Screenwriting: Action Paragraphs

I’d like a way to easily display my screenplay Action paragraphs at 61 characters wide. (Hollywood standard.)

At present my workaround is to keep a screenplay document in my Research Folder containing a 61-character-long Action paragraph and resize the text view by eye.

Could you please find a way to display screenplay Action paragraphs at 61 characters wide?

I asked before about adding a hard right margin to Action (like Dialog has), but you said it wouldn’t work right.
Maybe you could add a pref that would keep the text view width to 61 characters monospaced?

The important thing is that for screenwriting, accurately representing the number of lines in a paragraph is as important as word count is to novelists and journalists.

I’m not asking for page-layout functionality, just a way to see Action paragraphs properly.

Thanks for considering it, and thanks for Scrivener!


You might try setting up a style for the action paragraph that uses a monospaced font like courier. The 61-character width would be the same then no matter what the contents of the line.


I’m already using a mono-font. Sorry if I didn’t express myself clearly.
In standard screenwriting apps like Final Draft, Screenwriter, Celtx, Montage, Nova-Mind, etc. etc., the width of the paragraphs don’t change as you change the window size.

Scrivener changes Action paragraphs when you change the width of the text view. It doesn’t change the width of Dialogue, because Dialogue paragraphs have a “hard right margin,” meaning unchanging respective to window size. (I requested a hard right margin for Action from Keith, but he said it wasn’t doable for some engineering reason I didn’t quite get. It seems to work okay for Dialogue…)

Professional Hollywood Screenwriters (like me) need to see an accurate representation of their scripts. We often revise our work to change the number of lines in a paragraph. If the paragraphs are not accurately represented in Scrivener, we can’t use it in all its crunchy goodness to accurately perform our revisions.

So in a perfect world, I’d like Action Paragraphs in Screenplay Mode to have a hard right margin at 61 characters. If this isn’t possible, I’d like a more convenient and automatic way for Scrivener to show me my Action paragraphs at 61 characters wide.

In the meantime, I’ll adjust it by hand, because Scrivener is worth a little extra inconvenience. :wink:

I wouldn’t like that. For one, I do use Scrivener to my get Story in motion and not for laying out a script. Thats what we have other tools for. And, in fact, I do like its reflowing mode while actually write sometinhg.

I think a better solution might be to stuff that sort of things into the export module.

EDIT: Might have been a bit premature, there. I didn’t know that Final Draft do makes such a mess with my exported Scrivener script. Shocking. Happens if you just look at PDF.

zikade - export as plain text to import into Final Draft. popcornflix’s suggestions would not help in getting your work into FD.

popcornflix - I have taken note of your suggestions to look at for a 1.0x release, though I can’t promise anything, just to seriously look at your suggestions. :slight_smile:


Thanks for your consideration, Keith.