Applications & Limitations

The ScripThreads tool has been developed as a tool used specifically for analyzing screenplays, but there is potential for larger texts, novels, and poetry (usually epic poems) to be integrated into the tool. This involves a more human-controlled data selection than the screenplays, as the texts have to be converted into a screenplay format, with chapters being made into scenes, character names being BOLDED, and dialogue formatted in a way that the ScripThreads tool detects it. This text conversion also involves including entrances and exits and translating the text into the proper HTML version.

As the text is filtered down to the framework of a screenplay, we lose the descriptive aspects of the narrative, as well as the setting and some connections between characters. Many subjective decisions have to be made as to what constitutes “dialogue” to be included in the screenplay: how do we quantify interactions between these characters that at many points throughout the narrative may interact in ways other than dialogue in a screenplay format, but by eye contact, touch, or thoughts? Does being in the same “scene” of the book constitute as dialogue or a connection? In order to obtain the analytical visualizations generated by the ScripThreads tool, we lose a lot of material that could also be used for analysis.

These limitations do not completely invalidate the use of the ScripThreads tool for analysis of books and other forms of narratives that are not naturally read in the format of a screenplay. This tool can be used to supplement and enhance our reading of the narrative, and it allows us to participate in distant reading of the text alongside close reading of specific passages.

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