The “I Write Like” phenomenon has been certified viral on the interwebs this month. In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a site where you post a few paragraphs of your writing, click a button, and then it tells you which famous writer your writing is most like. It claims to analyze your word choice and your writing style and compare it to that of famous writers.
I am typically far behind the curve when it comes to trying a fad. Case in point: I only recently discovered what sticky bands are. Case in point: a TV show usually has to be on for about 3 seasons before I will watch the first episode. So in internet time, I am just about in the third season of I Write Like, and this is what it said about me…
First, I uploaded the first 3 paragraphs of Two Steps Forward.
I’d never heard of Raymond Chandler, so I Write Like took me somewhere that I could become familiar. Once I read his title list, I realized some of the titles sounded familiar and I was sure I’d seen some of the covers before, but when I went to read the first pages of a couple of his major titles, I didn’t see the resemblance to Two Steps Forward whatsoever. Maybe it’s just me.
Still, they recommended trying it a few times, so then, I tried it with the first 3 paragraphs of The Other Dentenia Zickafoose.
Well, I certainly know Stephen King, but I don’t think I have read anything of his besides On Writing since I was in junior high, and what I remember of Steven King most is the terrible movies like Cujo and Pet Sematary that used to frighten the hell out of me when I was a kid and later disappointed me as an adult. So I sought out the first few pages of The Gunslinger, one of his later works, and sure enough, it was pretty similar in both structure, syntax, and word choice to The Other Dentenia Zickafoose. Maybe I should put that in my query letters.
Finally, I analyzed the first three paragraphs of my novel, The Redheaded Stepchild:
=I’d never heard of Cory Doctorow, so I searched the Amazons (the site, not the geographical region) for a book that I could search inside to see if I Write Like was full of shit, or if it was accurate enough to pass. I landed on Little Brother, and perused the first couple pages. Lo0 and behold, it sounded a lot like the beginning to The Redheaded Stepchild, but from a male perspective. If only “teh suck” had been a known phrase when I first starting writing this thing in the before time.
I still find myself thinking: Really? 3 different people? A friend of mine tried 4 different works of hers and got the same result 3 of the 4 times. Of the people that I have compared my work to, none of these three has been one of them. Maybe I just adapt my writing style to the type of story I am crafting. Then again, I could just be a random spaz. Also, I apparently write like a dude. Maybe someday some dude will find out he writes like Kelly Hitchcock.