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Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting Beginner's Guide [Paperback]

Ralph Roberts
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Mar 2011

Write and market Hollywood-perfect movie scripts the free way!

  • An illustrative guide to writing and formatting professional scripts and screenplays in the only way acceptable to Hollywood producers and agents
  • Work with all the powerful tools of Celtx to come up with brilliant scripts for films, documentaries, stage plays, even comic book scripts
  • Master other pre-production planning features including storyboarding, scheduling, and casting
  • Maximize the power of Celtx with helpful tips about both the software and how to sell your completed work
  • Part of Packt's beginner's guide series – pratical, simple, and illustrative

In Detail

We've all watched a disappointing movie and said, "I could write it better than that." Perhaps you can! It doesn't matter how good your script might be – if it doesn't look right, producers and agents won't read it. The answer (and it's an easy one) to writing screenplays in the rigid format required is Celtx!

This book on Celtx answers the NEED millions of screenwriters have – how to turn out a pro-looking script without spending hundreds on Final Draft or Movie Magic. It includes screenplay formatting and structuring examples, excerpts from both classic movie scripts and some of the author's own as examples, tips on marketing, and so forth.

Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting Beginner's Guide will make you an expert at storyboarding, audio visual scripts (such as for documentaries), comic books, developing characters, and more. It begins with the basics of getting started with Celtx and then moves on to the important aspects of writing and formatting scripts. With this book in hand, you will develop all the skills of a professional scriptwriter. If you have the creativity it takes to come up with a brilliant script, this book does everything else for you!

This book takes you through a tour of Celtx, what to use it for, and what to do with your excellent results (with a lot of hard-learned tips from the author). In simple terms, this book shows you how to get up to speed writing scripts and the other neat things Celtx does.

This illustrative guide will show you how to turn out a professional-looking script using Celtx.

What you will learn from this book

  • Obtain and install Celtx and get started with it
  • Get acquainted with all the writing features of Celtx
  • Work with tools to organize your writing prowess
  • Learn how to write a brilliant feature movie
  • Write gripping documentaries and other audio-visual projects
  • Learn how to present excellent stage plays, podcasts, comic books, and other great scripts
  • Market your scripts so that they reach the right people and you get due credit


This is a beginner's guide – a hand-holding fun ride with step-by-step instructions and illustrative screenshots

Who this book is written for

If you want to write a professional script or screenplay using the open source tool Celtx, this book is for you. You need not have any previous knowledge of Celtx or any other writing software.

Frequently Bought Together

Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting Beginner's Guide + Mastering Celtx
Price For Both: £42.15

Buy the selected items together
  • Mastering Celtx £12.69

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Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (14 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849513821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849513821
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ralph Roberts is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and worked with NASA during the Apollo moon program. He built his first personal computer in 1976 and has been writing about them and on them since his first published article "Down with Typewriters" in 1978. He has written over 100 books along with thousands of articles and short stories. His best sellers include the first U.S. book on computer viruses (which resulted in several appearances on national TV) and Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola®, a cookbook that has been in continuous print for the past 17 years and sold half a million copies.

He is also a video producer with over 100 DVD titles now for sale nationally on places such as Amazon.com. He has also produced hundreds of hours of video for local TV in the Western North Carolina area and sold scripts to Hollywood producers.

Previously for Packt, Ralph wrote Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting and Google App Inventor. Ralph and his wife, Pat, live on a farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina with two horses.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is true to its word 7 Jun 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Here's how it goes with new screenwriters: They can't afford pro screenwriting software like Final Draft, so they struggle with a hobbled demo version which limits them to just a few pages of script. They're so eager to get on with writing that they don't stop to learn the basic rules of screenplay formatting, structure, tone or style. They don't spend time learning about three-act structure because they don't know such a thing exists.

The net result is a bugger's muddle that completely fails to express their beautifully honed inner vision in any meaningful way. How do I know? Because I made all of these mistakes and several more that I'm too embarrassed to recount.

I learned the basics the hard way, by buying several screenwriting books, going on courses and reading scripts. Even then I always had this nagging feeling that my scripts were missing something tremendously important. I still have that nagging feeling. I don't think it ever goes away.

Back to the point. New screenwriters don't have to cough up a couple of hundred quid for Final Draft. There's an excellent piece of software called Celtx which does everything FD does and a bunch more besides. It's free and it works well.

But Celtx isn't going to jump off the screen and tell you how to use it or how to format a script or what a synopsis is or what the difference is between a logline and a tagline.

That's where Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting Beginner's Guide comes in. Ignore the baffling `open source' bit in the title, this book is aimed squarely at new screenwriters who want to get on with writing their magnum opus.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Hopeless 17 Aug 2013
I have just downloaded the instructions to my Kindle Fire. I cannot even get over the first hurdle given that the pictures in the book do not correspond at all with what appears on the screen. Having written my title heading, there is no way I can advance. Like so many computer instruction books, the assumption is that the user understands everything. I've just wasted my money on yet another manual.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide 17 May 2011
By DomCar
I became aware of Celtx last year while working on a short film project I was commissioned for. It looked like a good bit of kit, but I already had an excellent piece of writing software and didn't require another one, nor did I have the time to learn how to use a new program. Then I became aware of Celtx: Open Source Screenwriting Beginner's Guide so I thought I'd give it a go.

The eBook was extremely helpful and I was able to learn as I went along. It's an easy read well laid out and it's very easy to find exactly what you're looking for. The book covers everything from your computer requirements, loading the software, the basics through to advanced use. The more I read of the book the more I discovered I could do with Celtx (even aspects of the software as a writer I will never use, but which will be extremely valuable to those looking for a complete production package). The book was so good I even recommended it to the person who first told me about Celtx and even he discovered things he never knew he could do before.

Although I only used the book to learn how to use screenwriting side of the software it does also teach you a lot more about exactly what Celtx is capable of on the production side of things and anyone who has Celtx, or is thinking of getting it, should really get the book as it will definitely help them make the most of the software.
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Don't be put off by the Beginner's Guide title. This is an easily accessible book for beginner and accustomed user of screenwriting software alike. I'm a convert to free Celtx from expensive Final Draft and always suspected I was only ever using a fraction of its power. You know how it is; you're a busy writer, you've used Final Draft, how difficult can it be to switch to Celtx? It is easy, or at least I found it so but I ended up skating the surface of the program. As it says on the front of the book `learn by doing'. Well I did when I started using Celtx two years ago, but without realising there was a lot more.

My interest was piqued by a fellow writer's mention on Twitter that the publishers, packt.com were looking for reviewers to blog about the book. I'm thankful that the book is as approachable and useful as it states on the cover as reading it and then writing about it would have been a very dull task indeed. It is a manual with both utility and inspiration. The author is generous with his support of writers because he realises how difficult it is to sustain ideas and how to crack a very difficult market.

My approach, and I guess for a lot of other users too, is to read the book with my own projects open in a Celtx window so I could test out all those exciting new buttons for myself. This was a revelation! Not only did I discover all the new aspects but it was written in a refreshingly jargon-free conversational style that made me feel like I could actually do it without being either a total geek or an ignorant technophobe. Roberts is very good at removing the technofear! Though all the screenshots were for a PC user, it was easy to translate for a Mac user (the windows aren't THAT different).
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