Examining the Arc of 100,000 Stories


It turns out that a large corpus of stories plus some fairly straightforward sentiment analysis can tell us quite a lot about the human preference for narrative structure. The chart below is a rather profound summarization of 112,000 stories: the relative sentiment of words based on where they appear within a story. You can tell exactly when Sam and Frodo enter Mordor and when they throw the Ring into Mount Doom.

I'm fascinated by this not because it tells us something we didn't know, but because of what amazing choices the author made in his analysis to arrive at such clear conclusions. Aspirational.


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