What percentage of your story is dialog?


Paste the text of your story (or novel) into the text box below, and click the Calculate button. (Your story isn't sent to our server, or anywhere else. The analysis is all done by a script running in your own browser.)

This tool counts anything contained in ‘single’ or “double” quotes, ‘curved’ or 'straight', as dialog. If an opening or closing quotation mark is missing, this will lead to inaccurate results, but not too inaccurate, as the end of a paragraph is also taken as the end of any dialog started, but not yet ended, within that paragraph.

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If you use this tool with text pasted straight from a Gutenberg.org "Plain text" file, you will get the wrong results due to the forced page width line-breaks Gutenberg introduces. Run the text through our Gutenberg Text Reformatting Tool tool to remove these line breaks first.

Your story text


Enter your text and click Calculate...

Word count:

Dialogue words:

Non-dialogue words:

Percentage of text that is dialogue: %

What does this mean?

Some how-to-write manuals say that some readers prefer dialog-driven stories. (I even read in one manual that some readers only read the dialog!) But there are no hard-and-fast rules in writing. Every story is its own special case, and the particular percentage of dialog in your story is really just there to answer your own curiosity.

To round off, here are some results from a handful of literary classics (texts courtesy of Gutenberg.org):

Title & author Dialog
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 22%
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 29%
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 45%
Persuasion by Jane Austen 35%
This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald 28%
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 40%
Dracula by Bram Stoker 35%
Middlemarch by George Eliot 36%
The War of the Worlds by H G Wells 8%
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 38%
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 29%