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Outlining

There are five levels of section headings. Scene headings count as the sixth level headings.

Cycle an individual subtree visibility with TAB. Cycle global outline visibility with S-TAB (shift-tab) or C-u TAB.

Acts, Sequences, Sections, and Scenes can be given meaningful titles, giving the writer a bird’s eye view of the story and structure at a moments notice.

There are many ways to approach writing a screenplay. Here’s one example of how to use Fountain Mode to Outline a script.

# Act

= Synopsis of an Act. A short summary of all the crazy things that
happen for the next 30-60 pages.

[[ Act One Note. Useful for character motivation and obstacles. Ideas to
remember, etc.]]

## Sequence

= Synopsis of a Sequence.

[[ Sequence Notes. A sequence can be thought of as a series of several
scenes that make up their own mini-story. ]]

INT. SCENE - NIGHT

= Synopsis of a scene.

[[ Notes to remember for a scene, such as the following:
- Who wants what from whom?
- What are they willing to do get what they want?
- What happens if they don't get it? ]]

Experimenting with different structures can be accomplished by folding a Section Heading and moving the section to the new desired location using keyboard shortcuts.

Note: all text contained within the fold is carried to the new location.

Just as there are many ways to tell a story, there are many ways to outline a script. Because Fountain Mode uses plaintext, it does not force the writer into a single way of working. Possible structures are limited only by one’s imagination.

Command: fountain-insert-section-heading

Bound to M-RET, insert an empty section heading at the current outline level.

Command: fountain-outline-to-indirect-buffer

If you want to focus on discrete sections of your script you can open these in indirect buffers. Bound to C-c C-x b, this command clones the current section or scene to indirect buffer.

See (emacs)Indirect Buffers

User Option: fountain-pop-up-indirect-windows

Set this to control how indirect buffer windows are opened. Sometimes you might want to limit your focus to one sequence, other times you might want to look at two scenes in windows side-by-side. Set this option to spawn a new window.


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