Scripting Mode loses track

I’m working on a screenplay (using the standard template). Every so often Scrivener gets the next element wrong. For pages it will do the expected thing. In Dialogue a return goes to Action. Then without any obvious reason it will jump straight to Character on an return or in Character will go to another one. Sometimes after a Parenthetical it will set Character or Action or (I think once) Scene Heading but not Dialogue.

Using the appropriate short cut key fixes the immediate problem but this has to be repeated for several more elements before Scrivener reverts to doing the expected thing.

I can’t work out what conditions these oddities happen. It appears to be random. The only common thing is that the scene is longish (Project Statistics says the current scene in which this just happened is 8 pages long—it will be longer before the end so I anticipate this bug striking at least once more.) I think this only happens when at the end of the document/scene not in the middle but I might be wrong.

The first thing to check when this happens is that there is no space character after the cursor. I did some trouble shooting last year with a user with a similar problem, and it turned out that when it happened, there was a space after the cursor. Standard behaviour in scriptwriting software is if you hit return in the middle of a line, the text after the cursor moves to a new line using the same element. So if there is a space after the cursor, this behaviour kicks in, but it’s not obvious there is actually text getting split to the new line.

This, however, would result in the element after hitting return being the same as the previous one - it wouldn’t result in a randomly different element. I can’t think of a reason that Dialogue would go straight to Character on return, as that should need the tab key.

Another thing to check is, are you working in scrivenings mode when this happens?

Thanks and all the best,

I don’t think there’s a space but next time this happens I will check.

For scripts I don’t use scrivenings mode; find it to confusing for screenplays. (Almost always use it for every other style of project though.)

Had this happen again. After the suggestion that it was caused by an extraneous white space at the end of the current element (which this time happened to be the last line of the document) I was keeping an eye open to what characters were there.

In this most recent case it was not extraneous white space turning on Format > Options > Show Invisibles to be sure. On this occasion the problem happened after I’d undone/redone an edit. The default element remained out of whack for several more elements until eventually it was back in synch with my user expectations. Use of the appropriate short cut keys forced the correct (intended) element a few times eventually synched Scrivener and me up again.