Using Scrivener to pull out and review dialogue of individual characters

New to Literature and Latte so I apologize if this is the wrong place to bring this up. I have done the basic training on Scrivener and so far love it! Part of my editing process involves reviewing the dialogue of each character to make sure it matches their personality, speaking style, etc. I would like to pull out everything a character has said in the entire novel without having to scan through the whole book. I would love to be able and do this for each character. I there a function in scrivener that would accommodate this?


Not aware of but if have keyword for each character and assign to file by dragging onto file in binder or inspector metadata window could do keyword search and pull up every scene/ chapter character appeared in and look at dialogue/ linguistic focus to look at just dialog

Annotations, starting with a character’s initials, for every piece of dialogue, combined with Scrivenings of Search by Format / Annotations / initials, and dialogue/ linguistic focus will get you a long way. But it’s hard to add those Annotations for every dialogue.

It is hard to see how a dedicated program function for this would work. How could Scrivener automagically distinguish reliably between the speech of different characters? In a novel, unlike a script, they are not uniformly tagged in a fixed syntactic structure. Even divvying speech from other uses of speech marks (e.g. quote marks). As Antoni suggests, you would have to manually code speech tags in in some way in order to be able to round them up later. Laborious and distracting, for sure.

In fact, it seems to me it is often the case that a character’s “voice” is heard by a reader beyond their speaking parts anyway. Maybe we are hearing your protagonist’s inner thought sometimes and this is not generally flagged with speech marks, (or maybe we are are doing deep third person and the narrative has just taken on something of the perspective and attitudes of the POV character). And if portions of your text are in first person, game over!

Yes I was hoping there was some sort of highlight and tag feature which would allow me to tag them quickly while proofreading. Thanks for the suggestion.

Using Keywords of the Type Character, you can tag dialogue in a flash. Just drag a Keywords on a sentence between quotes.

Find by Formatting has an option to find specific Keywords.

It’s a manual process though, Scrivener can’t know who’s speaking automagically.

Say what? To my knowledge Keywords apply to whole documents and cannot be assigned to specific spans of text. Am I missing something here?

All dragging a Keyword item from the Keyword Panel and dropping it into your text does is insert the text of the keywords name — the result is just text and has no keyword status.

Did you by any chance mean to be talking about Styles? Character Styles? (I guess there are some caveats to applying character styles to ordinary body text for mer tracking purposes, because that can change how Compile treats those spans.)

My bad. You’re absolutely right, of course.