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A machine told me today I need to tighten up my writing style. Stuff from this year:

Arrow: James Fennimore Cooper (tribal man goes postal)
Pythia: Chuck Palahniuk* (violent, time-shifty drama queenery)
Silken Noose: James Joyce (stream of consciousness, sex & death)
Lukka: H. G. Wells (Boy meets world, world goes to pieces)

Fun. Where do your current wordchildren stand?


*Never read any of him, but I looked him up and his list of writing rules is a pretty good one. Now I must go try the egg-timer one. OK, after I pick up SIL at the bus station and deliver to MIL.

EDIT2: Welcome to the machine.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 13th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC)
Okay, now I'm dying to know what the machine is, but the link just brings me back to the current page. Help?
Jul. 13th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
Whoops. Thanks. Fixed now.
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
I just posted mine on my blog. Interestingly, both the first page of Phoebe and the Damned Strumpet and the "Sheriff Maggie" section of "Perceptions" came out Stephen King, while the Kari section came out Kurt Vonnegut.

But The Daughters of August Winterbourne came out Dan Brown! Augghhh! Yes, okay, I admit, it needs editing. But still...!
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC)
Hmmm.... I suspect Dan Brown is the default.
Jul. 13th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
Well, just thanks.

Current WIP: Dan Brown
BELONGING: Margaret Atwood (that's better)
My MG adventure: Chuck Palahniuk
WINTERMAEJIC: JRR Tolkien (yay!)
SPRINGFIRE: Rudyard Kipling (nice)
SUMMERDANSE: Mark Twain (huh? but cool)

But two Dan Browns? Now I have to go kill myself.
Jul. 13th, 2010 11:19 am (UTC)
Heh. There's a reason SotS isn't on this list... Guess why!

[trying to keep a straight face] But take heart: I've heard he has a clean, easy-to-read style. Very.... Accessible. Yes, that's the word.
Jul. 13th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)
Considering how fast the analysis goes, my money is on it being purely word usage. And since AQ, my current WIP, and I imagine SotS have lots of ritual-related words, that might be why.
Jul. 13th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
I thought it might be a pre-trained neural net, which can achieve the 80% accuracy (tested against samples of the current result-author's work) blindingly fast. Based on NNs I wrote for class in college, I expect it would only take an afternoon or two of programming to get that level of accuracy.

Which is not to say your theory is wrong: with only limited training, the difference between word-count and neural analysis is probably pretty small.

Hey, that gives me an idea: I wonder if a neural net could be used to bring the midlist authors into the equation—Pick about 200 authors based on preview samples of their work (sucked off amazon or google, I suppose), train the 'net, and let the system build itself as new authors add their stuff (entering ISBNs of their published works).

...as if I don't have enough pointless pastimes to play with...

Hrumph! Back to real writing.
Jul. 13th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
Wow, I just tried three different pieces and they all came back Stephen King. At least I'm consistent...
Jul. 14th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Interesting. I don't think I've seen that before in the 24 hours this meme ate LJ. Are they all similar in theme?
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
I have been on a horror kick lately, maybe that explains it. It's funny, if I had to name authors whose works have influenced me, I don't think King would have even crossed my mind. I'll have to try some older stuff and see if I get different results.
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC)
Uh...okay, I just tried three more excerpts, all older and non-horror. I got Stephen King twice more. Too weird.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )