I write like...

Tr
Tripper
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Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:08 pm Post

According to this statistical analysis website http://iwl.me/, and based on an early chapter of latest book, I write like Kurt Vonnegut. This is good news you might say, and indeed it is flattering, except that I then decided to test some more of my novel. When I pasted in the last chapter of the same book it said I wrote like, wait for it, Dan Brown :oops: Now this is not so welcome, especially when final draft of said book has just been sent to publishers ready for proofreading and publication in February. Perhaps I won't tell anyone.

Trip
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PJS
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Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:24 pm Post

It's an amusing gadget, that little style analyzer, but it just might be imprecise, or even random. My two chapters were styled after Stephen King and David Foster Wallace. (I hadn't the nerve to try a third.)

Note: the site includes -- in fact, is -- a promo for writing advice, urging you to "Subscribe to our awesome newsletter to learn how to become a better writer and receive monthly tips on writing."

Sorry. I don't want advice from someone who not only uses "awesome," but also feels obliged to italicize it.

ps
You can't conquer stupid — or cure it — with more stupid.

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Wock
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Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:23 pm Post

Actually, I don't so much as write as I really just vomit words on the page, specializing in bad spelling, grammar, and drunken incoherent thoughts drawn out in long, witless, and rather bland run on sentences.

But I don't need a web app with a random generator process to tell me what I already know. All I have to do is look at the expression on my wife's face when she tries to sample a bit of reading with look on her face like a deer caught in the headlights...

In reality I wouldn't want to write like someone else. That is their style. My name is not Xerox. I would rather have my own unique style instead of being a "poser".

Like the saying goes "Some people innovate, most people just emulate."

Stick with innovation. It may be harder to pay the bills but in the end at least you can call it your own.
:-)
The wheel is turning but the hamster is still dead.

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Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:27 pm Post

Well, it doesn't seem to be random. I put the same snippet in twice and got the same answer (Margaret Atwood). But then I put in bits of a UF novel: chapter 1, then 1&2, then 1,2&3... and it gave me HP Lovecraft. I still haven't read him, that I'm aware of.

And then my traditional fantasy's first chapter comes back as David Foster Wallace. I don't think I've even heard of him.
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Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:07 pm Post

Wock wrote:Actually, I don't so much as write as I really just vomit words on the page, specializing in bad spelling, grammar, and drunken incoherent thoughts drawn out in long, witless, and rather bland run on sentences.

But I don't need a web app with a random generator process to tell me what I already know. All I have to do is look at the expression on my wife's face when she tries to sample a bit of reading with look on her face like a deer caught in the headlights...

In reality I wouldn't want to write like someone else. That is their style. My name is not Xerox. I would rather have my own unique style instead of being a "poser".

Like the saying goes "Some people innovate, most people just emulate."

Stick with innovation. It may be harder to pay the bills but in the end at least you can call it your own.
:-)


I can still call my writing my own even if it is compared to someone else's. It's just a bit of fun after all, and not to be taken seriously. :D
The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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KB
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Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:10 am Post

Apparently I write like Oscar Wilde... And Douglas Adams... And Ursula K. Le Guin (twice)... And David Foster Wallace (twice)... And Arthur C. Clarke... And Stephen King...

Yep, pretty much different for every few paragraphs I put in. I guess I need to settle on a style!

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:54 pm Post

Carradee wrote:And then my traditional fantasy's first chapter comes back as David Foster Wallace. I don't think I've even heard of him.


I admire your honesty, but he's quite well known.
If not to everyone's taste.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Foster_Wallace

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Ahab
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Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:06 pm Post

Well, I tried the opening paragraphs of my last magazine column, then the opening paragraphs of Moby Dick and Middlemarch, and Melville and I both write like Stephen King, while George Eliot writes like Edgar Allan Poe.

I'm sure this is accurate; otherwise, it couldn't be on the Web.

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Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:04 pm Post

Determined to give the beastie one more chance, and unwilling to sacrifice any of my own babes to the cause, I asked it to analyze the opening of Bleak House. You know, the bit that begins
London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth

and winds up with
hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln's Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.

As dramatic and powerful and distinctive a novel opening as one could ask, I think. And it was analyzed as in the style of Vladimir Nabokov.

Perhaps I need to re-read Pale Fire.

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Carradee
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:30 pm Post

druid wrote:
Carradee wrote:And then my traditional fantasy's first chapter comes back as David Foster Wallace. I don't think I've even heard of him.


I admire your honesty, but he's quite well known.
If not to everyone's taste.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Foster_Wallace


Thanks for the link. I figured the guy had to be at least somewhat well-known, to have ended up in the comparison program. I might want to see if I can find something of his at the library.
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Jaysen
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Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:58 pm Post

How can you take a relatively small sample and categorize it as a style of the hole? Isn't it really the whole that sets a style? If I look a the laces of a sneaker can I really say it is "in the style of a Nike Air"?

But then I am just a crusty, pessimistic, cranky curmudgeon†.

Druid and I agreed to swap places for a while
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

ImageImage

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 6:13 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:How can you take a relatively small sample and categorize it as a style of the hole? Isn't it really the whole that sets a style? If I look a the laces of a sneaker can I really say it is "in the style of a Nike


Putting aside the fact that it's not a serious exercise in style determination you make a good point. The answer would be to paste a complete piece of work in. I wonder what would happen if I pasted 70,000 words in?
The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:10 pm Post

Joe Posnanski, an American sports writer, has a wonderful take on the "I write like" site, here:

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2010/07 ... -like-who/

Joe's a terrific writer, and one of our best sports writers.

Steve

su
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Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:58 pm Post

Cory Doctorow. I have never read anything by him but I pity him for writing like a non-native English speaker.

And I trade him anytime against a David Foster Wallace. Anybody?
Author’s Preface

I wrote this book in less than two hours. I think I’ve made as much of it as one could in such a short time.

Eugen Egner, Androids from Milk

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Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:04 pm Post

suavito wrote:Cory Doctorow.

And I trade him anytime against a David Foster Wallace. Anybody?


I'll give you my Dan Brown for your Cory Doctorow.
The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.