Role models?

There exists a site called I Write Like, which offers, in exchange for a brief commercial message about a software package, to read your text and compare its style, if any, to that of a Well-Known Author. I sent up three different chapters from three different stories and got three different results, which suggests, if nothing else, a general lack of stylistic consistency.

For the curious:

  • Chapter 6 of The Sparkle Chronicles: Dan Brown.
  • Chapter 1 of The way she used to be: Neil Gaiman.
  • Entirety of Dead Pony Flying: Anne Rice.

Then again, there are likely only a dozen or so possible responses by the algorithm: it’s unlikely that anyone using the site will be told that she writes like E. L. James or Sinclair Lewis or Laurence Sterne.



  1. fillyjonk »

    10 December 2012 · 11:02 am

    Yes, I doubt the robustness of that algorithm; I once submitted part of a scientific journal manuscript I was writing (just for kicks and grins) and it told me I wrote like Stefanie Meyers.

    FWIW, the manuscript was not about vampires or sparkling or mopey teenaged girls with no self-esteem.

  2. CGHill »

    10 December 2012 · 11:37 am

    I suppose I should be surprised I didn’t get Meyered, given the ubiquity of “sparkle” (and, hell, “Twilight”) in The Sparkle Chronicles.

  3. Tatyana »

    10 December 2012 · 11:41 am

    I wonder if anybody tried to send them a text by S.Lewis – would it, too, be labeled “Anne Rice”-alike?

  4. CGHill »

    10 December 2012 · 11:57 am

    Well, I can now tell you that the first three paragraphs of chapter four of Sinclair Lewis’ Arrowsmith are deemed to resemble the work of H. P. Lovecraft.

  5. McGehee »

    10 December 2012 · 1:46 pm

    One scene in my current fiction project reminded the algorithm of Rudyard Kipling. Another, of William Gibson. I’ve read very little, really, of the former — and none, I’m sure, of the latter.

  6. Roger Green »

    10 December 2012 · 1:48 pm

    This post of yours reminds it of H.P. Lovecraft. I checked my last 10 posts and three were Lovecraft, FWIW.

  7. Tatyana »

    10 December 2012 · 2:42 pm

    By simple elimination process (with common Lovecraft’ reference) we conclude this post is written by Sinclair Lewis, and not C.G. Hill, no matter what the latter has to say for himself

  8. Brett »

    10 December 2012 · 4:38 pm

    I checked it out and it told me I wrote like Dan Brown. I believe the proper response is “Pistols at dawn, sir,” but I don’t think you can duel an algorithm.

  9. nightfly »

    11 December 2012 · 12:11 am

    Brown, Gaiman, Rice? Two outta three ain’t bad, sir.

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