just need help with text writing basics in Scrivener!


Can anyone point me to specifics in the manual or wherever on just writing in Scrivener!? I mean plain old, sitting down and writing out character dialog, scene description, action, etc. When I try to write in character dialog it just goes all caps and I can’t change that. That’s just one thing.

I’ve got this awesome piece of organizational software but it doesn’t seem like I can just simply write in it! Help please.

Are you writing a script? If so perhaps you have the wrong script template selected if you do not need all-caps for character names. The default matches Final Draft’s default, Hollywood screenplay you might say. There are other choices that can be made in the Format/Scriptwriting/ sub-menu. If none of those are quite what you need, you can use the Script Settings tool in that window to create a custom script design.

That’s a far cry from just sitting down and writing, though once you do it you’ll never have to mess with it again. Scriptwriting is covered in the user manual in Ch. 17, and specifically setting up script formatting in §17.3 (pg. 131).

If you aren’t writing a script, then you don’t need to be using scriptwriting mode. You can just write in a freeform fashion, as you would in any other text editor. The features of the text editor are covered in chapter 13, “Writing and Editing”.

Thanks for the reply, I will definitely try looking in the formatting options you’ve pointed out. Although it wasn’t the character names being in CAPS that was a problem, it was that once I’d typed in the character name, I couldn’t get the dialog out of all caps. Perhaps this will be addressed within the suggestions you have made.

When I write in FinalDraft, it’s quite simple in that I type, say, action, then hit a quick key combination to set up dialog, type in character name and the enter down for dialog, etc. Scrivener seems a FAR more useful overall tool than Final Draft, but I’m hoping that I can do my actual writing with the same fluidity.


I think I’ve figured it out, not sure how I missed that. I guess the BBC Radioplay format style is that character names AND dialog be in all caps? I gotta say that’s sort of bizarre in my opinion. :slight_smile:

That shouldn’t be how the script is set up. On neither of my test systems does it work that way; the character name is capitalised and the dialogue is mixed case. Verify in Script Settings, under Character & Dialogue, that the “Style to” section is set to “First tab”. That shuts off any style options in the left section as soon as you hit tab to jump to the dialogue.

Do note that unlike Final Draft, Scrivener is mainly just a text editor with some scriptwriting stuff strapped on top. It doesn’t have the ability to convert an uppercase sequence of text to lower or mixed case, because it wouldn’t know how to do that reliably. The characters actually are uppercase, literally, unlike Final Draft, which has a “style” of sorts that is causing the letters to appear uppercase (but technically they aren’t). You can use Format/Convert/To Lowercase to get yourself close, if you need to revert out of a script element that was uppercase.