fiction writing

Well, isn’t that interesting

Some blogs I read linked to this “I Write Like” analyzer, where you paste in a bunch of text and it tells you what famous writer it sounds like. Of course, I tried it. I thought I’d share some results.

When I pasted in my story “The Other End” (which, holy smokes, you can read here), my results were:

I write like...Margaret Mitchell

I might mention that I’ve never read anything by Margaret Mitchell.

Okay, so let’s try something easier. How about “A Metaphor,” which is a clear homage to Raymond Chandler and even begins with a quotation from him…

I write like...Chuck Palahniuk

Hm. Okay. I’ve at least read a lot of Palahniuk, so I’m willing to believe it’s rubbed off on my writing somewhat.

But let’s try pasting in the same story, but this time include the actual epigraph from Chandler — which is, by the way, “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.”

I write like...Raymond Chandler

Ah, there we go. Apparently Raymond Chandler and Chuck Palahniuk are more closely related than I would have thought. Just a few words difference, really.

One more test. I paste in the first few pages of my top secret, heavily guarded, much-rumored-about novel…

I write like...James Joyce

Ha! This one’s kind of funny. The book does make what I hope are sly, fancy-pants allusions to Ulysses throughout. However, I don’t think the actual writing style reads anything like Joyce.

So, if this text analyzer can be trusted at all,  it seems I write like a number of famous authors, with a wide variety of styles, some of whom I’ve never actually read.

Or, I’d say, they write like me.

But the main conclusion I can draw from this is: I have spent too much time playing with this thing.