How do you handle Scene Headings?

Hi everyone,

I am writing a film script in Scrivener and am very happy with all the features at my disposal.
I am starting to wonder, however, if there isn’t a better way to handle Scene Headings as my spontaneously chosen way:

I’ve been working for a while now, with my Scene Headings placed in the Title of my documents and nowhere else.
Each document is a scene, in other words, and it’s heading is in the title. The text of the document is all the action and dialogue minus the Scene Heading.
Most scenes are grouped into Folders, who are named after what roughly happens there.

I choose to include the Titles of documents in Compile Draft and have them NOT centered so all is well when I print out.

But now I realize that, even though the Folders are named after what happens and the synopsis’s always contain the first few lines of my scenes, I still have trouble finding my way around the script.

So I am wondering if:

  • I should take the trouble to extract-paste each title back into the scenes Text and invent a mini description to be placed in the Titles of my scenes instead

  • or if I should concentrate on making my synopsis’s more succinct and work with them.

I’d be very interested to hear about other methods or experiences.

Thanks in advance,

The system you’re using may cause some problems when you come either to Edit Scrivenings or Compile Draft. In ES, you select all the items in the Binder and see them as a single file. But Scene Headings will be missing, and they are a crucial element of the draft. In CD, you may elect to print the item titles, but they won’t be in the correctly formatted screenplay style.

My system is to use short Binder titles for the scenes, summing up their content:


and to start each one in the Editor with a Scene Heading.


Exporting to Final Draft helps to clear up inconsistencies in Scene Headings. They all display in a pane, and you click on the errant ones to clean them up.

Oh thankyou, that is very helpful.

I will follow your advice. I had more and more the feeling that I had gotten onto an impractical path.

One more question, if I may…
Do you use the synopsis’s for a quick scene description? ex. in the “fight” scene you suggested, would you write something like “Person A fights Person B, and then runs away into the night…”
or would you rather write “meta-descriptions” such as: “this is the moment where Person A realizes he is not human”, for example…?

Yes, that’s exactly what you can put into the Synopsis card. And use the other elements in the Inspector, like Label, Status, Document Notes, and Project Notes to provide other metadata for your various parts of the screenplay.