Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Like James Joyce


I heard about this website over at Christi Goddard's Torch in the Tempest blog today, and I've been playing with it ever since. You paste in a sample of your writing, and it analyzes the sample and tells you which famous author you write like. Christi suggested plugging in just one chapter at a time (to avoid crashing the internet), so I analyzed the first thirty chapters of Killing Kessler, my YA paranormal romance, and the first thirty chapters of In the Seventeenth Year, my epic fantasy.

I expected the results to be vastly different, since the two are written in completely different styles. I was surprised to find that James Joyce came up most frequently in both books: 6 out of 30 chapters in Killing Kessler and 15 out of 30 chapters in In the Seventeenth Year. Okay, this knowledge probably isn't going to make or break my career, but it was fun to play around with.

So who do you write like? Find out here, and I'd love to hear your results!

37 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I need to go try that!

Jackee said...

Maybe your voice is like James Joyce, even if the books are completely different? Either way it makes me more and more excited to beta something! :o)

I supposedly write like Mark Twain. I could always hope that were true! LOL!

In other grand news, you won something on Weds' drawing. Come on over! :o)

Piedmont Writer said...

I was James Joyce as well, even with two vastly different genres. And then I was Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. So...

Kristie Cook said...

James Joyce, huh? I didn't spend as much time as you did. I put in the first chapter of my first book Promise and it came out Stephen King. Not bad, I thought. :) Then I put in the first chapter of my second book Purpose and it came out Dan Brown. Hmm...I decided I needed to work on Purpose. The first chapter apparently isn't dark enough. LOL

I just wonder if there's really anything to it. I found it funny that Neil Gaiman did it and tweeted about it. I think he came up Stephen King, too. I wonder if they have Neil Gaiman in their system. Wouldn't that have been funny if he didn't match it?

Susan Fields said...

L. Diane - Definitely give it a try. It's not scientific fact or anything, but it's fun!

Jackee - Hooray! I'll be right over. :)

Anne - I was a lot of different authors, too - including all those you mentioned. But it did surprise me how consistently James Joyce came up in Seventeenth Year. Made me a little less skeptical of the whole thing.

Kristie - Apparently Margaret Atwood tried it and it said she writes like Stephen King and James Joyce, and I know she's in the database because I write like her, too. :) But it's still fun to play around with.

Bossy Betty said...

That would be fun to try. I am not sure if I could read myself if I wrote too much like James Joyce!! I've really, really tried to like him! Honest! I have!

Joanne said...

This looks like a fun prompt, thanks for the link, I'm headed over! Happy Friday to you ...

Susan Fields said...

Betty - I've never tried to read James Joyce. It just seems too daunting. Luckily the author that came up next most frequently was J.K. Rowling. :)

Susan Fields said...

Joanne - Have fun, I hope you enjoy the link! It's super easy to do and gives some interesting answers. Happy Friday to you, too!

Christi Goddard said...

You already saw my results. I still don't know what to make of it.

Shelley Sly said...

This is so fun! I'll definitely give it a try when I have more free time and post my results. Thanks for the link!

Have a great weekend, Susan!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I was Valdimer Nabovok or something like that...on more than one manuscript! Sadly, he didn't write any picture books???

Theresa Milstein said...

As I said on Facebook, Margaret Atwood tried it, and found out she wrote like Stephen King.

I found out I wrote like Margaret Atwood from my manuscript The Disappearances. For two parts of Aura, I got Vladimir Nabokov and Dan Brown.

Stephen Tremp said...

I plugged in the first few paragraphs of my book Breakthrough and the result was Margaret Atwood. a Canadian author, poet, critic, essayist, feminist and social campaigner.

Not satisified, I pasted in the entire first chapter (lots of action and some techie stuff) and the result came back Dan Brown, one of my favorite authors that I emulate. Very cool. Thanks.

Stephen Tremp

Marcia said...

I tried this with lots of chapters and got lots of people, leaving me both skeptical and worried. :) But Nabokov showed up the most, and Joyce second.

Old Kitty said...

I write like HG Wells!! Who is one of my ultimate fave so I feel happier now! :-)

James Joyce?? Amazing!!

Take care
x

Clara said...

Wow, I gotta try that!!! Thanks for sharing!

DL Hammons said...

I'm afraid to try this. I'm afraid it will come back with something like...Dr. Seuss. :)

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Oh yeah I played with it all day yesterday myself. I plug in different stories. Stephen King came up three times. I also ended up with Vladimir Nabokov, William Gibson, Arthur C. Clarke and Jack London (for my children’s book). I don’t see the resemblance to their work, but it sure was fun.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

I just read Stephen's post and I did a similar thing. For my WIP I plug in the first chapter and got Arthur C. Clarke and then chapter 14 and got Stephen King.

notesfromnadir said...

Thanks so much for posting this. Interesting that you write like James Joyce, are you a big fan of his?

I tried it twice w/ my current work & the 1st result was David Foster Wallace, whom I'm not too familiar w/. OK, not at all familiar w/ his writing! The 2nd result was William Gibson. Now I've got to check out these authors' books soon as I'm curious about their work.

Jen said...

These things are so much fun!!! I have three different names for the three different wips I've been working on. It was really neat to google them and see what they wrote! New authors to explore!

Talli Roland said...

I tried this earlier and apparently I write like Margaret Atwood. What's funny is that according to the Guardian, Margaret Atwood tried it and she writes like Stephen King!

Elaine AM Smith said...

I tried this. It is the most perfect science if you ask me. It could be that is because the site said I write like JD Salinger. ;)

Paula said...

Well, you sure don't LOOK like James Joyce! I was "Margaret Atwood." Love her books; no clue if I really write like her. Now if I could get the same residuals or royalties or whatever ... I'd be in business! Fun blog; hope the beginning of your school year is going great!

Lydia Kang said...

I kept popping up as David Foster Wallace (I put in three different excerpts). I guess I'm consistent!

Susan Fields said...

Christie - I don't know what to make of it, either, but it's fun to play around with.

Shelley - I hope you had a little time to play around with that website a little, and I hope you're having a great weekend, too!

Sharon - I'm afraid I've never heard of him, but I had several authors come up on mine that I've never heard of (no Russian ones, though...)

Theresa - That's so funny about Margaret Atwood! I guess it's not rocket sciene. :)

Susan Fields said...

Stephen - I'm glad you got an author you like. I had J.K. Rowling come up several times, so that made me happy.

Marcia - Yes, I'm a bit skeptical, too, especially after what Theresa had to say about Margaret Atwood. But I had fun with it anyway. :)

Old Kitty - I'm glad you got an author you like! That makes it much more fun.

Clara - You're welcome! I hope you have as much fun with it as I did.

Susan Fields said...

DL - I don't think you're in much danger of that. Though Dr. Seuss is pretty amazing. :)

Holly - Stephen King is a good one, even Margaret Atwood writes like him. :) I had William Gibson come up a few times, too.

Lisa - No, I've never read James Joyce, and I can't imagine I ever will. I'm much more a Stephen King/J.K. Rowling kind of person. I am tempted to at least browse one of his books now, though.

Jen - It is fun to find new authors to explore. One that came up a lot with me (I can't remember his name right now) writes sci fi, so I thought I'd especially like to check him out.

Susan Fields said...

Talli - I heard that about Margaret Atwood, too - how funny!

Elaine - J.D. Salinger - I'd be happy with that! :)

Paula - Margaret Atwood's a good one! School's going well so far. Kevin left for a week of sleepover camp this week, so Jillian and I will be on our during the days while Madeline's at school. Should be fun!

Lydia - Consistent is good! I was amazed when James Joyce came up for like 10 chapters in a row.

Dawn Simon said...

I heard about this at Nathan B's. Super fun! I haven't tried it yet!

I know I've said this before, but I really like the titles of your manuscripts!

Susan Fields said...

Dawn - Thank you! What a nice compliment. :)

Nicole Murray said...

I entered 4 bits of 4 different works and came back as Raymond Chandler (hard boiled PI stories), Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Stephany Myers (Twilight), and HP Lovecraft(cool). And here I am trying to write a paranormal romance.

Thanks for pointing us towards this bit of fun!

Susan Fields said...

Nicole - That is funny! That was what I expected to happen with my epic fantasy and paranormal romance - completely different answers. And I was so surprised when James Joyce came up most often on both of them. Stephenie Meyers is definitely paranormal romance, though. And I thought Fight Club was a great movie - very original, for sure!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I write like Jack London! Great test for the ego!

Hilary Wagner ~ Debut Author said...

Wow! Coolest site E-VER!!! I put in 4 different chapters from 2 different novels and all 4 times I got JK Rowling, which is pretty darn cool! What an awesome link! Thanks for sharing, Susan!

xoxo -- Hilary