Sunday, September 7, 2014

Channeling Famous Writers - Who Do You Write Like?

I was taking a break from writing today, having just finished making some serious corrections in my latest Buffalo Soldier novel, and getting a fairly good start on my next Al Pennyback mystery. I did get my word quota done, but that was mostly journaling and plotting, so I was just doing some idle reading. In doing that, I came across a blog describing an analytical program that takes samples of a person's writing and compares it to famous writers. I suppose we're all at some time or another curious, so I decided to give it a try.

Me being me, I wasn't satisfied to just do a single sample, so I took samples from nine of my novels (different genres) and three recent blog posts. Following are the results:

Deadbeat (Al Pennyback mystery) - William Gibson
Buffalo Soldier: Comanchero (western/historical) - Margaret Mitchel
Frontier Justice (western/historical) - Jack London
Dragon Slayer (international intrigue) - H.P. Lovecraft
A Good Day to Die (Al Pennyback mystery) - William Gibson
Dead Men Don't Answer (Al Pennyback mystery) - Dan Brown
Deadline (Al Pennyback mystery) - David Foster Wallace
Death in White Satin (Al Pennyback mystery) - H. P. Lovecraft
If I Should Die Before I Wake (Al Pennyback mystery) - Chuck Palahniuk
Blog post on the colorful wild west - H.P. Lovecraft
Blog post on events in Ferguson, MO - Cory Doctorow
Blog post on demise of content mills - Cory Doctorow

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Now, I'm not sure what any of this really means. I write according to what I feel about the subject - sometimes I'm going for a bit of humor, at other times I want to scare your pants off, or make you think about the subject. When I write, I try to see the scene I'm writing in my mind, and hear the characters as they interact, and then write it like I imagine it. I've read Lovecraft, Brown, Mitchel, and Doctorow - although, except for Brown, not in many years - so, I can't account for this analysis. It's fun to do, though, so maybe you writers out there might want to go to I Write Like and check it out.

I write like
William Gibson
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

At the end of the day, I suppose, I just write like me. This blog, though, when analyzed was determined to be in the style of H. P. Lovecraft. Is that channeling or what?