Problem using manuscript-novel.xslt

I’d love to be able to take my novel straight from Scrivener to PDF. It would be great if I didn’t have to massage it in MS Word at all. It seemed to me that MMD + LaTex could be a great way to go about this. Particularly since I heard that there was already a “manuscript-novel” transformation that comes along with MMD. (I want my novel to be printed in a traditional novel manuscript format.)

So I installed MMD. I installed MacTex-2009. I tried using the “manuscript-novel.xslt” file. And I got errors. Even using the sample document that came part of manuscript example in the “fletcher-multimarkdown-gallery”, I get errors. (FYI, I’m fairly new to the Mac and very new to MMD, LaTex, etc. so I could be making an obvious mistake here.)

Specifically, if I run either of these commands on the sample MMD text:

./ manuscript-novel.txt
– or –
./ manuscript-novel.txt

After a dozen lines of successfully accessing various .sty files, I get this error:

! Undefined control sequence.
l.66 \doublespacing

If I proceed past this error, I get more and more errors. For example:

! Undefined control sequence.
l.79 \if@titlepage

And so on. As another data point, I can use XSLT files like “memoir.xslt” without a problem. It’s just that I want this document to be in the standard novel manuscript format… Are there other xslt files that can lead me to what I’m looking for? The memoir.xslt result seems pretty different than what I need…

Any advice? Any alternative approaches? I know this isn’t directly related to Scrivener, but I’m really just trying to find a way to get from Scrivener to a novel manuscript PDF as painlessly as possible and so I thought a Scrivener forum might be a place to look for advice…

In case it is useful, I’ve attached:

(1) the error output
(2) the original manuscript-novel.txt document
(3) the resulting manuscript-novel.tex file
(4) my version manuscript-novel.xslt
(5) my version of manuscript.sty

Thank you thank you thank you for any insight or guidance!

LL Forum Attachment.txt (20.4 KB)

I ran the supplied examples you provided and ran into errors as well. After removing the line:

\font\body="Courier New" at 12pt\body

I was able to get what appeared to be a valid output despite the errors. The thing with LaTeX is that it often emits a lot of warnings and errors for your information, but is pretty robust about working around them in most cases. I’m not saying it is good practice to just ignore them, but sometimes you can get a product out it even though there are errors. Another thing to remember is that LaTeX often works best (and sometimes only works) after two or more runs. The first run sets up a lot of control files that are used the second time around to properly build cross-references and so forth. Warnings and errors will often disappear after the second run. All of the errors that I got were what appear to be bugs or issues with the manuscript.sty.

Another XSLT that you can try is sffms.xslt. You’ll need to download the sty files for it, but it is much simpler than the other manuscript one, which is using a highly stylised memoir class to produce its results. It was designed primarily for authors submitting to Baen, but is pretty close to standard manuscript submission guidelines. I got a clean run out of that on the second iteration using your sample files.

I forget if that is a part of the default installation, but do believe the XSLTs are available for download from Fletcher’s website, if not.

Dear AmberV –

Thank you so much for looking into my problem! I jumped right to your suggestion of using ‘sffms.xslt’ --which seems to do just what I want it to do. I might eventually look into making a few tweaks down the road, but it is already very close to what I was looking for. So thank you!


Excellent. You’re welcome.