outlining, screenplays and collaboration

hi - i have a couple questions that are screenplay specific - i usually spend all my time in final draft (writing), omnioutliner (outlining) and circus ponies notebook (notes, etc)…

i’ve been using scrivener (testing it out) for writing treatments and one sheets and it’s great - like most who have found it, i am a big fan and puchased a license.

i’m about to start a project, however that raises some issues:

  1. i love using the index cards to outline a script - where each card is one scene - and then i write further notes in the text window for a particular index card…

this works fine if i am the only writer, however, i have a co-writer (and producer) to whom i have to send an outline … i have not been able to export the info contained on the index cards in a manner that i can pass on - namely, so that it looks (and reads) like an outline. is this possible, or am i better off using omni outliner for this? or am i not using the outline function of scrivener properly?

(or is it possible to export the actual index cards?

  1. can i absolutely trust the export function of scrivener to send drafts to my co-writer. in final draft? or as rtf? and when it comes back to me for another pass, will i have no trouble importing back into scrivener?

  2. a feature request - when i leave screenplay to add a note to another folder , ie, “characters” i have to manualaly switch text modes - not a big deal, but is is possible as you switch between folders that the text function could switch automatically depending on where you are writing?

and note that my co-writer is on a pc and uses celtx for screenwriting (which i’ve tried and did not like) …

i hope this all makes sense - and is there anything else that i am not thinking about for a project involving another writer as set forth above?

thanks for the input, sam

On question 1 in an earlier forum post Keith said:


Set up Export Draft so that it exports only titles and synopses. You can save your export settings, so you can easily switch between settings for exporting the draft or an outline.

At the moment, moving between programs is a problem when it comes to scripts. 1.04 (which will be out in a couple of weeks) allows you to customise script settings more easily, and I have successfully set them up so that you can import an RTF from Final Draft into Scrivener and have all of the elements recognised, so this sort of thing should be easier with the next update.

This would be rather convoluted, and really, “manually switching text modes” isn’t any hassle if you use the keyboard shortcuts. Another option is to have two splits open, one set to script mode and the other not. Then just use the non-script mode editor for general notes.

Even then, the next update might be more helpful here. You could add a text mode, set its font and indent attributes, and instead of switching modes, just switch to that element to type your note.

Hope that helps,

thanks for the reply … i appreciate it -

samsam, you say that you manually leave the screenplay. I am wondering why you do that. I guess I am seeing the issue as just setting up a folder in the binder of your screenplay and give it the title ‘characters’. Then, as Keith suggests, you just have to split so that the screenplay itself is in one split and the character notes are in the other.

Why leave the Screenplay in the first place? The brilliance of Scrivener means that you can have your screenplay and all other files in the one place - and see them (well two of them) at the same time using splits.

something along these lines:
Screenplay template.jpg