There are a lot of ways you can dive into screenwriting. However, not all apps are tailored to help you succeed at visual content. Is Arc Studio a good app for you to try while putting together your screenplay?
From what I’ve experienced thus far in the app, it is far better than trying to put something together in Word or LibreOffice. In fact, I’m currently using it for setting up a video on YouTube.
What is Arc Studio?
Arc Studio is an app that makes it easier to craft screenplays of all kinds. Using automated features and including the most common elements for writing a script, Arc Studio helps you focus more on the plot than the layout.
If you’re working with another individual, online collaboration means creating the screenplay regardless of location. Essentially, you can work on screenwriting while in completely different countries.
Once you’re done hammering out the details, you can export the manuscript in several formats including those for PDF or even Final Draft.
In a nutshell, Arc Studio is a screenwriting tool that streamlines the process to save you time while being highly functional.
What Can You Expect from Arc Studio?
I can say up front that using Arc Studio, even in its free version, is superior to a lot of basic writing apps out there. For instance, the difference between it and something like Google Docs or Microsoft Word is night and day.
So, what are some of the things that stand out when using Arc Studio?
Quick Free Sign-up and App Download
Upon launching the app from the browser window after downloading, I got a blank screen. It seemed the program broke at that point. However, this could just be a compatibility issue with Chrome.
I’ve found some of the newer apps don’t play nice with the Google Chrome browser.
It only happened one time after setting up my initial account. I haven’t had an issue with Arc Studio since then and it’s been working perfectly thus far in Chrome.
Installing the app manually on the desktop was wicked fast and the program launched without issue.
The collaboration feature works just as well as it does with Google Docs. Although it took a few seconds for everything to synchronize, I could change elements on the desktop version of the app while the other person could see those changes from the browser version.
This means that you can easily collaborate across devices as well as operating platforms.
The downside to this feature is that it’s only available in the Pro plan, which will run you $99 per year. If you plan on doing a lot of screenwriting with a team, it might be a worthwhile investment.
During your free trial, you can play around with this feature freely.
Auto Propagation for Various Elements
When putting together your script, Arc Studio has options for propagating certain elements. This helps you cut down time on development while properly creating the screenplay.
For example, when adding a scene, the platform will show lists of locations you’ve added and provide a list of timing elements such as Day, Night, and Afternoon.
It reminds me of how Dreamweaver used to work back in the day. When inputting lines of code, the logistic algorithm would input the next piece of the code to help you along.
Arc Studio does something similar by automatically propagating specific elements so that you are in line with the industry standard. And if you’re trying to get attention to your screenplay, following along with that standard is vastly important.
All the Amenities You’d Need
Forgot what you need to add to a screenplay to give it life? Arc Studio will launch a small window to show the different amenities you might want to include, such as proper formatting and layout for Scene Heading, Action, Character, and several others.
It’ll also show you what the keyboard shortcuts are to add those elements.
You can also add characters, storylines, and locations beforehand so that they will propagate in the script while you write.
As far as I can tell, Arc Studio provides everything you’ll need to start a screenplay immediately, even in the free version. But keep in mind that outlining and adding certain elements to a scene beforehand will require a paid account.
Able to Highlight and Track Changes
While working in Arc Studio, you’re able to highlight and track changes made, whether they are by you or someone helping, such as a collaborator.
You can select highlighting to include different colors for specific people, by revision, or keep it simple by just highlighting all changes everything in blue.
This is helpful if you plan on having others proofread or help you write the screenplay. That way, you can see who changed what throughout the script.
You can also change to disable the highlighting feature altogether if it gets too distracting while working on a project by yourself.
Automatic Field Indents
One of my favorite features of any writing app is the ability to properly indent fields as you write. This can help you structure a manuscript that is in accordance with industry standards without putting much thought into the process.
Arc Studio will do this for you automatically. So, character parts, actions, and dialogue are easily identifiable while you write.
Speaking from experience, I know how much of a pain it can be to save indents in various word processors. That is no longer a concern in Arc Studio.
Adding comments in Arc Studio is quite easy. All you need to do is highlight the text you want to comment on and click the Comment option from the pop-up toolbar. Then, add whatever comment you wish.
Coincidentally, you can set the toolbar to pop up above the section you highlight instead of it showing up at the bottom of the screen.
This is another one of my favorite tools in various writing apps. Commenting on my own manuscript reminds me that I want to make certain changes from the first draft. It’s also useful if someone is helping you edit or write the script.
For instance, I often have a friend of mine edit my books through Google Docs. She’ll highlight the text and make a comment on possible changes. That functionality is also useful in the same regard when writing a screenplay in Arc Studio.
In any case, commenting in this fashion saves you from sending messages through emails or having sticky notes all over your monitor.
It’s a lot more difficult to lose a note if it’s attached to the document itself.
Pinning notes helps by showing specific things you want to remember or include in the script. I often use them as reminders of certain characters and locations. Or, I’ll use notes to help outline the story or situation.
Arc Studio allows you to pin notes to your screenplay while you work. This essentially gives you a split-screen view to show both the manuscript and the note section.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can add to the Note screen in the free version. If you plan on outlining the script and/or story in such a manner, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Getting Started Draft to Help
What if you’re new to screenwriting? Arc Studio comes with a “Getting Started” draft document to help highlight some of its functions.
Essentially, is a very short story describing some of the more prominent tools in the app.
Personally, I used this document as a testing area where I added my own continuation of the script. It gave me a chance to really play around with all of the functions and features without butchering my own document.
Is Arc Studio Something I’d Recommend?
Admittedly, I’m relatively new to screenwriting. Most of my work has centered around blog posts and books. However, I’ve always been interested in writing screenplays.
From what I’ve determined while using Arc Studio, it has a lot of functionality compared to Google Docs, Word, or LibreOffice. Between automated field propagation and real-time collaborations, it definitely offers streamlining to writing.
If you’re one who monitors progress and workflow, the timer and word count options are quite useful. For instance, I can set Arc Studio to “nag” me if I stop writing for an extended period of time while creating an alarm once I’ve been working on the script for 120 minutes.
Perhaps one of the best parts about Arc Studio is that it is extremely easy to use. Most tools are self-explanatory and everything is laid out to promote a minimalist view. In fact, you can enable and disable both left and right sections to show only the script itself.
The free version offers enough to get you started while creating an entire script from start to finish. However, a lot of the great features, like a desktop app, are locked behind the subscription fee.
The bottom line is that I can see how Arc Studio can offer screenwriters a way to streamline the process. If you’re serious about creating some video content, whether submitting to Netflix or perhaps if you have your own YouTube channel, Arc Studio is worth checking out for yourself.
Easily write your screenplays with a collection of tools to help you meet industry standards. Great for everyone from novice writers to seasoned professionals.
How Do I Plan On Using Arc Studio?
While I do tend to focus more on the written word, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at video content. Well, outside of the videos I upload to YouTube for WriterSanctuary.
I already produce an audiobook through Creative Sanctuary’s YouTube channel, but I would like to do a bit more than simply write, read, and record my voice. Yes, I have a lot of fun recording Despair, but I’d like to do more.
Although I’m probably not the best actor, I still think it would be fun to do more creative things on YouTube. So, obviously, I’m going to give Arc Studio quite a bit of use.
I wonder if I can get away with some fan fiction without getting sued.
In any event, Arc Studio’s intuitive interface and ease-of-use layout are definite time-savers. Not to mention being one of the few writing apps I’ve come across that has direct, real-time collaboration.
Sure, you can use Google Docs, but software that is tailored for specific purposes just seems to work better than trying to make something else work.
Part of being successful is all about streamlining the process. And Arc Studio does that in spades with its auto-fill and drop-down elements as you write.
Plus, the app is exceptionally easy to learn and use, especially from a beginner’s standpoint.
What Screenwriting Apps Have You Tried?
Screenwriting is quite a bit different than that of writing a book. Essentially, if it’s not “visible” on the screen, it doesn’t need to be added to the script. And Arc Studio helps you “visualize” it with all of the tools you’ll need to quickly and efficiently craft your masterpiece.
Nonetheless, the best screenwriting app is always the one that works best for your specific needs. So, what screenwriting apps do you like to use most?
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