On Character Perception and Plot Structure of German Romance Novel

:speech_balloon: Speaker: Leonard Konle, Agnes Hilger and Fotis Jannidis

:classical_building: Affiliation: Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany

Title: On Character Perception and Plot Structure of German Romance Novel

Abstract: In this paper, we describe a plot model for German dime novel romances. Starting with the identification of essential structural parts of their plot based on scholarly analysis of romances, we then formalize this conceptual model. After a description of the corpus with its 950 novels, mostly from the last 20 years, and the annotation guidelines for the selected plot elements, we automatically detect these elements using a fine-tuned German Bert (with LoRA adapters). While it is clear how to evaluate the performance of the automatic extraction of the plot elements, it is less clear how to evaluate the quality of the model in total. We apply it to two texts and compare the result to summaries of these novels based on reading them, to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the plot model in making aspects of the plot structure visible. For the quantitative evaluation each novel is represented as a multidimensional time series data. Classifications of this data distinguish between publishers, genres and series respectively; we see the performance in this task as an indication of the quality of the model. Finally, applying the model to a larger corpus of romance novels, we detect patterns of the genre. The more modern form of the romance novel, published by the publishing house Cora , is characterized by the importance of the physical perception and the reduction of the plot with the high and exclusive focus on the relationship of the lovers.

:newspaper: Link to paper