Scriptwriting and Musical Theatre Questions

Hi all,

I’m not particularly new to scrivener, but I’m new to writing scripts in it, and would appreciate some help-

  1. How can I replicate the style of modern Musical Theatre librettos, like Kinky Boots for e.g. (unable to upload a sample as I’m a newb on the forum)

It doesn’t seem that similar to any of the inbuilt scriptwriting templates, and there’s a separate style for the lyrics, which are in all caps. Any guidance about defining new styles, or is there a music theatre template you can point me towards?

  1. Is there a quick way to choose different styles as you go along? At the moment, if I don’t want “Character” or “Dialogue” then I have to choose from the popup menu on the bottom right of the status bar. Is there a key combination I can use to select a style without touching my mouse?

Many thanks

1 Like

Chapter 19 in the (Mac) Scrivener manual explains the Script functions in detail. In particular, see Section 19.7 on defining your own formats, and Section 19.1 on the various tools for selecting script elements.

You’ll need to set up your own template, starting with one of the built-in Scrivener templates for screenwriting or playwriting. Add the new elements you need for the libretto, then save as a new template. (P.S. - you should read up about templates, too, becasue you can organize a whole workflow in your project and save it as part of the template.)As @kewms mentioned, you should read the section on Scriptwriting in the Scrivener Manual.

I recommend Keyboard Maestro as essential kit for Scrivener users. It’s a MacOS macro builder that works like Lego. You don’t need to know programming to use it. You can build macros to streamline your formatting in Scrivener. Wherever Scrivener requires you to do multiple keystrokes, you can turn it into a single keystroke with KM.

Ah, thanks! I have Keyboard Maestro already as it’s handy for the score writing programs I’m using. I will wade through those sections of the manual then.

Quick other question - I changed template halfway through writing something, and the new material is in the style of the newer template, but the older material hasn’t changed - is there a way to update all of the text styles to match the current template?

Many thanks

If your example (which I can’t see, of course) doesn’t look basically like one of the in-built script formats (augmented with lyrics), it is worth asking if what you are looking at is really representative of a standard in the industry (stage or screen).

Not my area, but FWIW here is a 2019 article which has a section on formatting the musical screenplay and showing several examples. There are several styles of setting lyrics, but the point that strikes me there is the direct assertion that the format standard is the very same as for screenplay with the simple addition of a new defined format for Lyrics.

If that is right, your job is much easier, because you can just add that one element, say, to the screenplay format and you’re good to go.

In short, if your going to go to the trouble, just be sure you are emulating a standard, not just an example (which might diverge from it for one reason or another).

If you know of a good quality source you could point us to where a standard for Modern Musical Theatre Script format is described as such, that would be awesome!