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  • Writer's pictureLee Hamilton

Is technology changing the way we write?

There may be a few writers out there who look back to the good ol’ days with fond nostalgia, listening for the thunk of the typewriter key, or experiencing the thrill when starting a new line, the touch of having a crisp sheet of a neatly hand-typed script in their hands. The rest of us, who are old enough to remember, likely don’t miss having to start a new page after making an error halfway down, the enormous weight of the typewriter, or getting covered in ink when trying to change the ribbon.

Technology’s come a long way from the humble typewriter, but has the way we tell stories changed too, or is technology nothing but a simple tool to make writing faster and more efficient?

Technically, you can write a screenplay on anything, well, the idea anyways. Joe Eszterhas famously secured a $2m upfront fee to write Showgirls, which he pitched on the back of a cocktail napkin, but those days are perhaps long-gone too. In the digital age, we have computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones at our disposal, all of which have certainly changed the industry. Thanks to email, writers no longer have to print off multiple copies of a screenplay and rely on the laborious process of posting them all. Writers no longer have to live in Hollywood to have a successful career (at least for feature writers), because, with cell phones and video conferencing, a writer not only can be anywhere in the world but can literally be on call at the touch of a button. And the development of intuitive screenwriting software means that writers no longer have to go through the rigmarole of making sure every margin and gap on the page is correct as when using less than effective word processors.

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