General Statistics, Gender Overview and Lines by Type
Using the Document Statistics feature in WriterDuet is a great way for a writer to see a snapshot of their document and to tell if certain requirements are being fulfilled. For example, if a script is required to have a certain number of Dialogue lines, this feature will show if that number is being met. Statistics can be run for the entire document, or in conjunction with a Report for a smaller range of information.
This tutorial will be focusing on the top half of the statistics window. For the bottom half tutorial, see article on 'Writing Metrics Statistics'.
Definitions of Statistics
General Stats: There is no ‘right answer’ for what these stats should look like, any numbers given below will be the industry standard, but not the rule.
- Dialogue is – the percentage of a script that consists of Dialogue lines. Useful to see if a script, in particular, needs more Dialogue or is too Dialogue heavy. The standard is in the 40-60% range.
- Density – Since the screenwriting industry generally prefers screenplays that are briskly paced and easily read, this statistic is extremely useful. It calculates the average amount of ‘blank’ space on a page. As a screenwriter, it is important to know if the overall script will appear text-heavy. If this number is high, it might prompt a writer to go through and find long Action or Paragraph lines that can be simplified or cut entirely. Monitoring the density and pace of your script may help improve its visual appeal to a potential Producer or Director.
- Pages/scene – The number of pages per scene on average.
- Page count – Total page count of the document. The general rule for screenwriting is a script should be no longer than 120 pages, however most professional screenplays are around 90-110 pages.
- Word Count – Total number of words in the document, including all types of lines.
- Speaking Characters: The number of characters with Dialogue in the area of the script being viewed (can change if a Report is being run and only part of the script is being viewed).
- Silent Characters: – There may be circumstances where a character is present in a scene, but has no lines of Dialogue. While it may be indicated that this character is in the scene by the Action or Scene line, they will not show up as part of the Statistics page unless entered in the Outliner:
Gender Overview: These stats are here to help determine the balance of gender in a script. Again, there is no right answer here; That said, there are many writers who are keen to monitor their writing from the perspective of gender in order to learn more about their own internal biases (or the lack thereof).
- Gender (#): There is a row for each gender category that has been noted in this script or section of the script. The number in parentheses is the number of characters assigned to that gender. WriterDuet pulls an initial assumption based on the name and context clues in the script to automatically assign gender to characters. These assignments can be edited under the Writing Metrics section of Script Statistics. If we aren't able to determine a gender, it will be left as "N/A" until manually assigned.
- Words: This is the percentage of the words in Dialogue lines in the script that are associated with Characters of that gender.
- Lines: This is the percentage of Dialogue lines (blocks of dialogue) that are associated with Characters of that gender.
- WPL: Words Per Line. The number of words within Dialogue blocks that are associated with Characters of that gender, divided by the number of Dialogue blocks.
- Bechdel test and reverse Bechdel test: The Bechdel test is a test that determines whether there are scenes between two or more female characters and zero male characters, where the subject matter is not related to a male character, and there are at least seven blocks of dialogue in the scene. The reverse Bechdel test does the same thing with the genders reversed. It can be fun and interesting to see if your script passes these tests. The Bechdel test became popular because historically it has failed surprisingly often in the big-budget films.
Lines by Type: Gives a breakdown of each Line type. Especially useful to determine if a script is heavier in one area than it should be (too many action lines, not enough dialogue, etc). The total number of lines in the script only reflects lines that have been classified with a Type (Character, Dialogue, Action, etc.)