Adapting a template — odd folder behaviour

I’ll try to explain this as concisely as possible. I’m a new convert to Scrivener. So, I apologize if some of these issues seem obvious. I’m still getting a handle on how to adapt the app to my workflow.

So, here’s the situation:

Using the Screenplay template as a foundation, I’ve been creating Television Series template. This consists of a Show Bible folder (with sub-texts for Genre, Tone, Logline, Synopsis and sub-folders for Character profiles and Episode outlines), an Episode Scripts folder (with individual episode sub-folders). I’ve kept the original folders, ‘Characters’, ‘Places’, Research’, and ‘Template Sheets’ at the bottom of the file tree.

In theory, this should allow me to build the Show Bible and Episode Scripts in the same project, then selectively compile the parts I want (the bible or an individual script). I’ll include a pic to show how this looks.

My concern is that there seem to be aspects of the original Screenplay template that won’t accept changes. In particular, the original ‘Screenplay’ folder can’t be moved or deleted (I renamed it ‘Script Template’ to set it apart). It’s also the default selection when it’s time to compile.

So here are my questions:

(1) Does the overall setup sound like a reasonable way to setup the project? I realize it might be simpler to build the Show Bible and each Episode Script as a separate project but it would be significantly better to have all the material in the same project.

(2) Is there some way to delete, move or alter the original ‘Screeplay’ folder? What is keeping it from being altered?

(3) This is less crucial. Is there a way to change the Compile settings so they don’t default to the ‘Screenplay’ folder? It would be nice to have no selection set when Compile starts. That way I’d have to set it each time to the selection I wanted to compile before it would produce any results.

Thanks in advance for your help.

I’m excited to start digging in the Scrivener. I just want to make sure that the program can do what I need it to before filling it up with all my hard wrung words.

Actually that special folder, what you’ve renamed to “Script Template” is a pivotal feature that you will need to use in the production of the script cards into a single script file. For episodes, what I would do is arrange episode folders at the top level for each episode inside the special folder—just like you’ve done with the “Episode Scripts” folder—just move all of those into the main folder and rename it, then you can even give it the TV icon if you want, and delete the now empty “Episode Scripts” folder. Inside these folders you can sort everything out and treat it like one single script. When you compile you can then choose one episode to select for compilation at a time. But the compiler uses only that special folder (with a few oddball exceptions) to generate material, that’s why you can’t delete it or move it into another folder. It is fundamental to how the program is designed to work.

You’ll find most people in fact recommend just what you’ve done here. It’s extremely useful to have all of the bible information right in with the same project you use to write, because this lets you easily cross-reference research and background information while you compose the scenes. A simple example, say you’re bringing in a minor character that you haven’t used in a few episodes and you’d like to brief yourself on their manner of speaking and background, if you have a character sheet named by their name, you can just select their name where you typed it into the script, right-click and choose “Scrivener Link”. Since the name is the same as another document in the project (the character sheet in this case) it will be suggested near the top of the list. Select the sheet, then click on the link and now you’ve got your notes right there. Further some people like to use the Keywords feature to mark scenes that characters are in. So if you want to see prior examples of dialogue and action with the character, if you’ve been keywording scenes you can search by the character’s keyword and pull up ever prior or future episode scene they are involved in. You don’t have to do all of that, but for those that like that extra capability, you can easily do so, and having everything all together in one project makes these things all the more easy to do.

Like I said above, you could put each episode as a folder into this screenplay folder and it will remember the last episode you compiled if you do that. But if you would prefer it to be more “Select and Compile”, you can work that way as well. The trick is to use that same selection menu and pick “Current Selection”. That is fact one of the ways you can bend the rules and compile using material outside of the main folder (what is called the Draft folder in the documentation).

You know, this comes up so often in the forums, maybe a TV/Movie Series template, and a Novel series template should be added to Scrivener at some point.

Probably not a bad idea. :slight_smile: I’ll run it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes it.

Slaps table.


Thanks for the thorough explanation. I’m attaching another image to show how I implemented your instructions (at least how I interpreted them). What you suggested made perfect sense but I’d just like be sure that I haven’t overlooked anything else that could rear up and bite me after it’s too late.

The only real difference is that I moved all the individual episode scripts under the special folder (now renamed ‘Episode Scripts’) and deleted the unnecessary folder.

Would you mind taking a look and confirming that the project is ‘ready’?

I also agree with @robertdguthrie, it would be very handy to have a template like this included in the next iteration of Scrivener.

Thanks again.

I think you might want to consider sticking a copy of your Script S01E01 folder into your Template Sheets folder (and name it “New Episode”). Then in Episode Scripts, get rid of all but the first episode folder.

That way, when you want to start a new episode, you just select file->new from template->New Episode, and it copies in the folder and it’s contents, ready for you to name it S01E02.

Edit: Here’s something even cooler! Once you’ve got “New Episode” in your Template sheets, click on the Episode Scripts folder, and then go to Documents->Default New Document Subtype, and select “New Episode” from the list. Then all you have to do is select the “Episode Scripts” folder and hit enter!

Yup, that looks good! Now what you are going to want to do when you compile is something like this:

The green arrow is where you set the particular episode you are compiling. The options as depicted in the rectangle are best for this way of working. You don’t want to include the folder as a part of the script because it is just acting like a “mini-draft”, and you want to treat the folder as the whole document. That isn’t usually as much of a concern with scriptwriting. It’s more important if you use the counters as they will otherwise count as though the rest of the draft still exists. But it wouldn’t hurt to set it that way as shown.

Making a template for your episode folder is a good idea, especially if you want to get them a nicer icon so you don’t have to set that each time. And any subdocuments you add to the template folder will be created as well, so that’s good for any boilerplate material you need.

Mea Culpa.

It has been a long time since I started this thread. First, let me thank all of you who replied and provided me with very helpful tweaks and advice for my template. It is now nearly perfect as a result.

The one feature I can’t seem to figure out is how to compile the “Show Bible” as its own document. I used the Script template as the basis for my Television Series template. When trying to compile from the template, you only have the option to compile from the “Series Scripts” folder. You can specify an individual “Episode Script” to compile but there is no possible route to compiling the “Show Bible” itself.

It’s entirely possible that there is just no facility to compile from outside of Script folder using this template. In which case you would have to copy all the work in your Show Bible to another project for compiling. If that’s the case then, I have to agree with robertguthrie, Scrivener really does need to have its own default Television Series template that allows compiling from the Show Bible and Series Scripts. Although it’s still nice to have everything in one place organizationally, it kind of defeats the purpose if some of the crucial material can’t be compiled to print.

But then maybe there is a way to tweak things to allow compiling from the Show Bible folder? Any advice or workarounds are gratefully received.

I’m attaching my current template iteration so you can all see what I’m working with.

Thanks in advance.
Television Series (281 KB)

It’s as simple as this: anything that is inside of the Draft folder is eligible to be compiled, anything outside of it is not. There is one small exception to that when using Collections, but that is not a practical route to take for this particular problem. Thus, if you want to compile background information as well as the script itself, then they both need to be located in the Draft folder (and you might want to call it something other than “Script” to denote that it isn’t just production material you are creating with this project, but background material too).

That all said, the reason why this isn’t quite set up the way you were expecting is that it’s quite rare that anyone would want to compile background material into a single .doc file or something. In most cases if one wants to get their research and background material out of the project (perhaps for backup purposes), and using File/Export/Files... on the folders in question is good enough.

Thanks. That makes senses. I realize I’m sort of stuffing paper in the toes of this metaphorical shoe to make it fit. So, there’s bound to be a bit of slippage. I’ll play around it to see what works best.

The one hiccup connected with building the show bible inside the the draft folder is that new documents inside the folder seem to be set to Screenplay format by default and force-format for scripts. I may be missing the obvious but is there a way to change the new docs to a normal paragraph formatting?

I can’t speak to the screen writing mode, but I have an observation; The way you are using this process might be better done with a separate show bible project.

You could easily compile the show bible as .rtf, and then import and split that into your script writing project periodically after trashing the old files. Essentially this would require you to treat the show bible in your script writing project as read-only (there’s nothing in scrivener to prevent editing though), but that would make it possible to both keep the info handy and to facilitate the compiling of the show bible for other purposes.

Edit: Alternately, you could just drag the fresher bible documents into the other project directly, so that the structure & metadata is carried over. Simpler than compiling & importing by far.