I Write Like…

I write like
L. Frank Baum

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Found this fun (funny?) “tool” called I WRITE LIKE on Lynn Viehl’s blog. She always has cool little bits ‘n’ pieces plus great writing advice.

I don’t really think I write like the creator of Oz (although it’s kinda flattering) but it’s interesting to think how the analyzer might have arrived at the comparison. I chose a chunk from my WIP (Prince of Passion, the second story in my Sheerways science fiction romance series) so maybe it found the peculiar imaginary words and extrapolated from there.

Of course, I plugged in a bunch more writing samples, just to see. It says I also write like William Gibson (awesome), like Anne Rice (admittedly that was a chunk from a love scene), like David Foster Wallace (er…), like Stephen King, like Neil Gaiman, like Douglas Adams… In fact, every time I plugged in a new sample, it said I wrote like someone else.

At first I was a little disappointed. I like silly tools — Shakespearean curse generators and stripper name generators and whatnot — but I really like tools that I can use, that teach me something.

But then I thought, well, why SHOULDN’T it find that I write like all those people? I use all the same words. Or most of them anyway. For sure I’m using the same letters. And if I can write with the same heart, that’d be pretty cool. And that’s a reminder I can always use.

So I guess I WRITE LIKE did teach me something.

Who do you write like? Feel free to share in comments and let us know if you agree with your analysis or if you’d rather write like someone else.


5 thoughts on “I Write Like…

  1. Fun tool. At first I thought I saw a pattern. I got Cory Doctorow for CHAMELEON, Kurt Vonnegut for ETERNITY, and Arthur Clarke for EXPENDABLE. At least they are all SF types. I did start my writing career in SF short stories, and these three books have an SF sensibility to them (even though Chameleon is actually a Fantasy). But then my pattern theory was shot to hell when I entered my two Romantic Women’s Fiction books. Undertones was James Joyce (Okay, I’m also Irish but the comparison ends there) and Healing Notes was Stephen King. What? Compared to Horror? And compared to King’s style of sparse prose? I think not. I tried to test the system by opening different browsers and inputting the same selections. At least it consistently gave me the same answer on each book excerpt.

    I’m left with three thoughts from this experience: 1) I’m a great writer if my writing is compared to them. Yeah right, the program has to come up with something and there are no “bad” writers in the bunch; 2) Where are the female great writer for comparison? This is a major problem and may throw the accuracy off completely; and 3) I just want to be me. A famous me, of course, but…Sing along with me now. I just wanna be me, don’t wanna be anybody else. Why can’t they see, I can only be myself….

    Now, if the analyzer said I was writing like Octavia Butler I’d stop immediately and say: “Yes!” My goal is to be as thoughtful, extreme, and talented as Octavia Butler. But of course, I have my own voice. Somehow, the next engine should tell everyone how much they write like me.

    You can stop laughing anytime now. Really. Now would be fine. Okay, don’t stop. Just enjoy.

  2. Pingback: Writing like Dan Brown and Douglas Adams | kenthinksaloud


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