Fist of all – must be said – Scrivener is genius. Thank you. For everything.
Forgive me if I missed it somewhere… but I would love the ability, within a Scrivener doc, to write in plain text using the .Fountain syntax, then convert (or preview) to screenplay format without having to export. The conversion of a .Fountain doc on import works perfectly so I know the app understands the syntax… I’d just like it to happen all within a Scrivener document.
Obviously, John August’s Highland switches back and forth between the two seamlessly… but I’d prefer to stay in Scrivener where I can order my scenes, work with research documents, and everything else that makes Scriv so wonderful.
No replies so far… Perhaps I’m off base here (possible…) but thought this might be something people would be interested in. Would anyone else use a plain text/screenplay preview feature like this? Does it make sense to anyone else?
Have you tried using Marked to get a live preview? Marked previews markdown and multimarkdown in Scrivener projects. It can also handle fountain files. Perhaps it will preview fountain in Scrivener projects. I haven’t tried it as I write stage plays rather than film script.
I’m not following what it is your are attempting to accomplish with this idea. The Fountain importer converts to Scrivener’s internal scripting system, and the exporter to Fountain so that you can take your screenplay on the go without losing the formatting when you return to Scrivener. So what would you need of Fountain format in Scrivener? Why not just use scriptwriting?
I was actually surprised that fountain was implemented the way it was when its support was announced. I figured it would be almost exactly like MMD is implemented, allowing one to write in plain text but export to either fountain, rtf/Word, or Final Draft. As a MMD power user, I would think the advantages of writing in plain text would be readily apparent to you, Ioa…
I don’t see these two as being comparable, at least for what I primarily prefer tools like MMD for. The thing that I like about MMD, as a plain-text tool, is that it is a format I can safely archive (and thus that’s not relevant to the Scrivener discussion) and with MMD (and similar variants) the alternative benefit is a wide array of formats that can be produced from a single central copy, using semantic notation. Fountain, on the other hand, only does one thing: it makes screenplays. It can’t even really be used to write scripts of other types, such as stageplays.
So, if you’re looking for something that can create an archival quality output: you can already do that by compiling to Fountain format (just like I do, when I’m done with a writing project, when I compile to a plain MultiMarkdown file). If you’re looking for something that can take a Fountain file and turn it into a screenplay, then you have that with Scrivener as well—just drop it into the Binder and you’re basically done.
Sure, there are other arguments as well, mostly aesthetic, and I can identify with that, but it seems less of an issue with screenplays to me, since the format itself is already pretty “plain text”, being something born directly out of what can be produced with a typewriter. I guess if someone really has a strong dislike of indentation…
The biggest advantage in my opinion, is that for people like me who are merely dabblers in scripting comics, (which can be shoe-horned into fountain format pretty easily) the script writing mode is really disorienting. I think I’d pick up fountain habits pretty quickly if I were to get into it. But then I lose the convenience of exporting directly to Final Draft (or Word/PDF/etc… if that was possible). Sure, it’s fairly easy to compile to plain text, rename the .txt to .fountain, open the file in a fountain compatible utility (or run it through a script) and save to whatever format it needs to be… but I’m spoiled by the convenience of three-click compiling directly to any given output when writing books.
Plus, after seeing arguments against converting all possible elements to MMD at compile time from RTF/Scrivener formatting, it just seems weird to go from Scriptwriting mode in Scrivener to plain text fountain as the standard fountain workflow.
Not that I’m really invested in this; like I said, I’ve only dabbled in script writing, and for a type of script not fully supported by Fountain. It just feels odd from my perspective. shrug
The amusing thing is that I have at times considered trying to shoehorn MMD into a set of script settings, to basically boost Scrivener’s editor more toward something like MultiMarkdown Composer, which handles busy work like numbering list items for you. Typing MMD in the latter is, I would say, about as heavyweight as using scriptwriting mode in Scrivener. For the most part it is just like typing, especially once you get used to it, while the engine handles the details.
But, that’s just me. I was just curious if the OP was looking for some functional advantage to working this way that I was missing.
Robert, that would be a really odd way of doing things for most people, given that the scriptwriting mode is one of Scrivener’s key features for scriptwriters. You can write in Fountain syntax and export to plain text and - voila - you have a Fountain file. Or, you can write in Scrivener’s script mode and export to Fountain and - voila - you have a Fountain file. The most important aspect for most scriptwriters is being able to import Fountain files that they have created externally, though, and then to be able to get on with writing their script in Scrivener’s scriptwriting mode. (Moreover, Fountain only supports a single script type - screenplays - whereas Scrivener supports many types - stage plays, comics and so on.)
Scriptwriting mode really isn’t that hard, and it uses the same conventions as all major, standard screenplay software - it’s easier for most than learning Fountain syntax!