Compile Screenplay

Hey! I’m trying to Compile a Screenplay, but it doesn’t respect blocks of dialogue, like Final Draft. The bottom of one page will have CHARACTER, and its dialogue will be on the top of the next page, with no name.

FDX export is perfect, but to get something that looks proper I have to open the file in Final Draft and then immediately export to PDF from there.

Scrivener seems to know what I want. Why can’t I skip the Final Draft passthrough? Thanks!

We do have plans to make this a little better, which will include support for splitting dialogue across pages with MORE/CONT’D markers, and ensuring character elements do not get orphaned from their dialogue.

For the moment though, and even once we do add those features, if you need the best quality script layout done, there are better tools for that job. Scrivener is always going to be more about the writing of the script itself, from a first draft perspective, than replacing dedicated script layout tools.

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Amber! Thanks for responding. :slight_smile:

Before I started opening my files in Final Draft to fix them, I used to open them in Word, but really all I did was just check to see if dialogue was being separated from it’s character.

Everything’s delightful working in Scrivener, so if you can put something together to keep them attached during a compile, (and maybe not breaking sentences in Screen Direction) that might be all I need.

Thank you so much! :slight_smile:

Yup! The idea is to give you some settings that will let you specify which elements are character names, dialogue and parenthetical, and when the option is enabled it will do its best to keep these three elements from getting separated—as well as keeping sentences within dialogue from breaking, for better reading.

But I think they have a bit more to do in the fundamental widow & orphan code before extending it to these more specific forms of protection. Keep an eye out in the change logs though, as time goes by!

You may in the meanwhile be able to fix spot by spot cases, by going into the spot that breaks, and on the character line, use the Format ▸ Paragraph ▸ Keep with Next command. It’s a bit much to always do that, but if you spot a mistake that should fix it. I’d imagine that’s about what you were doing in Word anyway.

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Excellent! :slight_smile:

And essentially all I was doing in Word was just hitting ‘Enter’ above the Character name that got separated until it popped onto the next page. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll do the “Keep with Next” trick until the patch drops.


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FWIW, I keep a license of Final Draft just for final output, even if I’m writing in another app like Scrivener. If you want to save a couple of bucks, I recommend the free app WriterSolo which does a good job, but isn’t quite as solid as FD. For some reason, FD outputs better PDFs and FDX files than any other screenwriting app. Even the expensive ones. IMHO, YMMV.