Simplenote for writing screenplays



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  • #16
    Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

    "Word-like" and "runs on Windows" -- that's pretty much the death knell for Atlantis on my computer. Never did like Word -- at all -- and I don't even install Wine anymore. That's why I try to find ways to do things natively in Linux.

    I will look into Sigil, however, and I've already installed and use Calibre.

    BTW, I know you like Atlantis and I think you've got a good knowledge of your tools -- so, if I used Windows, I would definitely look into it.
    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.


    • #17
      Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

      Today the power was out for almost 11-12 hours. So I wrote a short script to post on Done Deal using my Alphasmart Neo and the Fountain syntax. Worked out pretty well (though my writing was still my writing, not much can be done about that).

      Process went this way ...

      1. Type the story into the Neo using the Fountain format. The Neo uses 3 AAA batteries so the power outage doesn't affect it.

      2. Fire up the laptop (which still had some battery -- though I often don't charge it for a month or at a time) and then Send (via USB cable) the Neo file to the Pluma Text Editor (comes with Linux Mint Mate).

      3. Save the file with the .fountain extension.

      4. Import into Trelby, check spelling, etc.

      5. Copy the text to "Copy - System Formatted."

      6. Use my old Android phone as a Hotspot to get on the Internet.

      7. Paste the script to the Done Deal forum (Writing Exercises for this one).

      Now all I have to do is copy the Fountain file into Simplenote, so I can keep a copy online (in case I ever want to do something with it).

      (Thanks again to ComicBent for pointing me back to Fountain. This is a fantastic additional tool for screenplay writing.)

      EDIT: Here's what an Alphasmart Neo looks like. If you buy one, check to make sure you get one made in the USA -- the later Chinese-made ones had "spongier" keyboards. The Neo 2s were all Chinese made -- only the latest Neos were. These were widely used in schools so there are a lot of them available on eBay now. (I'm not associated with this seller, nor have I bought anything from him/her. But they've sold quite a few and seem to have good feedback.)

      You can also buy two of them for $35 plus s/h. We have bought Neos here and I can vouch for this seller. (With either of these listings there is a "Make Offer" button, so you could probably get either lot for about $5 off.)
      Last edited by Centos; 08-01-2016, 11:49 PM.
      STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.


      • #18
        Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

        Centos ...

        Quite a dialogue that we have had here!

        I want to wind up with two or three final observations.

        1) Of course I knew that you were using Linux, but I thought that you also had access to Windows. Atlantis is fantastic. Too bad there is no Linux version.

        2) I do not know if Linux handles the .docx format. But I have done this. I have fed a .docx file to Calibre and converted to .epub. You get a pretty good file.

        Once you have an .epub file, you can edit it in Calibre or Sigil. Both programs are great. But I prefer Sigil for major tweaks to .epub code.

        Here is the info on how to get Sigil for Linux:
        Linux Users

        There are currently no binary releases available for Linux on the Sigil Release page. Please check with your favorite distro’s software repositories to see if they have Sigil for installation via your OS’s package management system. If not, there are build instructions for compiling Sigil yourself in the source archive’s docs directory:
        3) I think that Scrivener is not supposed to create one big .scrivx file from the bits and pieces that you see as "one" document in the "scrivenings" view. The one big file that you can compile will always be a format like .rtf, .docx, .pdf, .fdx., but not .scrivx.

        However, you really ought to be able to import the Scrivener-exported .fdx file into Fade In. You can import .rtf into Fade In with perfection. The .fdx file will open just fine in Final Draft. And, when you save the .fdx file from within Final Draft, you can then import it with perfection into Fade In.

        For some reason, the Scrivener-generated .fdx file does not work in Fade In until the file has been "laundered" through Final Draft. I will report this to Kent Tessman. At first I thought that I would not, but the more I think about it, the more I think that he should be made aware of the problem. It just makes no sense for the file to open in Final Draft but not in Fade In.

        "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.


        • #19
          Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

          Hi ComicBent --

          Yeah, it's been detailed and long anyhow. I think I have a different taste in applications. Both Atlantis (what I can see of it in the screenshots) and Scrivener seem extremely "cluttered" to me. (That's one reason I never liked Word for Windows or even LibreOffice much.) I like simple and clean interfaces. (And I understand that the "clutter" can often mean "features" -- but (for me) these are features that I probably won't use.)

          As for Point 1 -- yeah, I've completely moved to Linux. For a few years I ran Windows 2000 in a Virtual Machine, but I haven't done that for probably five or six years now. The only thing "Windows" in my Linux installations now are the Microsoft core fonts -- mostly because they make web pages look the same from computer to computer. (I still get on my wife's Windows 7 computer sometimes at night -- and have to maintain her laptop and desktop, but my oldest son is doing most of that now.)

          Point 2 -- Yes, LibreOffice handles .docx files fine. I usually have no trouble reading from, or writing to, Word format. (The exception would be documents that heavily use tables or other special formatting features.) I could probably feed a native .odt file into Calibre without any issues.

          I've downloaded and installed Sigil and have checked out an ePub book in it. Just that act helps me understand (a little) how ePub books are "put together." Thanks.

          (If anyone wants Linux .deb format Sigil files, they're available at: )

          So, assuming that Calibre could handle .odt files well, I would write (more often edit) my short stories in LibreOffice, feed them into Calibre for ePub conversion, then tweak them in Sigil?

          As for Point 3 -- no, I don't believe Scrivener is supposed to compile to one big .scrivx file. I think that kind goes against the grain of how Scrivener was designed to work. I've been playing around with the Screenplay format a little. I found that, if I changed the font size to 9 (whatevers) I could compile to PDF in almost correct screenplay format. When compiling you also have to change the header font size. The page margins (or line spacing -- not sure which yet) are still a little wide, but I think with a little more tweaking I could get it pretty close. (The line lengths are perfect.) Actually, except for the wider top and bottom margins (or whatever), I could replicate its compile to .fdx format output perfectly. And it matches the output of Trelby and Fade In. (Again, except for less lines on a page.) I don't particularly like having to do it this way, but it's nice to know that it might be possible to use Scrivener as a stand-alone screenwriting application.

          As for "laundering" .fdx files through Final Draft -- I can do the same with Trelby. Once loaded into Trelby and (re)exported to .fdx from there, it reads fine in Fade In. I'm sure it will just be a tiny tweak to fix.

          I've got to say, I've been testing Trelby vs Scrivener vs Fade In and -- for my purposes -- Trelby is still my favorite -- it's the cleanest interface of the three (also has the fewest features but, again, I don't want or use a lot of features included in the others). I can see why you like Fade In, it reminds me a lot of Movie Magic Screenwriter -- cleaner, in my opinion, than is Final Draft (which I never liked, too "Word" like). If I was still using Windows I would probably still be using Movie Magic Screenwriter. I used to like that program (and its predecessor, ScriptThing) a whole lot.

          I'm writing a little "article" on the current state of using Linux for Screenplay writing -- and there's really a lot of choices now. At one time you basically had some lame macros for Open Office. Now there's Scrivener and Fade In (even Trelby) -- and a whole slew of online screenplay writing sites. And then there's Fountain -- and that's a whole subject on its own.

          Sorry to ramble, I do that. I think you would enjoy trying out Linux and all the built-in text editing tools available for it.
          STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.


          • #20
            Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

            I have used LibreOffice to create .docx files that were quite complex and have imported them into Calibre and then converted them to .epub files with good results.

            However, I am happy to report, also, that I tried the same thing with an .odt file from LibreOffice just now, with good results. I imported a portion of a verse play that I am working on - which is a fairly complicated document with several styles involving margins and italics. It imported into Calibre and then converted just fine to .epub within Calibre.

            I like Calibre because it performs a lot of different conversions, and it also allows you to edit the .epub text.

            Sigil is also great for editing, but it does not do conversions to other formats. You start with .epub in Sigil and you stay with .epub. However, Sigil is what I use for adding a cover (a graphic) to the book. You can also do various manipulations like reordering some chunks of the document and renaming the chunks. (I have not done this in a while, and I am trying to remember all of this.) Sigil is something that you definitely want to learn to use for some final text manipulations, though you can do them also, I think, in Calibre. One thing that bugs me in Calibre when I am tweaking text or fiddling with format is that Calibre makes its changes as I work instead of waiting until I finish. Sometimes I do not know for sure what I am doing, and I want to try some code and then test it.

            But both programs are great.

            "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.


            • #21
              Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

              Jutoh also works for ebook creation. I got it since you cannot import epubs into Atlantis.

              ARTicles: Kick Your Creative A** Into Gear

              DK - Script Revolution


              • #22
                Re: Simplenote for writing screenplays

                Originally posted by Wordsmithteer View Post
                Jutoh also works for ebook creation. I got it since you cannot import epubs into Atlantis.
                I've downloaded and installed the trial version in Linux. I'll have to see if this version gives me enough "trial" to see how it works. (Honestly, at this point, I have no idea where to start when using it -- and really no project ready to go with to give it a good test.)
                STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.