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Who Do You Write Like?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Thanks to Anne R. Allen for pointing me at the I Write Like page, where you can discover which famous writer's prose your own (supposedly) resembles. You paste in some of your work and it performs a statistical analysis to find a match. You just can't avoid trying it can you?

Mind you, I'd take it with a pinch of salt. I tried various short stories and novel chapters of mine and found that :


I write like
Douglas Adams
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

and


I write like
H. G. Wells
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

and


I write like
J. K. Rowling
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Which, OK, I'm happy with - three writers I love - but it seems a little unlikey I resemble all of them.

And, unable to resist the temptation, I then typed in a bad swear word a hundred times and was told :



I write like
William Gibson
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Which seems just a wee bit harsh on Gibson ...

Who did you get when you try?

14 comments:

  1. My last blog post has me writing like David Foster Wallace, but a sample of my fiction suggests I'm more like Jack London. I'm happy enough with that:)

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  2. My samples yielded Neil Gaiman, David Foster Wallace and James Joyce.

    When pasted in together, the David Foster Wallace and James Joyce pieces apparently most resembled the work of Charles Dickens.

    It's a fun application, but as with many of these memes, there's a hefty bias towards white, male, English speakers (the last of which one could conceivably defend - the other two, not so much).

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  3. Thomas,

    Jack London is good! I'm afraid I don't know who David foster Wallce is - is that wrong?

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  4. Kate,

    I do agree with you as regards the cultural bias. I was secretly hoping for Le Guin myself. Quite envious of Gaiman and Joyce : that's quite a combination.

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  5. I write like HG Wells!! Apparently!! Yay! LOL!

    take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I got Neil Gaiman and Stephen King - Gaiman for my fantasy novel and King for my literary fiction. Yes, really. . . I'm pretty flattered but am also taking the results with a truckload of salt!

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  7. Old Kitty,

    You and me both!

    Ellen,

    I'm sure it's a very fair comparison!

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  8. I've avoided it! I haven't been in the least tempted to look at the site. Why would I? It isn't going to say you write like Martine McCutcheon because then you'd have to kill yourself and they'd be responsible. As someone said - it's about flattery and nothing else. (Sue -of course)

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  9. Kind of addictive, isn't it? I keep hoping one of my stories will get a William Shakespeare. But I'm stuck with James Joyce and David Foster Wallace. I'm sure Wallace was brilliant, but he wrote depressing, boring books about depressed, boring people in order to make statements about depression and boredom. Then he shot himself. Not high on my list of gotta-reads.

    Today on my blog I have a link to an interview with the guy who invented the "I write like" software. It works on the same principle as a spam detector. English isn't even his native language. Kind of an amazing dude.

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  10. Anne,

    Thanks for that - I'll definitely give that interview a read. And thanks for the original link.

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  11. OOh - Arthur C Clark!!

    :-)

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  12. Sue

    Martine McCutcheon isn't in there, but Dan Brown is; and from the reactions on Twitter, not many people feel flattered by the comparison!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kate,

    Actually, I didn't even know Martine McCutcheon was a writer. Impressed about Arthur C. Clarke though!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to know what you think.