Script Mode ~ Why Not?

I am new to Scrivener, and still very much finding my way.

My questions are about Script Mode.
[list=][]Why not always use Script Mode? or to put another way. What can you do in non-Script Mode (prose) that you cannot do in Script Mode?
]Script Mode is not always selectable, Why?[/list]

Thanks Julian Griffin.

. I am new to Scrivener, and still very much finding my way.

. My questions are about Script Mode.
. 1) Why not always use Script Mode? or to put another way. What can you do in non-Script Mode (prose) that you cannot do in Script Mode?
. 2) Script Mode is not always selectable, Why?

Thanks Julian Griffin.

I’ve never used Script Mode, but I guess the main reason is that page boundaries aren’t really that important to novel writers, and the added flexibility of resizable editors makes one reason for not using that mode. Another is that the autocomplete settings aren’t all that useful in other types of writing – I don’t need to preface each bit of dialogue with an ALL-CAPS version of that character’s name. Being able to use whatever font is pleasing to the eye is nice, instead of sticking with the font that is most amenable to the script format.

I don’t know if there’s much else to script mode, so let me pose a question from the other perspective: Why would I want to write a novel in script mode?

As for why it’s not always available, I have no idea…

Script mode can only be enabled for individual documents displaying in text view, so you might see this grayed out if you have selected a container that is in a group view mode (corkboard, outliner, or scrivenings–displaying multiple documents) or if you have selected more than one document in the binder.

As for the “why not” question, like Robert, I’d come back with, “Why would you want to?” You certainly could write always in script mode, but unless there’s something benefiting you by having the script settings, it’s going to be more work for no gain. Script documents always use the script settings, which means instead of using the default formatting for the editor you will need to define formatting for the script elements you’re using in the Script Settings–even if you’re just writing in the “General text” element, this just removes the indents used by the other script elements.

Script documents display the elements and actions in the footer, rather than word and character count and the document target. Hitting Enter twice calls up the element menu, which is a nice shortcut when you’re actually writing a script but probably a nuisance if you’re not and ever use carriage returns for blank lines (which is better done with paragraph spacing for most work, but I at least tend to bang on the return key a few times when I’m trying alternative text or making notes in the research section).

Now, all of this is worthwhile if you’re doing something with the scripted formatting, so that having the ability to hit Tab or Enter to easily switch to a different preset format makes sense. You can modify the existing script settings or create your own, so you’re not limited to just screenplays and stage plays and the like. The Undergraduate Essay project template makes use of script settings to provide an easy way to format block quotes while writing, so you could create a project using that and see how it’s done there for ideas. But unless your project requires frequently-used different paragraph-level formatting in a single binder document, you’re better off writing in the standard mode rather than script mode.

(Not advertising, just contrasting) - on the (very) infrequent occasions I need to make a script, I use celtx. It’s free (last time I looked) and very much up to the task.

I’ll confess I haven’t ever tried Scrivener’s script-writing abilities because I got it for writing novels and short stories - which is its primary existential reason for being!

My point is that if scriptwriting is your primary focus, Scrivener might not be the best tool for you. Though it would be a dandy research and pre-writing tool :smiley: !

I’m primarily a screenwriter, and Scrivener stands above all other “Scrivener-like” programs is that it has the screenwriting import/export option. The other programs only import/export RTF, which loses soooo much formatting it’s NOT worth it.

My way of working a screenplay in Scrivener is not just to use it as a research and pre-writing tool, but when I’m in “rewriting mode,” which is when Scrivener is really brilliant.

I create a Scrivener project for a script, fill it with any existing research, graphics sound and movie files. But I find it easier to write my first rough draft in Final Draft, then import that to the Scrivener project where I can see all my scenes individually, and be able to tweak and re-tweak, and re-tweak them without getting “lost in the forest.”

Some may think it’s double work to write in FD, then import into Scrivener instead of writing in Scrivener from the start, but the ease of formatting in FD is far more advanced than in Scrivener so–at least for me-- it’s actually faster.