July 17, 2010

I Write Like

Kelly hipped me to I Write Like, a website that applies a Bayesian classifier algorithm to the text you key in to match it to text from the 50 writers in its database. It's mainly based on vocabulary, sentence length and punctuation and doesn't account for style, voice or tone, so it's basically useless, but entertaining.

I pasted in Chapter 0 of my current work in progress that is in need of a good title. It came back with Stephen King. Interesting. Chapter 1 came back as David Foster Wallace. Hmm, never heard of him.

I went back to Endless Vacation draft 3 and analzyed each chapter separately, all 46 of them. (Yes, I know I have no life. So sue me.) It came back with 15 authors: Arthur Conan Doyle, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Brown, David Foster Wallace, Ian Fleming, Isaac Asimov, Jack London, James Joyce, JK Rowling, Kurt Vonnegut, Mario Puzo, Raymond Chandler, Stephanie Meyer, Vladimir Nabakov, and William Gibson. The winner was David Foster Wallace, for 17 of 46 chapters, Brown and Chandler trailing with 8 and 6 chapters, respectively.

Then I went back to where it all started, Welcome to Fred, again all 30 chapters. This time only 9 authors, but a couple of good ones that weren't on the EV list: Arthur C Clarke, Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Brown, David Foster Wallace, HP Lovecraft, Raymond Chandler, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King, and William Gibson. But Wallace was still the winner with 11 out of 30 chapters, Lovecraft trailing with 6 chapters. Evidently a third of my work uses the same vocabulary and sentence length as Wallace. I guess I'll have to check him out.

I wish he had the list of authors in the database. I'm guessing PG Wodehouse isn't in there, or Christopher Buckley.

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