(Comic) Scriptwriting Discussion Thread

Beyond excited to finally be using Scrivener on iOS. I’m having one issue that I haven’t seen addressed, and I was hoping to open it up here and see if we can’t figure it out.

I write comic scripts, and generally use the “Comic Script” template developed by Antony Johnston. No issues creating a blank project and uploading it to Dropbox so that I can duplicate it and thereby create a new project in Scrivener iOS.

My issue is with tabbing between the different styles. Sometimes the tabbing works well, sometimes not at all. Whereas in Scrivener for desktop you can set the “script settings” to transition to different elements by tabbing on an empty line or by hitting enter on an empty line. On iOS it only seems to allow me to tab once, transitioning from Panel Description to Character, or from Dialogue to Parenthetical. Enter seems to do nothing but add a line break no matter what the script settings are supposedly telling it to do.

It completely breaks the flow of writing to have to take my hands off the keyboard and tap the dropdown menu at the top of the screen to make things into Panel Numbers and the like. What are the limitations and workarounds for this on iOS? Has anyone set up their Script Settings to address these issues?

Thanks for taking the time to check this out, and for any help you might have to offer!

Hi Matthew,

I’m using a custom playwriting template that – like you – I created on my Mac and copied over to iOS. I’m not getting the same tab/enter problems you’re having. Maybe it’s something in the specific style set not playing nice with iOS?

In any case, if you have an external keyboard, have you tried the Command-Option shortcuts for changing elements?

For example:

Command-Option-1 Scene Heading
Command-Option-2 Action
Command-Option-3 Character

Maybe this could help you out in the mean time?

Just wanted to post that I made a workaround! Now it runs flawlessly for me. I created a new Comic Script template and finagled the script settings so that now I can write without having to tap on the screen at all. If anyone is interested in it I’d be happy to post it here (with an updated “About the Styles Used” section to describe my changes to the workflow.

Please post :slight_smile: I think it can only be interesting for people now or in the future, who come up with the same problem.
Thank you!

That would be really awesome! If not, I’ll just have to use celtx.

I’m having the same problem. Would love to know how anyone else solved this?

Any thoughts from anyone on getting the script tabbing working on the ipad pro ?

I’m also hoping for help with this. I messaged the original poster to see if (s)he could post the solution, but I haven’t heard back. :frowning:

Jonny from support emailed me back and very patiently helped me sort out how to get this working. Great support from literature and latte.

Here is how he guided me through fixing the problem:

(1) You can’t get to the tabbing settings in the iOS version of Scrivener, so if you want to modify the tabbing behaviour, you’ll need to open your script in the desktop version of Scrivener and adjust some things there. Go to Format > Screenwriting > Script Settings, and you’ll get a dialogue box like the one in the attached screenshot.

(2) From here, we can set up your script so you can tab between each element on an empty line:

  • Select ‘Panel Number’ from the list of elements on the left.
  • In the drop-down list below ‘Tabbing on an Empty Line’, choose ‘Panel Description’.
  • Select ‘Panel Description’ from the elements list on the left, then choose ‘Character’ from the drop-down.
  • Continue down the list of elements, telling Scrivener to tab to the next element each time. When you reach Parenthetical, however, you’ll need to choose ‘Page Number’ from the list below ‘Tabbing after Typing’ - because the parenthetical element automatically inserts the open and close brackets, which counts as typing.
  • Last of all, when you select ‘Page Number’ from the list, tell it to tab to ‘Panel Number’ so it loops back around.

(3) Save these settings, save the project and sync it back to your iOS device. The iOS behaviour should now match the tabbing behaviour on the desktop version - you’ll be able to tab between script elements until you reach the one you want.

(4) Keep in mind this isn’t a universal change, it’s a per-project change - so you’ll need to do this for any other projects where you want to change the tabbing rules. The ‘Script Settings’ on the desktop version of Scrivener will allow you to save these settings and import them to other projects, if necessary.

Note – i messed up the parenthetical setting when i first followed the advice given. Take note you need to change TWO settings for the parenthetical element.

Hey gang! Sorry, I got a new job and got carried away with other projects. Hadn’t checked this board in a while. I’ll post the template soon, I just want to get the “About this template” page up to date, noting the changes I’ve made to Antony Johnston’s template for the desktop version. The settings have been modified much like Evolver’s, though with some other modifications. Mostly to just ensure that you get to the right element just by hitting tab or enter once.

Should be up before the end of the month. It’d be nice to get it included with the forthcoming iOS update, since there are so many comickers using the iPad Pro.

Is there any fix for those of us who don’t have a desktop/laptop?

Hey gang,

I’m finalizing my iOS Comic Script Template to fully utilize all the updates with version 1.0.1, and to work entirely on iOS with no need for desktop Scrivener. You will be able to write scripts without needing to take your hands off the keyboard, with a natural TAB/RETURN flow between elements and autonumbering formatted for iOS compiling. It’s based on my modified version of Antony Johnston’s comic script format, and incorporates a lot of my own research and modifications. It is malleable enough, too, that it works for either full script or plot-first (aka “Marvel style”).

It will come with a bunch of example scripts and useful files. Now that we can, I’ll include pertinent templates for and by comic creators, like character and location sheets. I’ll have example scripts, resources for writers, and a tutorial for using the format. I’ve edited and customized the Scrivener Compile (.scomp) file for proper comic output, which will be included as a file with instructions on tweaking it to your liking. Depending on my tweaking skills and the limitations of the program, I will try to have a few custom Scomp files for different script types, and another for compiling the “bible” of character sheets, locations, and notes.

I’ll put it up here first and you all can take it for a spin, make sure everything works. I appreciate your patience, and I hope that—like Scrivener for iOS—it will be considered well worth the wait.

Beyond excited for this, Matthew!

Howdy gang, I appreciate your patience and I am happy to say that the template is finally done! There was a fair bit of fine-tuning, but by and large my time was spent making sure that there was adequate documentation about the scriptwriting styles used, a template guide, and robust resources for comic scriptwriters.

I can say without exaggeration that this the most complete comic scriptwriting software available on the market. I will be making this template available on my website with a pay-what-you-will download button. Until then, I’d like to offer it to you all and would love any feedback you have to offer.

Find it at this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3gdlh8gwyy6rbcm/ocasiOS%20Comics%20Template.zip?dl=0

Great work Matthew–thanks for putting this together! Starting to dig into the template. Great to have a fully tab solution on iOS!

All the best,

Can you post a version that I can open up directly into Scrivener for iOS? The one you posted is a zip file and I can’t figure out how to open a zip file in Scrivener or some other program and then get it into Scrivener for iOS.

Hey OlsonBW, I’ll do just that in a little bit. I’m going back through the template now and am making a few changes and updates, and most importantly, enough slimming of the file that hopefully I’ll be able to just post it here. Here’s the changelog for anyone who cares.

  • General edits to the style guide. The Comic Book Script Archive had gone offline, and without that incredible resource, I felt compelled to go through the Internet Wayback Machine and scavenge a bunch of PDFs from different writers. This added a fair bit to the original template file size. Thankfully, I contacted the host, and the Archive turned out to have just moved. The PDFs are gone now, and the Decompressed article about the Marvel Method has been included in the invaluable comicwriterservices webpage by Daniel J. Hill. The template has the updated comicwriterservices page imported as a document, which is easily the most comprehensive and useful resource for comic scriptwriters that has been compiled.

  • Taking out almost all predefined autocompletions. The most fundamental reason is because you cannot edit the built-in autocompletions on iOS, which is antithetical to this entire formatting. Furthermore, while writing, I found that autocompletions like FROM PHONE were interfering with character names like FREYA. Some people prefer to say NO COPY, others prefer NO DIALOGUE, and I definitely didn’t need PANEL 1 through PANEL 9. Now, you can just write in whatever works for you, and have the project remember it. The only exception is autonumbering tags. Those handy little bastards are still in there.

  • The Panel Number style has two lines before it now, instead of just one. Helps to break up the script and significantly increases legibility.

  • Pages are now numbered as PAGE ONE and panels are PANEL 1. Since there’s many more panels than pages, this saves a bunch of keystrokes if you aren’t using the autonumbering tags.

  • Revamped TAB/RETURN scheme, outlined in detail in the updated Style Guide. Essentially, TAB will switch between the main elements (Page Number, Panel Number, Character, and Dialogue) while RETURN will expand on those elements (Page Number to Page Description, Panel Number to Panel Description, Character to Character Parenthetical, and Dialogue to Dialogue Parenthetical). Page and Panel Descriptions will use RETURN to start a new paragraph of description, while Character and Dialogue Parentheticals use both TAB and RETURN to go back to dialogue.

Looks like there’s a bug if I use the Tab/Return scheme described above. Going from Dialogue to Character was causing the Character line to be enclosed in parentheses. The current scheme details will be in the updated style guide.

Hey OlsonBW, apparently there isn’t a way to post the .scriv file here. For details on why, see the thread I started called “Sharing Project Templates.”

I’m trying to find a workaround, but until then, you will just need to unzip the file. I use Workflow to unzip mine, but there are a few programs available in the app store that will unzip the file and allow you to then open it in Scrivener. Good luck!

I’ll post the updated project template here as a .zip unless I’m able to figure out another way of doing so in the next couple days.

Anyone else have any ideas on how to best distribute it? Anyone who imported it without using a desktop computer have any tips for me or OlsonBW?

I am about to post a new thread with the updated and more-or-less final draft of the template. There is no way to post the .scriv file here or elsewhere online, so it has to be in a .zip file. OlsonBW and anyone else finding this an issue, refer to this thread for a discussion of why this is the case. [url]https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/sharing-project-templates/36363/1] For most people, this means unzipping the file on your desktop computer and putting the .scriv file into your Scrivener folder on Dropbox. However, here is how to do it on your iPad.

It is actually super easy to unzip a file on iOS, provided you have the right app. The best one I’ve found, and easily my most useful app on my iPad, is Workflow: Powerful Automation Made Simple. It allows you to create automated workflows to do tedious or otherwise cumbersome tasks on iOS. I have workflows for quick word counts, to convert a selection to plain text and copy it to the clipboard, to make files into PDFs, open simplified web articles and sites into Scrivener, and most pertinently of all, to zip and unzip files.

Here’s a link to Workflow in the App Store, and for $3, there is no reason not to get it. https://appsto.re/us/2IzJ2.i

Here’s a link to my workflow for unzipping a file and opening it in Scrivener. https://workflow.is/workflows/ed7de590cd464434818d92c13331a391
All you do is long press on the zipped file, tap “share”, then “Run Workflow”, then “Unzip Files.” It will run the workflow and unzip the file, then give you one last screen where you can pick where to import the file. Import it into Scrivener and begin writing!

Hope you all find it useful and please get at me with any suggestions and feedback!

Anyone interested in using Workflow to open .zip files or just automate all sorts of handy things (like getting the word count of highlighted text) should know that it’s free right now. Grab it if you don’t have it! An indispensible tool for iOS.

Workflow: Powerful Automation Made Simple by DeskConnect, Inc.