The Magic of Writing with Scrivener – Auto-Complete

As a playwright I’ve found many reasons why using Scrivener knocks Word into a cocked hat. Apart from its ability to store all reference material – including images and links to websites – in one easy to find place, Scrivener has a host of features that make tasks that were previously time-consuming into simple one-key operations.

autocompleteOne of my favourites is the auto-complete function. One of the most monotonous jobs when writing a play is having to type in the characters’ names before their dialogue.

With Scrivener, you simply open up Project/Auto-complete List and add all your characters’ names (I always include colons as well) and when you type the first letter of the name up it pops, you press return and it’s there. Leaving you free to concentrate on the important stuff – what they’re going to say.

Of course you can also use this for other important elements of the play – such as (Pause) or (Exits).

characters-webI found this particularly useful when writing my full length play ‘According to Claudia’ which has a cast of seven characters. In scenes where five or more characters were involved it meant I could write very quickly, which is particularly useful at those times when one of them had a very short line such as “What?”.

‘According to Claudia’ was the first play I wrote using Scrivener – and I must be doing something right, because – at the risk of blowing my own trumpet – it won the award for Best Play at the recent Gwent Drama League presentation evening. This follows on from the award for Theatre Show 2014 given by entertainment and lifestyle magazine Voice.

According to Claudia by Phil Mansell

According to Claudia by Phil Mansell

The play has been published by Silvermoon and is available on their website and on Amazon.

So, thankyou, Scrivener, for helping me achieve my first great writing success!

(I feel I should add that I am in no way associated with the company that makes and markets Scrivener – just one of the many who find it the best writing tool ever.)

'According to Claudia' by Phil Mansell on stage.

‘According to Claudia’ on stage.

About philmansell

I'm a writer, photographer, illustrator and film-maker with a Masters degree in Multimedia & Information Design from the University of Wales, Newport. I'm also volunteer PR Officer with Newport Playgoers Society who own and run the city's 400-seater Dolman Theatre. I trained at the London Film School where I specialised in script-writing, directing and animation, and had three films screened at the National Film Theatre. After teaching film-making, photography and art, I moved into the world of advertising and PR and was a professional writer. My play 'According to Claudia' was selected by Newport Playgoers Society to launch their 92nd season. It won the Award for Theatre Show of the Year 2014 presented by lifestyle and entertainment magazine Voice. It has since been published by Silvermoon Publications and is available from Amazon. Other plays I have had published include 'Poor Yorick', 'Bunkered' and 'Caddying for Godot'. Previously my one act play 'Poor Yorick' was a winning entry in a competition run as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages project and was performed at both the 400-seat Dolman Theatre and Blackwood Little Theatre. Another play, 'Bunkered', was one of the winning entries in a competition judged by Welsh playwright Frank Vickery.
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