I Write Like is a goofy little app/game that analyzes an excerpt of your writing and offers up… who you write like. It doesn’t explain it at all, or give you any insight into who that person is, if you have never heard of them.
But it made me try an experiment of the kind you may remember from my hyperlinking through the Internet until I linked Liberals and Conservatives at their common interest.
If you do remember that, you have been reading this publication far too long.
I pasted a few hundred words into the IWL app – actual fiction, not bloggy stuff – and it determined that I write like David Foster Wallace.
If you follow the publishing world, especially as reported by the New York Times Book Review, you’ll begin notice that the best-seller lists, like the Box Office Blockbusters, are dominated by a few names, and often all at the same time (Gladwell, Rowling, Larsson, Palin…. Beck… ) and then there is everyone else. The truth is that you haven’t heard of most of the people who are published. (More for the list of Things that do Not Change Whether I Submit Material for Publication or Not). I’ll write that entry someday. Or I won’t. And it won’t matter either way. harharhar
This essay is going off on a direction I didn’t intend. It happens every once in a while when someone asks me, “where did you get your MBA?” and I say, “I don’t have an MBA. I actually have a degree in publishing.”
Here’s what I did – if I write like Wallace, who does IWL say Wallace writes like? I pasted in Amazon’s excerpt from Girl With the Curious Hair (tattoo) and clicked enter;
Wallace writes like Stephen King, it says.
Stephen King writes like…Stephen King. I couldn’t fool it. So I chose Richard Bachman, the pseudonym King uses so he can further dominate the NYT List.
Daniel Defoe writes like Daniel Defoe, and this game is not as fun as I had hoped it would be. I suppose if you have written Moll Flanders, you are in a class by yourself
There are some academics among our Readership who will know who Wallace is – who may have even read him. They know a lot of things we don’t. They may know he was briefly a member of the Emerson family; they certainly know he committed suicide -- at my age even – because we watch these things in each other.
I have not read David Foster Wallace (this post is now climbing higher in the search results). What if an anonymous website with a conceptual search engine is
Short stories filed under Fiction. enjoy.