The Gem script is composed of two distinct panels: the script editor and the Story Map. The script editor (on the left) is where you write your script content. The Story Map (on the right) is where you build your story structure and navigate between different sequences.
You switch between split-screen, script editor only, and Story Map only using the view buttons at the top of the script document.
Writing in Gem
Gem uses a screenplay-style formatting system. Using the TAB and return keys, you can quickly switch between the following formatting elements:
This is a general purpose prose element for writing action, descriptions, and so on.
These elements contain character names and preface lines of dialogue.
These elements contain spoken dialogue associated with a character.
These optional elements appear above or within Dialogue elements. They represent stage direction or scripted action that occurs during dialogue.
Each sequence node contains its own unique script document. The script editor will display the script of whichever sequence node is currently selected in the Story Map. For reference, the currently selected node will be highlighted.
The Script Menu
When you enter the script-only view, a floating Script Menu will become visible. You can use this to add media and notes to specific points in your currently selected script document.
Sequences are the fundamental building blocks of your Gem script. Each sequence node you create represents a unique portion of your Gem story, and contains its own dedicated script. By default, a new project will contain one sequence, labelled ‘START’ in the Story Map.
Selecting the node will highlight it and open its script in the editor. To add a new sequence node to the Story Map, click the ‘New Sequence’ button.
This opens the Sequence Menu. Give the sequence a title and optional description, then click ‘Update’. This will spawn the new sequence node on your Story Map, and automatically select it.
Double-clicking on a sequence node will re-open the Sequence Menu, where you can edit the title and description. The Sequence Menu also allows you to add supplementary design/development notes, as well as change the node’s shape and color under ‘Appearance’.
Adding Branch Points
Branch points enable you to connect your sequences together and create narrative paths. To create a branch point, select the sequence node where you want the divergence to take place, then click the ‘New Branch’ button.
The Interactive Dialogue system allows you to create automatically-templated branching dialogue exchanges. Creating an Interactive Dialogue sequence functions similarly to branching: select a desired originating sequence, and click ‘Interactive Dialogue’.