Fountain is a great industry standard format for writing scripts, but there are a few key areas missing:
- Support for a cast of characters (a.k.a. dramatic personae)
- Support for verse dialogue and custom indentation
Scriptigo has added support for these elements in the following improvements to the Fountain specification.
Cast of characters
Scripts for theatre often have a list of characters after the title page. The cast list contains such details as:
- Character name/abbreviation
- Character description
- Actor name
You can create a cast list in Scriptigo by using the vertical pipe ( | ) character to indicate a table cell divider.
>_Cast of Characters_< | Claudius, King of Denmark (KING.): | Derek Jacobi | Ghost of Hamlet’s Father (GHOST.): | Brian Blessed | Ophelia (OPH.): | Kate Winslet | Hamlet (HAM.): | Kenneth Branagh
Use the vertical pipe at the beginning of the line to indicate a table row and use it in between the text to indicate columns. This creates a two-column table containing the character name in the first column and the actor name in the second. You can also use this layout for character descriptions:
>_Cast of Characters_< | Claudius, King of Denmark (KING.): | Claudius is Old Hamlet's brother, uncle to Hamlet, and the present King of Denmark. | Ghost of Hamlet’s Father (GHOST.): | The Ghost of Old Hamlet haunts the castle of Elsinore. | Ophelia (OPH.): | Ophelia is Polonius's daughter. | Hamlet (HAM.): | Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark.
When combined with standard Fountain formatting, you can create exactly the style you want.
You can't create cast tables with more than two columns. Additional vertical pipes beyond the first two will be ignored.
Verse text (like used in Shakespeare and others) requires a way to indent dialogue so partial lines match up to form a complete line—also known as a "shared line." There are 10 syllables/indentation options for each line and this is indicated by the circumflex character ( ^ ) followed by a number from 1 to 10 to indicate the number of indents. For example:
BAR. Have you had quiet guard? FRAN. ^5 Not a mouse stirring.
In this exchange, Francisco's line should be indented 5 places from the left, which should place it close to the end of Barnardo's line, and indicate Francisco doesn't pause when Barnardo is finished speaking. When viewed in reading mode, Scriptigo will add the correct indentation.
BAR. Have you had quiet guard? FRAN. Not a mouse stirring.
Typically, the number of syllables in the previous line matches the value of the indentation number, but syllables can have different widths and you can choose any number which looks best.