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Amazon wants to help you write your hit screenplay

Amazon wants to help you write your hit screenplay
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Writing a screenplay or movie script is tough. Especially when you're just starting out. Use the wrong font, and you're in trouble. There are guidelines you have to follow before your script will even be considered by industry bigwigs.

If it were easy, coffee shops around the world wouldn't be filled with aspiring writers. They'd be filled with professional writers. Writers whose scripts were making them money. Writers who don't frown at the cost of their $5 latte.

But it's not easy, and one company knows how hard it is to break into this industry. Amazon has recently added a new feature called Amazon Storywriter to its Amazon Studios division.

Amazon Storywriter allows writers to write a screenplay using software that automatically formats as they type. The screenplays are stored in Amazon's cloud, so writers will never lose any of their work. Plus, when the screenplay is finished, it can be submitted directly to the studio.

The best part is that Amazon Storywriter is completely free. While there are other programs out there for authors and screenplay writers, Amazon Storywriter is the first that's connected directly to a studio that's looking to make the next big television series, or movie.

Sounds like a great place to start, right? But what if you already have a piece of work in progress? Do you have to start over?

The answer is no. Writers with existing screenplays can import PDFs, FDS and Fountain format files into Amazon Storywriter, then submit them to the studio.

What if you don't have a script, don't want to write, but have a brilliant an idea for a movie or TV show? Well, Amazon Storywriter lets you pitch ideas to the studio as well.

Be careful with this, though. Legally, Amazon covers its booty with its "similar content agreement clause." This means, if you pitch an idea about a pirate celebrating his first Thanksgiving and Amazon makes something similar down the road, you may not get credit.

If this excites you anyway and you're ready to get started, another great service Amazon offers to writers is Amazon Storybuilder. This program lets you brainstorm your story and pin ideas to a "cork board." That way, you can visualize how your story is playing out.

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