FREE: How Fountain Helps Your Writing

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Fountain is not a screenwriting software per se but it is still worth mentioning here due to the many advantages it can have for your writing workflow.

 

What is Fountain?

Fountain is a markdown language that allows you to write your screenplay on any device, in any writing software.

Markdown? What the heck is that?

Markdown is a very simple method to format a certain text the way you want it formatted, with very little effort.

It is probably best explained with an example.

In “normal” markdown (or “multi-markdown”, which is the advanced version of it), you would write the following in any normal text editor.


# Awesome Headline

## Even More Awesome Sub-Headline

And some bullet points go here:

– Bullet 1

– Bullet 2

– Bullet 3


A software that understands markdown would do the formatting for you and present it like this:


Awesome Headline

Even More Awesome Sub-Headline

And some bullet points go here:

• Bullet 1  
• Bullet 2  
• Bullet 3  

As you can see you need very little extra syntax in your text to tell markdown what you would the formatting to look like.

Markdown even lets you go straight to html, without the need of any coding. The text above will look like this:

<h1 id="awesomeheadline">Awesome Headline</h1>
<h2 id="evenmoreawesomesub-headline">Even More Awesome Sub-Headline</h2>
<p>And some bullet points go here:</p>
<ul>
<li>Bullet 1</li>
<li>Bullet 2</li>
<li>Bullet 3</li>
</ul>

__________________________

These are just markdown basics. If you’d like to know more go to http://fletcherpenney.net/multimarkdown/.

Alright, I get it. What does Fountain have to do with it?

Fountain creator John August took the principles of markdown and created a language that understands screenplay formatting, even if you write it in a simple text editor.

If you were to write this in any text editor:


 

INT. BAR – NIGHT

A disheveled cowboy supports himself against the bar. Clearly he’s had too much to drink.

COWBOY
I’ll have another one.

BARKEEPER
Not today, you won’t.
_________________________

… And the text editor understands Fountain it will look like this:


INT. BAR – NIGHT

A disheveled cowboy supports himself against the bar. Clearly he’s had too much to drink.

COWBOY

I’ll have another one.

BARKEEPER

Not today, you won’t.

_________________________

As you can see Fountain understand the screenwriting format and presents it according to the screenwriting formatting standards.

What are the advantages?

  • It’s easily transferable. All you need is a simple text editor. Basically any electronic device that can read text can open these files. You just save them as a *.txt.
  • It’s Free.
  • It’s easily readable. Even if you don’t have a software that can read Fountain.
  • It’s future proof. Simple text files will always be readable by almost any device.

So, if you want to be independent from any screenwriting software or standard it may be a good idea to write your screenplays in Fountain.

And, yes, there are converters that convert from and to Fountain language.

If you want to know more go to www.fountain.io and get all the resources there.

 

Are you using fountain? What is your workflow? Do you combine Fountain with other screenwriting applications? What are your experiences?

Feel free to drop me a comment below…

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