Import Plain Text Formatted Screenplay Fountain not being formatted

I’ve got a completed script that I separated into individual TXT docs (formatted with Fountain) and I’m trying to import them into Scrivener, but after the Scene Heading, Scrivener stops formatting the dialogue. I am new to Scrivener and Fountain (never used to format my scripts, but now I’m trying to enter a script competition), but this is what my TXT file looks like:

[code]INT. OLYMPIA - DAY 7

!SOUND Laughter, talking, music, glasses clinking. The sounds of a party.

Mother, can I please leave? I hate Olympian parties, you know that.[/code]

This is what the output is into the Editor:
Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 19.28.00.png

I can’t figure out what I did wrong, since I followed the formatting instructions for Fountain. How do I format the document so that Dialogue, Characters, and Actions are automatically detected by Scrivener if it’s not done with Fountain Syntax?

I just did some experimenting, and here’s what I found:

  1. First, your screenplay filename has to have the extension .fountain . If you don’t have your Mac set up to show filename extensions, here’s how to turn it on:[list=a]
    [*]In the Finder on your Mac, choose Finder > Preferences, then click Advanced.
  2. Check “Show all filename extensions”.
    ]In Finder, change the name of your file so that it ends in “.fountain”.[/:m]
    ]Next, in Scrivener, use File > Import > Files… . Don’t use “Plain text formatted screenplay” . That’s only for use if the screenplay is formatted with spaces and such, NOT for use with Fountain formatting.[/:m]
    ]If you want Scrivener to split the .fountain file into scenes, use File > Import > Import and split… instead.[/*:m][/list:o]
    Hope this helps!

That got me closer!! It’s now formatting everything, but the Character/Dialogue lines are being formatted as Text/Dialogue. Not sure if anyone could help me figure out the next step, but this is already miles better than before!

This is what the output formatting currently is (Character name formatted as “General Text”, dialogue formatted as “Dialogue”):
Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 20.22.00.png

This is the output formatting I’m aiming for (Character name and dialogue formatted as “Character & Dialogue”):
Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 20.21.41.png

Is that possible for Fountain-formatted input? Or will I have to adjust these manually?

To be honest, I’m not a professional screenwriter—just a fiction writer who’s taken two screenwriting courses. That said, Scrivener imports .fountain files into darned impressive-looking US-standard screenplay format—it looks exactly like Final Draft, the gold standard of screenwriting programs. Fountain is designed for creating screenplays. The format you want, with the character name on the same line as the start of the dialogue, is NOT standard screenplay format.

I suggest you read Sections 19.6 and 19.7 of the Scrivener Manual; evidently it’s possible to “roll your own” , and force Fountain input into some other format, but it’s beyond what I can check in a minute or ten. :smiley: Perhaps a real pro will come along and help us both out.

Pro Screenwriter here.

Either your file isn’t formatted correctly, or Scrivener is having a problem.

Try this: drag your probelm file into Fountain loader, and see if it shows the same formatting problems. If it does, your file is formatted incorrectly.

If it looks right in Fountain Loader, then export it to FDX. Then try importing the FDX file into Scrivener. That usually works fine.

Alright, it’s loading correctly into that Fountain Loader you included (thanks!), which is a good sign!

It seems like it’s now a problem with the Scrivener BBC Radio Scene Style scriptwriting format that I’m trying to use. It doesn’t seem to detect Character/Dialogue and instead interprets it as General Text/Dialogue (example in prior post). I’m reading more of the documentation today and playing around in the app to see what I can figure out – perhaps I’m just forgetting a step during import, or perhaps I need to change a setting in the Preferences.

I found an strange behavior, maybe related to this,
The autonumbering of scenes wasn’t working with an imported screenplay:
So, trying different stuff, I found that all the Script Elements were changed to General Text. Weird enough, but trying to reformat everything I just imported a Fountain version previously compiled from the same project that has everything marked as General Text. It worked! I got my auto scene numbering for PDF.
Now, a little later, in this new project again got all the writing correctly formatted, but marked again as General Text.
I’m trying to replicate it for a third time, to see if I can detect what is causing this behavior, but for now the project is keeping the right markers.

For the sake of clarity: Plain Text Formatting Screenplay refers to a screenplay that has been formatted in the old-school sense of how one uses a typewriter to make a screenplay: with the correct number of spaces, empty lines and so forth. Most people wouldn’t bother to work that way, but a few programs import/export such files.

In short: if when you print the .txt file out, and it looks identical to printing from fancy software that does formatting, then it’s a plain text screenplay. If it looks more like a Markdown file—it’s not.

As to importing Fountain files, the last time I checked, Fountain is designed to work with traditional screenplays, not to function as a general purpose script generating format. I could be wrong about that, perhaps it has evolved, but this is at least the role in which Scrivener presumes: that you intend to get a screenplay out of it. So it would probably be better to import into a screenplay project, and then convert to the desired script format, once the file is imported.

And it’s always going to be a little tricky going from script formats that place character and dialogue on separate lines, and those that combine the first line of dialogue with the character’s name (but not subsequent lines).