Who Do You Write Like?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The age old question: what famous writer does your work most resemble?  I got my answer this morning:

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

I can't say I am remotely disappointed with that result, although I'm not sure it's true.  I have lifetimes to go before I produce anything on the order of even the meagerest of Joyce's offerings, and I may never reach those lofty literary heights; still, dreaming makes good entertainment.  :)

Wanna know who you write like?  Head over to the I Write Like blog, paste a fragment of your writing into the submission block and hit the "Analyze" button.  I'm not sure it's scientific or remotely accurate, but it sure is fun!

Share your answer in the comments, if you please!  Oh, and have a groovy day!

24 bolts from the blue:

G.G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer said...

In the name of science, I did several examples, and here's what I got:

On dialogue heavy areas, my result was Dan Brown.
In my literary novel in narrative passages, the result was Margaret Atwood.

My short stories got David Foster Wallace every time.

And my sci-fi got both Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe.


Ted Cross said...

My fantasy novel's first few chapters came out as Rudyard Kipling.

j.m. neeb said...

David Foster Wallace. Admittedly, I recognized the name, but had never read any of his works. After doing some quick Wikipedia research, I think I'm going to put his stuff on my reading list.

Well, I pretty much have to now, right? I mean, I need to see how close my style is to his! :)

Jon Paul said...

G.G.--Thanks for stopping by!

Summer--Thanks for the rigorous run-thru. I didn't think to do that. Maybe I should go back and submit some other selections--or should I let Joyce stand?!? Decisions, decisions...

Ted--Your a better man than I....:)

Jon Paul said...

J.M--I'm in the same boat as you. Need to add him and check him out, but finding the time is the current problem I face.

Still, he's popular, so that's a great omen for you, right?

SM Schmidt said...

In the name of science I ditched yesterday's result and did a redo (because no way am I Dan Brown with blog & novel). This morning the blog and novel are David Foster Wallace...whom I've never heard of until today.

laurel said...

Like others, I tested multiple samples. I got James Joyce and Chuck Palahniuk pretty consistently--with a Stephen King on one piece of dialogue.

I would love to know how the creators came up with the alogrithm, and which "famous authors" are in their comparison pool.

Claire Dawn said...

I got 2 Dan Brown's, a Chuck Palahniuk, a David Foster Wallace and a James Joyce. I've managed never to read a thing by any of them, but I have seen a few movie adaptations.

Okie said...

That's kind of a cool app. I would be curious to know how in-depth it's analysis is (sentence length, amount of dialog, frequency of certain adverbs/adjectives, etc.).

Still, I tried it a few times with some of my recent writing and got:
2 Dan Brown
2 James Joyce
1 H.P. Lovecraft
1 Chuck Palahniuk
1 Vladimir Nabokov

Kind of an interesting mix.

Lola Sharp said...

I used two pieces and constantly got James Joyce, too. Tres suspicious, no?

If I go by your little sample here in your comments, it seems as though it likes to spit out just a few famous authors as comparisons. (JJ, DFW, DB)


Still, James Joyce is one of my favorite writers of all time, so it's not like I didn't have fun doing it. ;)

Jon Paul said...

Schmidty--I totally agree with the ditching Dan Brown approach. The guy has sold a ton of books, but he isn't what I would call a writer's writer.

Laurel--Yeah, me too. Funny how unsatisfying it is without the why?

Claire--I'm not sure not having read those authors is a drawback. In fact, in today's book market, it may just be an advantage.

Okie--It is curious to me how Lovecraft, Joyce and Nabokov could be thrown in the same pile, but perhaps this only shows my own ignorance. :)

Lola--Joyce is like a disease, no? I think this whole exercise is an interesting take on the ancient question: what do you see in the mirror?

Thanks all for stopping by and lending your thoughts to the conversation!

Liza said...

I did this earlier today. I write like James Fenimore Cooper...now I need to read some James Fenimore Cooper! Fun, isn't it. Oh, and I posted the same piece twice to make sure I got the same results...and I did...so the program is consistant, at any rate.

Jon Paul said...

Liza--I gotta tell ya, your result doesn't surprise me at all. Your writing is very down to earth, just like JFC. Of course, we can't take these results on face value, but maybe there's something else at work here.

Isn't it fun to think that way?

Agnes said...

I got David Foster Wallace every time.

Summer said...

I got Stephen King which strangely is not the first time I have, several pieces I had put up for critique on other sites had responses of my writing being remarkably like him, get this, I've only ever tried to read one of his novels, and I never finished because I didn't like the way he wrote...LOL

Jon Paul said...

Agnes--Of course! That makes total sense! (which means it may not, but who cares?) :P

Summer--What is the opposite of "opposites attract"? Yeah, it's like not getting along with a sibling--provided the resemblance is real.

Thanks all for stopping by.

Liza said...

JP, thank you for your comment on Monday's post. It was hard to write that one right...I'm still not sure I did it justice...so your feedback meant a lot.

Oh, and I'm going to submit some different copy to find out or confirm...or not who I write like!

Liza said...

Round 2: David Foster Wallace. Guess I have lots of reading to do.

Jon Paul said...

Liza--Sure thing on the comment. I really think you pulled it off. On the reading: throw me in that briar patch!


Stephen Tremp said...

I did the I Write Like thing last week. I pasted the first three chapters of my book and the result was Margaret Atwood. Not satisfied, I pasted the entire first chapter and the result returned Dan Brown. Much better.

Stephen Tremp

Catalyst said...

My first piece drew a Raymond Chandler. Not bad and later I submitted the same piece again and got Chandler again.

A couple of others drew a Harry Harrison and a Stephen King.

Now...where's my agent??!!

gabi said...

You know, I've tried this out with various different parts of the same piece and I get a different answer every time. After getting a half dozen different responses, I gave up and decided I'm going to accept that I just write like me! :)

OneBigHappy said...

Every piece I put in came back with a different author's name. I did six or seven. Not sure it means anything, but I find it interesting that I had no repeats.

Waddaya wanna say?

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