Friday, April 26, 2013

Who do you write like?

I came across this little piece of internet fun two or three years ago.  "Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers."
I'm not sure what made me think of it again but I decided it would be interesting to revisit it in combination with a sort of mini-review of most of the month of April, during which I have been participating in the A to Z blogging challenge.  I know writers are supposed to be "finding their own voice" but (a) I'm not trying to be a writer as such and (b) this is mostly just a bit of fun.  Without further ado, here's my list of posts for the challenge and the style they are apparently written in.

Active - written like H. P. Lovecraft

Billing - written like David Foster Wallace

Curiosity - written like James Joyce (interesting one this as that post contained a block of text from a book by Stephen Fry.  If I enter just his text into the gadget it says it was written like Douglas Adams, who Stephen Fry was good friends with.  If I enter my text without his block of text in it, I get Cory Doctorow)

Doom, Table of - written like Vladimir Nabokov

Evenings out - written like Cory Doctorow

Farmers - written like Cory Doctorow

Glasses -  written like David Foster Wallace

Hellish - written like Chuck Palahniuk

Ireland - written like James Joyce

J is for some nice names...and jam - written like Cory Doctorow

Kuala Lumpur - written like Dan Brown

Labels - written like Cory Doctorow

Mooncup - written like Stephen King (LOL!)

Notions - written like H. P. Lovecraft

Organ donation and onion confit - written like James Joyce

Pretty - written like Stephen King

QI - written like Cory Doctorow

Roast chicken dinner - written like Cory Doctorow

Shampoo - written like Cory Doctorow

Telephone calls - written like Cory Doctorow

Ukulele - written like Cory Doctorow (even with the excerpt from Tom Hodgkinson taken out, it's still Cory Doctorow.  Just that excerpt though, is apparently written like James Joyce.)

Vegetarian Myth - written like David Foster Wallace

And let's not forget the summary: 8.7% H.P. Lovecraft, 13.04% David Foster Wallace, 6.52% James Joyce, 50% Cory Doctorow, 4.35% Vladimir Nabokov, 4.35% Chuck Palahniuk, 4.35% Dan Brown and 8.7% Stephen King.

So there you have it.  When I did this the first time I found out that I write like David Foster Wallace, who I think is one of the most boring writers I've ever tried to read.  I will finish Infinite Jest one day I'm sure.  So I chose another blog post to see if I'd get another answer.  Only to be told that I apparently write like James Joyce, who I think might actually be the most boring writer I've ever tried to read - I couldn't even manage to finish The Dubliners, which is only short stories!  I do still plan to read Ulysses one day but that's just to be able to have some authority behind my assertion that he's a boring writer.  The thing is, you see, that I'm not the only one who finds these writers boring but at least the boring is tempered somewhat by the fact that they were, by all accounts, geniuses.  That doesn't help me much when it comes to my writing style though because I'm definitely not a genius.  Which just leaves me with boring.  It's a good thing I get so much therapeutic value out of this blog is all I can say!  It has been interesting to analyse my blog posts during this month and surprising that I haven't had more DFW and JJ.  I'll have to get my hands on some Cory Doctorow books to read before I can decide whether or not I'm flattered by the comparison.


Fiona said...

Lol! I think I left comments mainly on your Cory Doctorow-style posts, so they must have resonated...might have to sample some Doctorow as well!

Rob-bear said...

I'm not like any of those people. From which I conclude that I am a fairly insignificant writer. Of fiction.

On the other hand, as a journalist, I do quite well, and have won awards for my work. Which is OK, too.

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting

Heidi Mannan said...

I don't know if the test I took a couple of years ago was the same one, but I was somehow compared to Oscar Wilde, whom I adore. Great post!