Software Tools for Story Development

A year ago I developed an iOS app for WYSIWYG screenwriting and storyboarding that I dubbed Fountain Pen -- by virtue of it using the Fountain markup language. Now that I'm working on a radio play, it seemed like an obvious opportunity to build on top of what was already accomplished and expand what Fountain Pen can already do.

The result is a temporarily rebranded Draugr. It uses a little TextKit magic and the updated Dropbox API to automatically format and save plain text files using a simple syntax based on the BBC style outlined here.

The stupidly flexible syntax works like this:

  1. Dialogue is marked by the name of the character in all caps followed by a colon, such as in "JOHN: This is my line of dialogue."
  2. Cues for things like effects and transitions are also marked in all caps followed by a colon, as in "AUDIO FX: Rain pours down." and "CUT TO:".
  3. Scenes are marked as "Scene #", acts are marked as "Act #", and endings are marked simply "The End".
  4. All other lines are presumed description.

Margins and tab stops are then automatically formatted based on the above syntax.

Current outstanding issues include local file storage (Draugr currently operates entirely on the cloud), keyboard management, some stray dispatch related bugs, and options for exporting to either rich text or pdf.