Main repository for screenwriting how-to, info

I have searched the forums under both “screenplay” and “screenwriting,” so I apologize if this is a duplicate but I didn’t find anything.

I’ve been (loudly and obnoxiously) talking about Scrivener with every writer I know, chattering on Twitter and FB, etc. I did get an MFA in Screenwriting and I’ve done a lot of playwriting, so many of my writer buds are screen/playwriters. I mentioned that Scrivener also does screenwriting format and interfaces with FD, and they said, “How?”

Is there a specific tutorial or set of instructions to point them to? Any plans for such? Just saying “Hunt through the forums” is a big turn-off.

Hi Diane

There’s a bit on the main website here: . The only real difference between prose writing and screenwriting in Scriv is that you switch mode in a menu, and all the tabs etc. work like a kind of FD-lite to change from one element to another. There’s a load of templates and they’re all tweakable. It doesn’t have all the (frankly unnecessary) bells and whistles, and it won’t do stuff like keep track of CONTs and pagebreaks, but it will handle structuring, versions, comments etc. better than MMS… and FD just doesn’t really do more than a very basic take on that stuff. The nearest I’ve found to what Scriv does in screenwriting terms is MMS’s NaviDoc (don’t know if you’re familiar with that), but Scriv’s based round the whole Binder idea, whereas it’s a late addition, albeit a good one, to MMS.

Re exporting and importing… the best workflow I’ve found is to stick with Scriv till the final formatting pass, then bung the script into FD or MMS to sort out pagination and the like. I don’t use FD but there’s an ever-closer collaboration between Keith and the FD guys, so Scriv will export to fdx and fdr. MMS scripts have to go via txt files, but it’s still pretty simple.

The bottom line is that Scriv, as you know, isn’t primarily concerned with formatting, so whether it’s an MSS or script, it’s best being finished off in a full blown WP or formatter.

Hope that helps…


No, I know it’s primarily for formatting, but there are some things you’re used to using when writing a script. Since you don’t just open a Scriv file and start writing a screenplay (you have to choose a mode), I wanted to point my friends to quick instructions on how to get started with the script mode and I hadn’t seen them on the site.

Thanks for the pointer to that page; I hadn’t found it. I hope that KB, in his infinite free time*, will consider adding a tutorial or a bit in the FAQ about the screenwriting aspects of the program that we can use for evangelism.

(Given how much FD and Screenwriter make me swear at them while I’m just trying to write, I may actually write my next play in Scrivener and worry about all the future formatting crap after exporting to another program. Useful, helpful writing programs == all the win on the Internets.)

  • That was sarcasm, honest.

You could always write your own and bung it on the wiki…