Characters in script mode

I am just starting to poke around in the script writing functions. It looks very useful, but it looks like Scrivener can’t populate character or location profiles as they are added to a script. Is that correct, or am I missing something?

Scrivener is more of a general purpose writing tool, and as such its features are designed to be more of a toolkit nature than a list of prefabricated hard-coded routes like a dedicated understanding of what a “character” is (even the scriptwriting mode is so flexible that it can be used to write stuff other than scripts, like interviews). For example, using the Screenplay starter template, one might be typing in dialogue and come across a new character. They type in their name, select it, and hit Cmd-L, select “Characters” as the destination and hit Return. Now you can type into the split view, filling out the character sheet if they wish to, or just return to it later when they are done with the scene.

That’s a reasonably streamlined way of working—not too dissimilar from what dedicated screenwriting programs may offer, but in fact you are triggering a sequence of features that would just as readily be applicable to the creation of glossary definition in a technical manual, or a note to the editor. The Screenplay project just so happens to have already set up a “Characters” folder, with a “Character sheet” document template, with the aforementioned folder set up to automatically select the “Character sheet” document template for new text files created within it, which in turn is the resulting action of hitting Cmd-L to hyperlink to a new text document from within the text. :slight_smile:

There are other less obvious benefits going on behind the scenes. If you click on that character sheet and examine the “References” inspector pane ([b]View/Inspect/References[/b] menu command), you’ll see the scene that linked to it. Consider linking all of your scenes to your character sheets to form a useful list of scenes accessible from the character sheet. A trick I like is to enable “Automatically detect [[Scrivener links]]” in the Corrections preference pane. This removes the need to select and hit Cmd-L. Whatever you type in between double-square brackets will automatically link to an existing document by that name, or create a new one if none exists. Then whenever a character makes their entrance into a scene you can do that, and end up with your list of scenes with practically no extra effort on your part at all.

That’s what we mean by a toolkit approach. The nice thing about it is if you don’t like our example character sheet you can make your own or modify the example, or if you decide you need a folder of significant props to keep track of, you can make your own similar setup. You don’t have to wait for us to design a “Significant Props” feature and hope that whatever we did with it was to your pleasing.