Writing can be an arduous process that involves hours of pounding away at a keyboard, planning plots, editing, reading, and fighting the inner critic.  Sometimes you need a little boost to your confidence or just a little chuckle to keep you going.  For just such an occasion I keep a website bookmarked on my toolbar: I Write Like.

The site has a snazzy program that analyzes a written excerpt from a novel, story, blog, etc. and determines which famous author it most resembles. Through statistical analysis, elements such as word choice and sentence structure are compared to the styles of well-known writers.  For example, I copied a segment of my novel draft and pasted it into a box on the site’s homepage.  After a quick click on the analyze button, I found out that I write like Charles Dickens. Yeah, right,  I laughed to myself.  Different pieces of my writing have also been analyzed to be like David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, and Stephanie Meyer.  I’ll admit being compared to Wallace was super exciting as he is an idol of mine, but it’s all relative in the grand scheme of things!

I don’t know how accurate or scientific this whole process is, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t exciting to be compared to Charles Dickens. Though its impossible to pigeonhole artistic expression with statistics, I find “I Write Like” to be a nice distraction when I’m having a difficult writing day.  Of course my goal as a writer is to have a distinct voice that is solely my own, but it’s nice to be “like” a famous author. It gives me a little hope that one day I will taste the sweet victory of publication.

So, who do you write like?

c.b. 2011

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