Auto Character Detection

Screenplay being more structured form of writing makes it easier for detecting which scenes a certain character appeared in.
However when you are writing in free-form mode such as a novel or short story it becomes little difficult because there is no way to tag character. Here is some of my suggestions. I am not sure this will work 100% or how easy or difficult it is to implement.

  • When you reference a character use a special prefix such as # or @ and if it doesn’t exist then automatically it is added in character sheet or you can be prompted to do so.
  • Scrivener can keep track of wherever this character is referenced using this special markup and provide a way to get statistics either from character sheet or some other place.
  • Bi-directional syncing - if you change name in character sheet then it can automatically update the references in your manuscript as long as you used character tag correctly.
  • In compile mode it can automatically replace the character tag with the right name from character sheet.

I am sure there may be some other ways to implement this. Personally I think this will be a great addition.

+1. I was to make such a suggestion as I’ve always found this option so interesting in script softwares and dreamt to see it implemented in ‘text editors’.

It might be hard to implement for novels though ! Not a big fan of more markup (and down) in Scrivener.

One thing to also take care are dialogue without explicit name such as :

He sat and shouted :
— Leave me alone.


— Leave me alone! she said.

or :

Liz cried. Tom shook his head.
— Leave me alone ! the girl said.

Each time, ‘she’, ‘he’ or any expressions to describe a character (such as ‘the girl’) should be assigned to a specific character.
Same for other langages.