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DramaQueen 2.4.5: Import templates

The current update DramaQueen 2.4.5 introduces a number of improvements for working with serial formats. Often it is the case that one wants to use elements such as characters and locations in more than one episode. This is made possible by the new import of elements from other documents into the current one. From the main menu File → Import → From another document one can directly select ideas, storylines, characters and locations:

Either individually or in the case of characters and locations also by certain criteria such as the appearance in certain storylines or text levels. When elements with the same names already exist in the current document, there won’t be additional copies, but instead the elements will be synchronized with each other.

The import from another document is also available for the layout settings. In the Template selection there is a new entry User (import from file):

When the selected file is a DramaQueen movie or novel document, the effective layout settings of the same text level will be transferred, the general layout settings otherwise. The other document may also be in one of the supported import file formats, when the filetype filter has been extended accordingly in the open file panel. At the moment DramaQueen imports layout settings from Final Draft files. In the future support is planned to be extended for other import formats.

The new features may of course be used specifically to create an extra document as template for other documents. When developing a series one could for example store a master document that already includes all characters and locations of the season, the layout template as well as the structure template.

Drag&Drop of elements between open documents, i.e. of a character from the character list of one document into the character list of another, is of course still available and may be more practical depending on the situation, especially when transferring single elements.

The improvements and new features don’t stop there, however. Often we received the request to make All caps available via keyboard shortcut or its own icon in the formatting toolbar. This is now implemented. We also reworked the import and export filters in this regard, so they support the new text style attribute in the expected manner.

Script authors will be happy to learn that the keyboard shortcuts for the text elements (action, parenthetical, dialogue …) now match the industry standard behavior. Strictly speaking, they don’t perform the same function as the icons in the formatting toolbar, which set the style of the current paragraph. Instead the shortcuts insert a new paragraph inbetween the existing one and set this new one to the respective style. Of course this also works when the caret is positioned at the end of a paragraph, which may sometimes be more direct than using the TAB key or the formatting popup after pressing ENTER. Speaking of which – the popup can now be disabled in the gear-menu of the Texts panel. Even when autoformatting is not to be used. This option is remembered for the script separately from the other text levels.

Another improvement for script authors is the new separation of the text elements “Action” and “General”:

This makes DramaQueen more compatible to the industry standard when importing and exporting, and it gives more flexibility regarding the spacing between paragraphs. The default setting is to have one line of spacing before “Action” paragraphs, while there is no spacing before “General” paragraphs. The pre-text is now also formatted to “General” by default. The layout settings allow to configure each of the two text elements separately.

As usual, the new update is rounded off by bux fixes and performance improvements. We wish you great fun when working with the new version!

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DramaQueen 2.4: Story development

We conclude the year with DramaQueen 2.4 in which we’ve put the focus on further development of the DramaQueen exclusive features storytelling, turning-points, dramatic charts and character arcs.

As always the update will be offered automatically when you open DramaQueen. To allow all DramaQueen users to try out the new features, we activated an extra 5 day trial period!


 
Extension of the storytelling guidance

  • There are new text fields in the Storytelling panel for Logline, Premise, Genre and Narrative Tone. These allow to capture the fundamental idea for a story.
  • In addition to that text fields allow to capture all important dramatic vehicles of the story: Initial crisis, heroes fall, leitmotif, key-line, refusal, motivation, conflict, point of no return, antagonist, knowledge, mandatory scene, self-knowledge, transformation, kiss-off.

 

Characters: More (role) diversity

There are additional gender options ‘X’, ‘neuter’ and ‘undefined’.

  • X: Transgender, fantasy creature
  • Neuter: Androids or other artificially created creatures
  • Undefined: This option offers the choice to deliberately leave the gender undefined when creating a new character. This may facilitate an awareness for more role diversity and can lead to a more balanced distribution of male and female roles:

The Character panel contains the new options ‘Roles’ and ‘True self’:

  • Roles‘ = the social roles of the character, i.e. mother, wife, business woman, lover
  • True self‘ = the authentic self of the character, without pretending, self-deception, or false goals. Completely pure and unmasked.

 

Turning-points: More flexibility as author and dramatist


There is now a new optional major turning-pointLast Twist. It is located just before the end of the storyline:

The number of major turning-points can now vary between two and six turning-points for each storyline:

Up to now there were only the options ‚positive or negative turn‘ for each turning-point. Now there are the additional options ‚no change‘ as well as ‚non-existent‘:

  • The option ‚no change‘ expresses the need to revise or unexplored potential at a turning-point. This allows to capture incomplete stories.
  • The option ‚non-existent‘ will hide turning-points that are not intended for a storyline. They will disappear from the Outline and Storytelling panel as well as from the Dramatic Chart. Only the two indispensable turning-points Plot point 1 and 2 cannot be disabled.

With the additional last twist and the new turning-point options, the storytelling guidance and the dramatic chart can capture the plot of a story in much finer detail and with more precision:

In the update report for DramaQueen 2.4 you can find more detailed information.
 
We wish you great fun with the new DramaQueen features, an inspiring holiday season, and a highly creative, happy New Year!
 

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DramaQueen 2.3 with revision mode

DramaQueen 2.3 is – finally (!) – live and available to anyone! :)

Even though the revision mode may not become the “sexiest feature ever” in DramaQueen – we have too many cool exclusive features for that ;) – it is still a very often used and therefore indispensable tool for writers. That’s why we strived to integrate the most practical, flexible and user-friendly change tracking into DramaQueen that any writer could wish for.

We started by taking another deep look into the state of things in other important writing software, because compatibility* is an important factor. Another reason is that the existing implementations establish a range of expectations from our users. Specialized script writing software however often takes a different approach: The revision mode is integrated into the (movie) production, with colored pages when printing and revisions which divide text changes on a timeline. DramaQueen needed to meet these requirements as well. Maybe that’s why as a result of considering so many use-cases, the implementation in DramaQueen turned out especially flexible:

Who needs the revision mode and why?

  • You write multiple versions and want to track your respective changes in each draft.
  • You collaborate with other writers and want to synchronize their changes and comments with your own.
  • You work with lectors, editors, directors or producers and want to accept or reject their changes.

The revision mode is activated in DramaQueen PLUS and PRO via the menu Changes -> Track text changes:

When hovering the mouse cursor over a change, the change window will pop up. It’s possible to navigate here, to see the change contents in full, as well as to accept or reject the change (also via short cuts):

Hovering change window

While change tracking is active in DramaQueen, all related features are accessible from the changes bar which is shown along the bottom of the text. The most frequently used features are right on the bar, as well as information about the change at the text caret and navigating between the changes:

Changes bar

The gear menu provides access to all additional options:

Zahnradmenü Überarbeitungsmodus

The behavior regarding text changes is easy to configure according to personal preferences. The option Configure change display can be reached from the mentioned gear-menu in the changes bar. Among other things, it allows to set colors for highlighting changes, for the different writers and revisions. Additionally it allows to filter the changes, for example to see only those changes from a certain writer or only of the active revision:

Configure change display 1

Writers can use text changes not only for highlighting each other’s changes in order to synchronize them. A writer working alone may also use the feature ‘revision’ to separate his own changes into distinctive versions of the text. While other text editing software would merely attribute all the changes to him, DramaQueen gives them an additional attribute, which is the ‘revision’ that each change belongs to:

Configure change display 2

Two additional very practical features are ‘Mark as changed’ and ‘Mark as unchanged’. Simply select a range of text and label it as a change or remove that label. Consider a paragraph that has been heavily modified, it will contain lots of small deletions and insertions that obscure the bigger picture. In DramaQueen just select the paragraph and ‘mark as changed’ it as a whole.

Oh, by the way: The changes and inserts are visible in the exported text! Also the import of Word DOCX files keeps tracked text changes.

You can find more detailed information in the update report for DramaQueen 2.3 as always.

Have fun with DramaQueen 2.3!

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Update:
With version 3.2 there is also an extra export/print option available that allows to select only the pages with text changes (in order to create yellow, blue etc. exchange pages in the screenplay). Learn more

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* When importing from & exporting to Final Draft DramaQueen supports the recorded changes and transfers the created revisions. (However, Final Draft does not store deleted text, only the text locations where deletions happened. Also it does not store writers or timestamps.) When importing an RTF document recorded changes will be maintained as well.

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DramaQueen 2.2 – and Preview of 2.3

In the weeks since our last release we have worked on two fronts: On version 2.2 and also on 2.3 in parallel. In the current update (2.2) we have focused on optimizing the workflow with Final Draft and improved on important usability details.

At the same time we have realized a good portion of our next big feature: Revision mode, which will make an appearance shortly in the form of the 2.3 update!


New in DramaQueen 2.2:


Optimized Final Draft workflow

Optimized for Final Draft

Our goal was to optimize the workflow between DramaQueen and Final Draft in such a way, that working on the same document in Final Draft and DramaQueen alternately would not loose any layout information. This means each and every layout setting specified in a Final Draft document is imported into DramaQueen, such as the page margins, fonts, indentations and spacings. At the same time all layout information is exported to Final Draft as well as all learned words for spell-checking.


Usability

Several changes make for an improved handling:

  • Quick navigation by remembering each caret position: DramaQueen will remember for each chapter or scene where the caret was last located in it. When typing at a certain position, then jumping to another scene in the document via the Outline panel and back again, the caret will be located at the exact same place as before. Not at the beginning of the scene any more. And to round this off, DramaQueen restores the exact last caret location when opening documents.
  • Text notes may now also be sorted with the option ‘Oldest notes first’.
  • The dynamic summaries may now be much longer. This makes sure that no room is wasted when showing the Outline fullscreen and with maximum column width.
  • The thickness of underlines and strike-through lines adapts to the font size. Especially the spelling and grammar aid is much better visible as a result.
  • The Character panel now offers a new attribute “Tactics”.


Here you can read a detailed update report for 2.2.



Preview: DramaQueen 2.3 with revision mode

The revision mode — many may know it as “Track changes” — is probably one of the most missed and therefore most often asked for features. All the more reason to close this gap sooner than later!

Since quite some time we have developed ideas and concepts. At the same time such an important tool shouldn’t deviate too much from the expectations of writers and how it is done in other applications — even just for compatibility reasons when importing and exporting. So the first step was to go back to all the suggestions, requests and requirements, that we received for the revision mode, and develop several very exciting concepts.

As a result, we are looking forward to offer a solution soon — intuitive to use as ever — which will combine the best and most powerful ideas to be able to meet all usage scenarios with great flexibility:

  • Keeping track of different authors as well as revisions
  • Automatic hover window and permanent tool stripe with all information for a given change and all action and navigation options
  • Deleted text as pop-up
  • Option ‘Track changes’ with pause-function
  • Option ‘Mark as changed’
  • Highlighting a changed line with a symbol (*) in the page margin – alternatively or in addition
  • Revision text notes



Here is a first teaser-screenshot of our current progress:

DramaQueen revision mode



We still need a little more time until the revision mode can be published in the next release, so it can — mature and perfectly integrated — satisfy the high expectations!

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