sent to a location of your choice, where collaborators do not have access to it. To access the original file on the WriterDuet server–the one that updates in real time–one must go to the WriterDuet web portfolio (accessible under File > Open). The only exception to this is if there is a WriterDuet project being saved to the computer with the Save function. For those using the desktop application, double-clicking that file–or using File > Open File–will open the associated WriterDuet project, unless a new Save As action from that project has begun saving the project to a different WriterDuet file.

So what happens, then, when you open a WriterDuet (.wdz) file that has been exported to your computer, or a cloud location like Google Drive or Dropbox?

It opens in WriterSolo mode, our file-based (rather than cloud-based) mode, which is also available as a separate purchase for non-Pro users (for Pro users, it is already built-in). Since it is an offline application, the only saving that happens is manually done by you, to a specified location (computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud). It still has all of your history if it’s a WriterDuet file, but the file is wherever you keep it, rather than in our WriterDuet cloud.

If you want to open a file on your computer, but use it in WriterDuet (to collaborate on it, have it in the cloud, etc.), you can do so by opening WriterDuet, and then go to File > New, and File > Import to import the file to a new project.

WD3 Is Ready!

WriterDuet v3.0 is now public for everyone! It is time for you to move your account. Just a few things to keep in mind:

    1. Your active collaborators have to move when you move! So if you are working with a team, you may want to find a common time during which you can all move your accounts. Their accounts will be prompted to move to Beta if they go to a script that is shared with you. Changes will not sync otherwise.

    2.  Once your account is moved, you need to re-download the desktop application right away. 

Go to https://writerduet.com/beta to update your account to WD3. Going forward, your URL might say /script again but your account will still be updated (for example, you’ll notice a Drafts menu instead of a Plugins menu; Plugins are now under Tools). For the iOS and Android apps, you can find them by searching for WriterDuet in your respective app stores. If you encounter any problems, shoot us an email at beta@writerduet.com.

Thanks! Now get back to writing.

The WriterDuet Team

WriterDuet v3.0 Is Here!

WD3 is the most exciting update that we’ve ever had. So if you’re not excited, you should probably seek professional help. Move your account here.

We recommend WriterDuet Pro, which in version 3 will (professionally) help you…

  1. Write on the go with the mobile application. Gone are the days of you having to stop writing while on the toilet.
  2. Organize and filter your script with the tagger. If you have a script that will be produced, you can tag props and characters. If you don’t have a script that will be produced, you can tag content that is bad and is probably what’s preventing your script from being produced.
  3. See when notes are added with in-app notifications. No more missing when your producer (see, we believe in you!) comments, or scanning the entire script with no idea which notes are new.
  4. Save content for later with the Graveyard, a separate script space that you can open whenever you need it. Copy/cut content to it with a simple shortcut.

But forget you for a second… the biggest features in WD3 are actually meant to help us. This update features massive structural changes to how we represent data, and is the gateway to a future of endless possibilities.

With the new internal layout in WD3, we will have the tools we need to turn WriterDuet into a world of multi-viewable, filterable, merge- and unmerge-able glory. We’re starting with branchable Drafts that can be accessed from within a script in one click. With this new tech, our goal is to seamlessly capture & enhance your unique creative process.

We want to help you write better scripts. We believe the way to make that happen is to give you tools that let you write freely without ever thinking about all the magic going on in the background. And when you need that magic… poof. There’s everything you ever needed.

As a reminder, WD Lifetime includes all upgrades for as long as you are alive (we hope that’s a while). So now is the best time to upgrade to WriterDuet Pro Lifetime. It’s a steal.

You’re literally stealing from us. Hurry up or we’ll call the cops.

The WD Team

Introducing WriterDuet 2.9!

Hello Writers,

The WriterDuet Team has had all eight hands and four paws on deck for the past months creating our newest release: WriterDuet 2.9! This upgrade has involved a number of major infrastructure changes that allow for much greater flexibility and efficiency in creating new features and customizations in the future. Building from these, we have implemented the following new features already:

Free users:
1) Dual Dialogue can now be multiple lines long and include all line types.
Use Command or Control plus the number for each Line Type (e.g. Cmd/Ctrl+3 is a new Character line) to create new lines in your script without leaving the left or right column that you are in! Hit Enter to return to a normal, full-width line.

2) Copy, Cut, Paste, and Text-Select Operations are smarter.
Check out this video for details.

PRO users:
1) Shared Folders in the Portfolio!

Folders in your portfolio now have sharing options, controllable with the plus sign in the top left corner. Once created, any script that is added to that folder will be automatically shared to each collaborator with the permissions that you set. If you don’t have permission to share the script, a share request will be sent to an administrator, who can accept or deny the share request.

2) Two New Templates: UK Stageplay and Stageplay Compact!
Along with the new Audio/Visual and Virtual Reality templates (available for purchase here), we have a new UK Stageplay template and Compact Stageplay template (designed to look like a published play) available to all Pro users! Both feature the “CHARACTER: Dialogue” format on a single line; give them a try!

These changes will be in effect the next time you open WriterDuet.
Thank you and enjoy!

The WriterDuet Team

WriterDuet Gift Exchange: Deals From Now Until Christmas!

Happy Holidays! 
Because WriterDuet customers are our true loves, we have lots of gifts to offer you this season!
From now until December 25th, purchases of certain WriterDuet products will be reciprocated with the gift of a free annual subscription to different products each day! In other words, buy a WriterDuet product to get a different one for free, every day from now until December 25th.
The combinations change every day, so keep an eye on the banners in WriterDuet or refer back to this post to make sure you seize the perfect opportunity:
December 14th: When you subscribe to WriterDuet MultiColumn, you’ll get a free year with the ReadThrough plugin.
15th: When you buy the HartChart Lifetime, you’ll get a free year with the ReadThrough plugin.
16th: Subscribe to ReadThrough to get a free year with WriterDuet MultiColumn.
17th: Buy the HartChart Lifetime to get a free year with WriterDuet MultiColumn.
18th: Buy WriterDuet Pro Lifetime to get a year of the HartChart for free.
19th: Buy WriterDuet Pro Lifetime to get a free year of WriterDuet MultiColumn.
20th: When you buy WriterDuet Pro Lifetime, you’ll get a free year of the ReadThrough plugin.
21st: Subscribe to Premium on this day to get a gift subscription to WriterDuet Pro.
22nd: Buy WriterDuet Pro ScreenCraft Lifetime to get the added gift of a year of ReadThrough.
23rd: Buy WriterDuet Pro ScreenCraft Edition Lifetime to get a year of the HartChart for free.
24th: Buy WriterDuet Pro ScreenCraft Edition Lifetime to get a year of MultiColumn for free.
25th: When you subscribe to Premium, you’ll get a free upgrade to the ScreenCraft Edition.
And may the merry bells keep ringing!
The WriterDuet Team

Announcing WriterDuet Premium!

WriterDuet Premium is the ultimate package for your fully integrated screenwriting experience. In addition to all of the amazing features of WriterDuet Pro–limitless collaboration, mobility and revision tracking supported by powerful security and analysis–Premium benefits include these awesome enhancements and plugins:

Premium Support
With a direct line to WriterDuet’s development team, your questions, thoughts and ideas will be heard and dealt with as quickly as possible.

Translate your script into any language in a matter of seconds,
and then edit each script separately to perfect it. View as separate scripts or side-by-side.

Bring your script to life by sharing it with voice actors, or by listening instantly with text-to-speech performance from a full cast of computer voices.

Compose audio and video in side-by-side chronology, write scenes in parallel, or even write in our Virtual Reality template!

Subscribe to Premium here for the full power of all things WD.

And then get back to writing 😉

The WriterDuet Team

P.S. If you’re more interested in our standalone plugins, each is also available for separate purchase. Just click on their links to learn more.

Austin Film Festival 2016

The WD team had a blast at this year’s Austin Film Festival. We shared some of our best and newest features, introduced WriterDuet Premium (coming November 1st!), flirted about some upcoming concepts, and most importantly, we spread the word about the world’s greatest screenwriting software through good conversation, good looks, and tee shirts (let us know if you want one)!


While the panels were profound and diverse, there was a common message within them. From sitcom writers to professors to directors, all advice about developing tone, networking, or finding success fell back into a familiar central theme: work hard, and all else will follow.

But what does it mean to work hard? Here is what we perceived:

1. Write constantly
Literally don’t stop, unless it’s a question of health. Especially don’t stop writing when the going gets tough–nor when the tough gets going–because that’s when you are improving most rapidly.

2. Read constantly
Somehow, you should also read scripts constantly. Multiple very successful writers, such as Paul Feig, Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, and Christina Hodson were script-readers early in their careers. Luckily, you can find innumerable high-quality scripts online and follow in their footsteps immediately. Here is a great article to start. Beyond scripts, there is magic to be summoned from myriad books, short stories, and plays.

3. Don’t get distracted
Put WD in Full Screen mode and leave your phone in the bathroom (unless you write on your phone, or in the bathroom). It is important to inspire yourself and build an education from sources like Screencraft and the Scriptnotes podcast; however, only do this as a supplement to the act of doing a whole lot of writing. For more tips on that, see #1.

The whole team is a lot smarter after this year’s Austin Film Festival, and unbelievably inspired. More than anything, our takeaway this year is the clear truth that WriterDuet is the right choice for writers around the world. The best way to spread the word: Just. Keep. Writing.

Because passion is contagious. Like whooping cough!

The WriterDuet Team

Interview with Nicholl Fellowship winners Alisha Brophy & Scott Miles

The writers of “United States of Fuckin’ Awesome” are… awesome. Not only do they write terrific scripts, they also use terrific software for their collaborative writing process… (drumroll please) WriterDuet! Alisha Brophy and Scott Miles were kind enough to answer some interview questions posed by WriterDuet’s (awesome) intern Nathan Berkowitz.

When you launch a new project together, how do you decide what topics and characters you want to explore? Does one of you present a firm idea, or do you bounce thoughts back and forth?

The best ideas come from Scott starting a sentence with, “We could never do this premise, but I was thinking…” And then Alisha gets obsessed with the idea and insists that we write it. We keep a list of ideas so there is always a pile of concepts to choose from. Other ideas come from challenging ourselves while driving around between meetings – “you have five minutes to come up with a premise based on that street sign. GO!” A lot of them don’t work, but sometimes there’s gold in just free-associating ideas. There’s a lot of streets in LA.

Do you find yourself sharing work evenly at most points in the screenwriting process, or does it fluctuate? Do you each have certain specialties when it comes to screenwriting?

From logline to outline to beat-sheet to pages, we are working simultaneously. It truly is a partnership and there is no separate ownership over ideas or characters or script elements. We realized early on that you can’t distinguish skills. We’ve heard other writing teams say things like, one person is the “dialogue person” and another be the “ideas person, etc.” We believe that each writer has to bring 100% to every element of storytelling. But, we of course have our strengths. Alisha will throw out jokes in order to keep characters grounded. Fortunately, Scott’s brain is like an algorithm that can create replacement jokes on demand.

What was your writing workflow like before you discovered WriterDuet? What are the biggest differences in that process since you began using WriterDuet?

Before WriterDuet, we’d work together on the outline and then split up the scenes into reels/sequences to go off and write individually. Then came the dance of trading off sections, rewriting each other, back and forth until we were happy with the results. It took FOREVER. Now, we’re both in the same document, video chatting as we go. Still working on different scenes, but if one gets stuck, the other can jump up to the scene and we’ll talk it through. So in ten minutes, we can find a better version of the scene, a process that might have taken weeks when passing files back and forth over email. And because we’re discussing in real time, talking through all the versions the scene could be, our first drafts end up closer to third drafts due to the time we’ve saved working from the same doc.

Do you typically make changes to a script separately, or do you prefer if your partner is online when one of you is working on the script?

We’re always either video chatting or (preferably) in the same room physically, both laptops open, working in WriterDuet. With comedy, it’s especially important to have someone there to get an immediate reaction. If they laugh, it stays. Scott has learned how to differentiate Alisha’s laughs because her reaction to a joke in the script and a funny online gif are quite similar.

As comedy writers, do you both have to laugh in order for a joke to stay in the script? How do you decide if something is both funny and necessary to the story?

We both have to think a joke is the best version for it to stay. If either of us bumps on it, than we talk through why. This conversation lasts as long as it takes for us to find a new line that doesn’t bump. The conversation is never persuading the other one into agreeing to it, but instead, talking through why it feels wrong. These discussions have two outcomes. Either the idea stays but it’s given new context that now makes it work, or it’s thrown out and replaced with a new, stronger idea. We both individually stand behind every line in every project. Fortunately, we have a similar sense of humor– which is probably the most important quality in a comedy collaborator.

What is each of your favorite scripts you’ve written together? Have you ever worked on a script one of you was passionate about but the other wasn’t as into?

Our favorite is whatever we’re currently working on. Probably because it takes SUCH commitment to a premise to see it through to the bitter end, especially knowing you’ll be diving back in for rewrites, that it has to be your favorite in the moment or you’d never finish. It better be the funniest, most dramatic, most tragic, most whatever thing you’ve ever done. As for passion, we have to be equally 100% behind an idea or we couldn’t write it. When we start shaping ideas to become scripts, an equal amount of who we are gets thrown into the mix, so it feels personal to each of us.

What was the most challenging disagreement you’ve had as writing partners? How did you (we hope) resolve it?

We get asked this often and everyone seems let down by the answer. They’re probably hoping for some drama, but we’ve only had one drawn out argument. It was over a joke in the first script we wrote together. We both were absolutely convinced that the other person wrote it. To this day, neither of us can even remember what the joke was, but it won’t stop us from bickering over who should take credit. (Scott: It was her.)

(Editor’s note: if back then they’d been using WriterDuet, which tracks exactly who wrote what, when, they would know the answer to this question. Sorry for not creating it sooner!)

The only other topic we’ve disagreed on was whether our focus should be tv or features. But, we’ve solved that by simultaneously working on both. And the business is currently open to writers straddling that line. So, we are both following our passions.

What is some advice you have for writers just beginning a partnership?

Be a goldfish and quickly forget who initially had which ideas. Think of your suggestions as clay. As soon as an idea is spoken it becomes fair game for both of you to twist, build on, or throw away. This is a mix of metaphors but if it helps, just picture two goldfish sculpting together.

That’s it! Much thanks to Scott and Alisha for their time and excellent responses. Now that you’ve learned from the pros, go forth and be a goldfish sculptor. And win the Nicholl. And always… be awesome.

You should upgrade to WriterDuet Pro!

I haven’t done much hard-selling of WriterDuet’s Pro version, but lately I’m realizing it’s in the best interest of free users to encourage them to upgrade. Why? Because purchasing Pro helps them in many ways. Without rattling off dozens of great Pro features, here’s a simple explanation why you should upgrade:

  1. It supports the product. WriterDuet is my full-time job, but it could be so much better if it were several people’s full-time job! If you value WriterDuet, giving us money to expand development benefits you.
  2. You get offline access to WriterDuet. I know you may be ~always online to write, but guess what: servers are terrible beasts and they are not always online. In fact, this post is spurred by some downtime we had today. And while I’m very disappointed by any server issues, if you have offline mode you’ll be largely unaffected (since our real-time data servers continued run fluidly, even collaboration still worked for Pro users).
  3. You get additional backup options. WriterDuet certainly has its own backup solutions, but it is always smart to have personal backups. WriterDuet Pro has options to automatically save to Google Drive, Dropbox, and your hard drive. While WriterDuet’s backups and infinite revision tracking should protect against loss of data… take responsibility for your own scripts, and make sure you are backing them up regularly.

There are tons of other reasons, but I’m highlighting the ones I think are most important to many people: accessibility of your work, reliability of the service, and improvements for the future. I’m very happy to offer a free version of WriterDuet, but if you appreciate what we’re doing over here (offering the best screenwriting software at a reasonable price), please upgrade to WriterDuet Pro today.