Who Do You Write Like?

I ran across a tweet today where a tweep shared a link to a site that analyzes your writing style and compares it to the works of famous authors. She said, “I know they’re crazy because they say I write like Charles Dickens.”

I don’t know her writing style, so I can’t say how far off the analysis might be in her case.  But, naturally, my curiosity was piqued, so I went to the site and submitted a sample of my current work in progress (Book #4 in the Gateway to Gannah series).

Here’s the sample I submitted:

 Lileela would have killed for one minute of comfort. Just one minute.

But there was no one within reach to kill.

The pain in her legs was bad enough to darken her vision—or was it the result of the dim light in here? No, it must be more than that, because even the outlines she could see were fuzzy and vague.

In addition to the pain in her legs, now the arm she lay on bothered her. Numbness crept down to her fingers, and it felt like something dug into her shoulder. But she couldn’t lift herself up to relieve the pressure because of the low rock ceiling.

She contemplated what might happen if she worked her arm around so she could push up suddenly onto her elbow. If she did it fast enough, she might knock herself out.

It probably wouldn’t work, though. It would only make her head hurt on top of everything else.

At the end of the narrow opening in which she lay, the unseen Kughurrrro shifted his weight and groaned.

She supposed she’d been doing her share of groaning herself. “You okay out there?”

“Couldn’t be better. My knee is twice its normal size and desperately needs to be iced. It throbs like a pulsating dindunskghiskallala in its first season of growth. My shirt is soaked through with a good half litre of blood streaming from my ear, which, if it isn’t stitched back on soon, will likely dry up and fall off for lack of nourishment. But I don’t suppose that matters, as I’m quite certain the rest of me will die in this hole too, eventually. The sum total adds up to a strikingly fabulous day.”

Lileela’s ears tipped back in annoyance then rose with amusement. By the time his speech ended, she was chuckling silently. The Karkar language was an exquisite one for howling a lament, and he’d chosen his words to contain a minimum of six vibrant syllables each. The impassioned recitation reverberated through the mine like an epic poem.

“I’m glad, Kughurrrro. I was afraid you might be upset by this turn of events.” She devised the vocabulary to patter against the stone walls like pebbles.

A guffaw bubbled up from his chest and exploded with a thundering blast. “It’s a rare pleasure,” he said between brays of hilarity, “to exchange verbal poetry with an artisan of the rich and colorful Karkar language.”

 

After pasting that snippet into the box, I clicked “Submit.” They analyzed it and concluded that I write like… H. P. Lovecraft.

Really??

Well, okay. I’ll admit the sample I provided does include things like pain, blood and death. Perhaps I should have used a different snippet. I chose that one because it’s what I’ve been working on most recently.

Friend and author Gina Holmes was brave enough to go on record saying that my writing reminds her of Madeline L’Engel. I like that comparison a lot better!

H. P. Lovecraft? I’ve never read anything he wrote, so his style obviously was no influence on me.  Though he’s a big name in speculative fiction and I see his work mentioned frequently, I’ve never read any of it because it doesn’t interest me. There are so many books in the world begging to be read, I don’t want to waste my time on something I won’t enjoy.

According to Wikipedia, Lovecraft was responsible for Stephen King’s fascination with horror and the macabre and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. But I don’t read, let alone write, things in that realm.

Notwithstanding the interesting results, it was a fun exercise. Give it a try; see who the site says your writing resembles.

Just be careful about choosing the sample you provide!

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9 thoughts on “Who Do You Write Like?

  1. I agree with Gina, and after the results claimed I write I like Mario Puzo, I doubt the analysis’ credibility. Granted, Italian blood does flow through my veins, but I don’t think my work can compete with The Godfather (though I wouldn’t mind the royalties).

    Thanks for the peek into book four. Can’t wait to read it.

    1. Thanks, /k – that was a first draft, so by the time you see it again, it’ll be cleaned up a bit. Maybe it’ll read more like Mario Puzo…

        1. Thanks, Kimberli. I’ve got some work to do before it will be ready to share with anyone (other than the little snippet). Probably this summer.
          I agree about Kughie. I didn’t intend for him to become a recurring character, but he surprised me at the end of Book #3 by asking to return. He was so eager, I had to indulge him.

    1. Susan,
      Did your snippet mention love and young girls? Was it in Russian? Only thing I can think of that Nabokov wrote was Lolita, and I know your writing doesn’t resemble that!

  2. Yvonne, this is hilarious. It says I write like William Shakespeare! What a hoot! It will be nice to post to my blog though. I sent a snippet from my last sub to Sharpies.

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