"Markdown" for Screenplays: Fountain

*Update 6 August 2012: *Go check out this post by John August on a possible iAWriter/Scrivener/DropBox/Highland/Fountain workflow. Sounds complicated, but is pretty awesome.

My last post was a geeky homage to a workflow for managing Markdown on iOS. That triggered in me a memory that I'd tweeted something about a "markdown for screenplays" several months ago. So, especially for the geeky writers among us, I thought I'd do a quick follow-up post about this wonderful tool.

Hitting the interwebs and searching for this screenplay 'language', I found that it has delightfully evolved into something more. Namely, Fountain. Basically, Fountain allows you to write screenplays in a text format in a very natural and intuitive way. Inspired by Markdown, it is a set of rules/conventions for writing screenplays that reads naturally, but can be compiled into different useful formats (like PDF, HTML, Final Draft, etc.). You write once, and output to multiple formats. Additionally, since you're just writing text files, you can use the text editor of your choice and create beautifully laid out screenplays!

For me, this is an exceptionally useful tool. I spend a lot of my time out and about. If I suddenly get an idea for a scene while waiting in line somewhere, I can pull out my iphone and literally write the scene on the spot in an iOS text editor. Then I can save it, or e-mail it, or upload it to a dropbox folder and process it further when I get home. In my previous post on Markdown, I mentioned a tool in a p.s. Marked. This is a Mac OSX app that renders Markdown text files directly into the way they will look when exported to HTML. Marked can also be configured for Fountain to render the screenplay.  To make things even sweeter, Fountain pointed me to what may be the most awesome iOS text editor to date: Writing Kit. The features of this editor that have me salivating:

  • Markdown support
  • Fountain support
  • Dropbox integration
  • TextExpander Touch integration
  • DuckDuck Go search engine integration
  • Instapaper/ReadItLater integration
  • etc.

I think this tool was written by my evil twin. Evil because he can code better than me, and mostly because he got there first. Grrrrr! Still, it is awesomeness. If you have an iPhone/iPad and are a geek. Go get it.

Peace out.

Migrating to Markdown

Markdown TextExpander Group for iOS