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    • Marian C. Ghilea

      I've checked the recent posts on Cake and most of them are not really that interesting for me. So, I'd like to begin a discussion here about software used for writing. I'll start with Trelby, a free, open-source software used to write scripts. It can be found (and downloaded) at https://www.trelby.org.
      I have used Trelby for a couple of days to write the beginning of a script. I had no problems to format it, and the result can be seen below. I'm curious about other people's experiences with writing software. That includes novels, articles, science articles, blog posts, and anything else that can be called "writing".

      I've read in the guidelines that Cake doesn't seem to encourage "self-promotion". However, I believe this could become a bad thing. It looks to me that this would make most people post crap generated by others instead of posting original content. Sure, if I'd advertise here links where people should BUY stuff from me, then it would be the other extreme. And a bad one, too.

      Therefore, I've decided to continue to post here high-quality, original content that was created by me while I'll do my best to encourage discussions not necessarily around my personal creations but on related topics of interest.
      Hence, I'll still show you the draft of my script, expecting at least a smile from most of my readers. Meanwhile, I'm encouraging a discussion about the general topic of SOFTWARE USED FOR WRITING.

      CROWS
      by
      Marian C. Ghilea
      All rights reserved.
      first draft

      FADE IN:

      EXT. A LARGE OAK TREE AT SUNSET

      Initially, the tree is seen with the setting Sun on the
      right, then the camera comes closer and stops near a branch
      where two crows are sitting, admiring the sunset. The crows
      are seen from behind. The camera angle changes, and the
      crows are now seen from the front, their faces illuminated
      by the last rays of the Sun.

      FIRST CROW
      I never get tired of watching
      sunsets. I suppose I'm a bit like
      the Little Prince. He used to enjoy
      them a lot.

      SECOND CROW
      He was a wise boy. Sunsets are also
      among my favorite things. Too bad
      we can't go around the planet, like
      him, to watch several sunsets
      during a single day.

      FIRST CROW
      Well, I heard astronauts can do
      that. They rotate around the Earth
      seventeen times every twenty-four
      hours.

      SECOND CROW
      Wow! That must be impressive! So
      many sunsets to watch! Perhaps we
      should become astronauts, too.

      FIRST CROW
      The competition is fierce, and you
      need to train hard four or five
      years until they send you up. I
      think I'll be OK with one sunset
      per day.

      The Sun's disk has reached the horizon and is sinking slowly
      beyond the ridge of a far-away mountain. Both crows stand up
      and stretch their wings. Then the First Crow yawns noisily
      and continues:

      FIRST CROW
      Well, what are your plans for
      tomorrow?

      SECOND CROW
      I think I'll go and explore the
      park again. There's always some
      delicious food in that area. What
      about you?

      FIRST CROW
      I'm invited to the mountain again.
      There is a geography meeting there.
      They want me to hold a discourse
      about my trip to the sea.

      SECOND CROW
      Nice! What time is the meeting? I'd
      like to come, too.

      FIRST CROW
      It's at noon. Sure, if you're
      interested in it, I'd be happy to
      have you there.

      The Sun has set. It's getting dark. The crows take flight
      towards the roof of a tall building nearby, preparing to go
      to sleep. The image fades away.

      LATER

      The Second Crow, sleeping on the tall buildings roof and
      dreaming. The image changes, with the Earth seen from space
      in the center. The camera turns and one can glimpse the
      International Space Station far away. The camera comes
      closer to the craft, touches one of its windows and gets
      inside.

      Two astronauts are talking:

      FIRST ASTRONAUT
      I had a strange dream last night. A
      really weird one.

      SECOND ASTRONAUT
      Really? What was it about?

      FIRST ASTRONAUT
      I was sitting on the branch of a
      large oak, next to Vasilyi, the
      Russian engineer. We were watching
      the sunset. Just that we were not
      people, but crows.

      SECOND ASTRONAUT
      Haha! Really funny! Any interesting
      topics you were talking about while
      doing this?

      The scene switches abruptly back to the roof where the
      Second Crow is sleeping. The Second Crow wakes up, looks
      around with a puzzled expression, then its eyelids close,
      and it goes back to sleep.

      With The Second Crow in the center, the camera moves away,
      going backward, until the building's roof fades in the mist.
      The scenery continues to shrink to the point where the Earth
      is seen again from space. Then, with a click, everything
      goes blank.

      FADE TO BLACK

      EXT. THE ROOF WHERE THE SECOND CROW HAS SLEPT OVERNIGHT -
      MORNING.

      The Sun is rising in a symphony of colors. The Second Crow
      wakes up and stretches its wings, yawning. Beyond roof's
      edge, the buildings of a modern city can be seen.

      The Second Crow's voice begins to narate:

      My name Is Shigeo and I had been living in this city for a
      long time. A new day begins now, for me, and for everybody
      else living in this part of the world.

      Shigeo walks a few steps next to the roof's edge, then takes
      flight towards a group of trees not so far away.

      The camera follows Shigeo from behind. Shigeo lands on the
      top of a tree and begins visually scanning a green lawn
      below, looking for food.

      Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/moon-crow-sky-night-blue-glowing-61888/

    • I read your script and it’s an interesting premise: an astronaut dreams visions seen through a crow’s eyes.

      A few suggestions, for your consideration.

      To me descriptions of settings should be minimal in a script, in contrast to a typical description in a novel.

      You wrote:

      Initially, the tree is seen with the setting Sun on the

      right, then the camera comes closer and stops near a branch

      where two crows are sitting, admiring the sunset. The crows

      are seen from behind. The camera angle changes, and the

      crows are now seen from the front, their faces illuminated

      by the last rays of the Sun.

      Suggest instead:

      On a branch of the tree sit two crows, admiring the sunset.

      At the same time, I think you want to provide greater descriptions of the astronauts and what they are doing:

      Two astronauts, one sporting a beard and eating borscht, the other wearing a baseball cap and reading a tech manual.

      I liked the dialogue of the crows, interesting and good pacing. Would be willing to read your second draft to see what happens next.

      Regarding script software, I like Final Draft. It’s what the Pros use so you know that it will be compatible if you get involved in a writing project. It’s expensive, but well worth it, IMHO.

    You've been invited!