MMD -> Standard Manuscript Format

I seem to be missing something obvious. Any help will be appreciated.

Running version 2.0.5 on Mac.

I have an existing file, created outside of Scrivener, in MultiMarkdown format. My goal is to use Scrivener to get it into Standard Manuscript Format (as defined at http://www.shunn.net/format/story.html) with as little fuss and opportunity for me to mess it up as possible–ideally with a single click.

My current best attempt goes like this:

  1. Create a new blank project
  2. File->Import->MultiMarkdown file
  3. File->Compile -> Novel (Standard Manuscript Format)

The resulting file isn’t formatted properly. Probably the most labor-intensive change needed is going through all the extra blank lines between every paragraph. I’ve been fixing these up in a text editor like TextEdit, but apparently this isn’t doing the trick–I’ve gotten a warning from a publisher about failing to follow Standard Manuscript Format (though it neglected to say in what aspect.)

One attractive aspect of a tool like Scrivener is automating repetitive tasks to save me from my own mistakes. What’s the most straightforward way to get from here to there?

That’s probably because you are using one of the rich text style compilers to compile an MMD file. The compile formats you’ll want to use are at the bottom of the “Format As” drop-down list. The copy of MMD that is embedded in Scrivener has two different manuscript generators. You’ll want to put one of these into your “LaTeX XSLT” meta-data field:

  • sffms.xslt
  • sffms-no-chapter-titles.xslt
  • manuscript-novel.xslt

The first two are variants of a LaTeX class designed for Baen publishing, originally, but are generally useful too. The latter is a variant of the misleadingly named Memoir class. Once you have one of these specified in your meta-data, set Scrivener’s compiler to use “MultiMarkdown->LaTeX”.

I wouldn’t use the Novel compile preset because that adds stuff to your binder headers. With most users that’s the only way they’ll ever get chapter numbering and such, but obviously it’s best to let LaTeX handle all of that work. I’d start with Original, then visit the Formatting compile option pane and turn on whatever headers you need.