Screenwriting; adding scenes automatically

Hey there,
I’ve just tried some scriptwriting in Scrivener but I can’t seem to get it to automatically add scenes to the cork board when I add a scene heading. When I add a scene heading it just adds it to the bottom of the current scene.

Moreover, when I use the outline view, I can’t use the Command-1, Command-2 shortcuts to add the elements.

Do you have any ideas? What am I doing wrong?
thanks in advance.


A “scene heading” is part of a scene and doesn’t generate a new document.

To accomplish what you want, you would create a new document and give it a “scene heading” as its title and / or at the beginning of the scene. Each separate document would then show up on the corkboard and in the outliner. You can control what is / is not displayed as titles for the outliner, and when you come to Compile.

Just creating a new “scene heading” within the same document doesn’t seem to affect the corkboard (I’ve just tried), unless someone knows a way this can be done?

I would also add that if you haven’t gone through the interactive tutorial yet, in the Help menu, it might be a good idea to do so. The structure of the software, how “cards” work, the outliner and so forth, are all discussed there. It sounds like you’re thinking of Scrivener as giving you a good deal less control than it does: you have full control over what a card (or row in the outliner) means—that can be three quick scenes or ten cards to describe one difficult scene if need be.

The definition of the narrative—how it is described via entries in the binder, cards on corkboards or with the outliner tool—is yours to make.

This may seem unfamiliar for anyone coming from something like Final Draft - it was for me - but actually the way Scrivener handles things is much more flexible. Instead of having individual cards for each scene with the title being the scene it’s best to think of cards as potential groups of scenes for passages in a script. So you can group a number of scenes together - or simply divide them. Or split and merge as you rewrite. And lump them under a generic heading rather than a blunt scene description.
Took me a while to grasp this but once you do it makes Scrivener a really unique script development app. I now think of the cards not as scenes but as script elements. Makes it easier to see the whole thing too.

So I’d suggest… persevere and don’t simply try to emulate other script apps. I’ve been through every script app on the block and ended up with the opinion Scrivener is the best of the lot (though in the end it will wind up in FD anyway and that’s really easy to do).