Narrative Variations in a Virtual Storyteller

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9238)


Research on storytelling over the last 100 years has distinguished at least two levels of narrative representation (1) story, or fabula; and (2) discourse, or sujhet. We use this distinction to create Fabula Tales, a computational framework for a virtual storyteller that can tell the same story in different ways through the implementation of general narratological variations, such as varying direct vs. indirect speech, character voice (style), point of view, and focalization. A strength of our computational framework is that it is based on very general methods for re-using existing story content, either from fables or from personal narratives collected from blogs. We first explain how a simple annotation tool allows naíve annotators to easily create a deep representation of fabula called a story intention graph, and show how we use this representation to generate story tellings automatically. Then we present results of two studies testing our narratological parameters, and showing that different tellings affect the reader’s perception of the story and characters.


Narrative Language generation Storytelling Engagement 



This research was supported by NSF Creative IT program grant #IIS-1002921, and a grant from the Nuance Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Language and Dialogue Systems Lab, Baskin School of EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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