Changing template from Screenplay to Novel

I have a completed screenplay which I want to turn into a novel. I want the screenplay text itself to appear so I can rework what I already have and add text. I also want the research, images, character breakdowns as well. So far I’ve tried:

Copying the screenplay file to a new file but there is no way to change the format from within.

Creating a new file and importing the screenplay .scriv file as ‘Files’ - I received a warning message saying the import file wasn’t the correct format and nothing came across.

Creating a new file and importing “Scrivener Project” - this imported the whole screen play into a new ‘Imported Projects’ folder. I can drag and drop the files into the novel format section but the screenplay scenes remain in Script Mode - Screenplay. I’d like to avoid having to physically change every scene of the screenplay back to text if possible.

Is there an easy way to do this?


When I do that (sometimes it’s easy to start a novel as if it were a screenplay) I keep the same project and switch out of scriptwriting mode and then edit each document. I also use Snapshots to make sure I don’t delete important lines. Also means that should I ever decide to revert it to a script then much of the work is already done.

Yes, I would echo what reepicheep says. Scrivener isn’t a program with “modes” like you might have encountered in other software packages. There isn’t a “novel mode”, every project you create can end up being anything else Scrivener can do (and it can do a whole lot more than the templates you see).

The notion of using one project for both the novel and the screenplay is premised on them being so closely related, sharing common background material and research no doubt, and perhaps even could benefit from common keywords, labels and any other meta-data you may use. This is something some people choose to do when writing serials. Why use three separate projects when a trilogy would greatly benefit from having the whole thing in one place? So you could do something like duplicating the current Draft folder that contains the script. Now you have a complete copy of it, and can discard the contents of the Draft and use that folder to write the adaptation. It would even be possible to set things up so that you can easily switch between compiling the screenplay or the novel.

But if that concept doesn’t appeal, the easiest approach I think would be to use the File/Save As… command to create a new copy of the current project somewhere else, under a new name. You have everything all left the way you were working, so there is no need to set up a new project or mess with importing files around—but it’s a completely separate project, so you can also start dismantling the screenplay stuff and start building the novel around it, or beside it—however you prefer.

Of course that does mean that edits made to the screenplay will need to be done two to keep both screenplays up to date in the two projects.