Word Count for Each Screenplay Character's Dialogue?

For screenplays, I was wondering if a function could be added to Scrivener in which dialogue word count can be tallied with just a click?

For example, pressing a couple of keys would yield word counts for top characters:

JOHN - 10,527 words of dialogue
SUE - 8,456 words of dialogue
LENORA - 7,689 words of dialogue

etc.

I think this would be a handy overview of one’s screenplay.

Thank you!

Hi, repulsiveUserName,

Fellow Scrivener user here – just passing through with a note of accord:

I just wrote a quick & dirty script that gives dialogue word counts (and % of total dialogue) for each character – when given the rtf code of an underlying scriv doc.

Throwing some docs at it and looking at the results suggests to me this would indeed be interesting information to be able to call up!

Best,
gr

Did anyone come up with a solution to this question? I know this post is quite old above but I am still looking for the same. I’d like to know a line or word count for just dialogue. Don’t necessarily need specific characters’ count but that would be nice too. Just over all dialogue without stage directions etc would be great. It’s a children’s stage musical so I’d like to know so the directors/ teachers have an idea what the kids are up for.

Well, there’s me! I did. As I said in my just prior post, I wrote a script that does this.

That script has gotten updated since I last wrote about it* and is now reliable across various script formats.

Here is how it works:

  1. You compile your script to Word using the Script or Screenplay compile format. This has the virtue of tagging all the paragraphs of the output with a paragraph style name corresponding to the script elements.

  2. Open the resulting output doc in Word.

  3. Run the script. The little algorithm I wrote is just an Applescript that trawls through the paragraphs of your script and ignores all but the paragraphs which have the styles Character, Dialogue, Character & Dialogue, or Dialogue (Cont.). It builds a character list from these lines and counts words (ignoring parentheticals).

If you think such a script would be useful to you, I would be happy to post it here. If you are not familiar with Applescript, the .scrpt file can be opened and examined in Apple’s built-in Script Editor app, so you can examine the code before running anything – for your safety and assurance.

Best,
gr

  • Can it really have been way back in 2016? Seems impossible. How the time flies.

It should not be difficult. All it would have to do is count words between quote marks. Sees an opening quote mark, counts until it gets to a closing quote mark, tallies the results.

It’s a little more difficult than that, because scripts don’t use quotation marks.

Katherine

But it is, in fact, not very much harder. Writing the code to do it even from the outside was not hard.