I generally assume other playwrights, and other practitioners of the theater, to be tech-phobic. And while playwrights tend to be ahead of the technology curve as compared to, say, actors, it's fair to assume Edward Albee isn't on Twitter and Horton Foote (rest his soul) didn't leave behind a 4-digit /. profile.

Celtx Logo

While it won't make you one iota of a better playwright, having some more modern tools can certainly make you more efficient. In that spirit, I have here a few video tutorials designed to introduce even the most Ludditery dramatist to one of my favorite, and most gratis, writing tools - that wonderful open source writing software we call Celtx.

What is Celtx?

Celtx is primarily a program for screenwriters, but I dare say it's the best thing going for playwrights as well. For those of you more familiar with Microsoft Word or Final Draft, it isn't a world of difference, but some of the features and the costlessness of the thing make it my playwriting platform of choice. Check it out.

Celtx Tutorial for Playwrights - Part 1 by quolo

Once you get the basics of Celtx sorted out, it's time to start a-writing. All the bells & whistles in the world won't mean much if it gets in the way of you doing your thing. It's the simple usability of Celtx that makes me like it the most--it enables me to write faster and with less attention to the way it looks. Here's a bit of a primer on writing new drafts while in Celtx.

Hopefully that's enough to get you hooked. In Part 2, we'll look to handle rewrites and address backups and portability of your playwriting projects.

As I indicated, a lot of work went into creating Celtx and you have to salute them for giving it away for free. There is a paid service called Celtx Studios that will facilitate collaboration for about $5/month, but I personally haven't taken to that part of the platform. Still, if you like Celtx as much as good unity of opposites, I recommend throwing a few bucks their way to say thanks and keep up the fine work.

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