I Write Like…

Life is still crazy.  I continue to try to help my mother through her medical issues, my day job has been very hectic, the holidays are upon us, and my son is growing like a weed.  I haven’t had any time to write, but luckily my brain continues to turn over my stories when I drive, when I’m in Pilates class, or when I’m drifting off to sleep.  I decided to change the mood of a pivotal point in book two from triumphant to despairing, which I think will help the story’s forward momentum and emotional impact more.  We’ll see when I actually write it, I suppose.

But I digress.  I’m a subscriber to Writer’s Digest and have been for years.  I find it mostly valuable, always informative, and very entertaining.  In the most recent issue, they had a little snippet on a website called I Write Like.  Put in some text you’ve written, whether it be a blog post, an article, or a part of your novel, and it’ll tell you which author your style emulates.  The more text you put in, the better.

Well, that seemed pretty interesting to me.  I’d be curious to know more about their algorithm.  I was definitely curious to find out which famous author my writing might map to.  So I took the first several pages of my first chapter of book one, pasted it in there, and got my result.  I was actually pretty pleased with the result, and so I did the first few pages of chapter two.  I did this several more times, with various chapters across the course of my book, and they all came up the same.  Very interesting.

However, my book is divided between two points of view.  I like restricted third person point of view, so I like to think that the voices are a bit different.  I’d been running the analysis on the first point of view, so I did a few from the other point of view.  With a couple of exceptions, I got the same result.

So, I guess I really must write like Neil Gaiman.  The  passages that were exceptions were Dan Brown (for an action scene) and Arthur Clarke (the last chapter of the book).

Since Neil Gaiman is definitely up there on the list of authors I enjoy, I’m pretty pleased with the result.  I hope it speaks well to the marketability of my writing.  I suspect, however, that I could enter swill into the analyzer and still get matched to a famous author, so I fear that it doesn’t really speak to anything.  But what the hell, it was a fun thing to do and I consider it five minutes well spent.

And in case you were wondering, this blog post was written like H. P. Lovecraft.

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