Re: Generic Name Generator
I love the idea of a really powerful and worthy name generator, but such al tool would be of interest well beyond the scope of a narrative editor. Given the amount of work (and research) involved, I’d expect that to be developed as a stand-alone app.
I’ve written a few name generators, and they’re great fun to build and even more fun for banging out lists of amazing people. One of them specializes in names of space aliens, using both name fragments from existing fiction, and synthetic names built from various phoneme rules. The results are often hilarious. A quick sample from Mars:
Yuta Reeval Devex
But I digress . . . .
As for AS developing the ability to track characters, either in terms of identifying their dialog or even just finding all of their scenes or references, this would be of tremendous value to a story teller, especially a novelist, but I don’t see how it could be done algorithmically without, as Darren said, an extraordinary amount of code, even into AI territory. That said, if a writer is OK with tagging things, it could be done much more easily.
The problem with tagging, of course, is deciding what to tag, and then bothering to do it. A long time ago I tried building some code to do it as I write. The code used cues like “Frank said”, and would create a visible tag. If it picked the wrong tag, as I was writing, it was fairly effortless to fix it on the fly.
But I suspect most writers might find any kind of tagging (like formatting) to be anathema while actually composing content.
In the programming world, we call this kind of context-sensitive search & replace operation refactoring, but programs are rigidly structured, so no AI is needed.
Scripts are also more structured, so the available script-writer tools do manage a fairly good job of making it easy to identify a speech, by typing the first few letters of a character’s name.
But in narratives that’s not very helpful. So I suspect it will be a long time before someone comes up with a fluid, easy, unintrusive, and comprehensive approach to character tracking.