CHI 2020

Interacting with Literary Style through Computational Tools

Sarah Sterman, Evey Huang, Vivian Liu, and Eric Paulos

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Abstract:

Style is an important aspect of writing, shaping how audiences interpret and engage with literary works. However, for most people style is difficult to articulate precisely. While users frequently interact with computational word processing tools with well-defined metrics, such as spelling and grammar checkers, style is a significantly more nuanced concept. In this paper, we present a computational technique to help surface style in written text. We collect a dataset of crowdsourced human judgments of style, derive a model of style by training a neural net on this data, and present novel applications for visualizing and browsing style across broad bodies of literature, as well as an interactive text editor with real-time style feedback. We study these interactive style applications with users and discuss implications for enabling this novel approach to style.

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HEL Authors:

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Vivian Liu

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Evey Huang

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Eric Paulos

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Sarah Sterman