I Write Like Who?

I saw this thing over at World IV. You past in a writing sample and it spits out the name of an author that your writing style approximates in some vague way.

So I took one of my posts, the Christmas 1977 story, and fed it in the machine to see what would turn up.

I was secretly hoping for Kurt Vonnegut, mostly based on a pattern of short paragraphs.

But, alas, I was disappointed in that as with so many things in life.  I need more poorly drawn sphincters in my work I guess.  Instead, I was told…

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Cory Doctorow? But I don’t even have a hot air balloon.

Okay, maybe that was the wrong writing sample.

So I dug through some more and decided that the Christmas 1983 story might be a good try.  Obviously I was avoiding some of my usual dreck and going for things I cared about.

Kurt Vonnegut this time?

I write like
Douglas Adams

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Douglas Adams!  Well, I could live with that.  Not that I am down on Cory, but he, Douglas Adams!

Still, this could be just some random author generator.  I need at least two similar results to feel good about this.

So I pulled out one more tale, The Adventures of Opus and Mopar Mac.  Forget dear Kurt, just match one of the previous picks.

I write like
Ian Fleming

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Ian Flemming? Flattering again, but I’m still more shaken than stirred by that result.

That’s it random author generator, I’m going to bed before you tell me any more lies.

15 thoughts on “I Write Like Who?

  1. Bhagpuss

    I slapped in a comment I just wrote on Ardwulf’s blog and got David Foster Wallace.

    That’s very flattering, but I hardly think it’s accurate. I’m going to play with this thing some more later.

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  2. Bhagpuss

    Here’s a fun game.

    Cut and paste posts from your favorite bloggers into that thing and see what comes up. I have to go to work right now or I’d be doing this all day!

    My favorite so far is SynCaine as Vladimir Nobokov.

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  3. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    When I tested some posts from my professional blog, it gave me Cory Doctrow three times in a row for three different posts. I took it as a sign. Makes sense, though, since my blog is highly technical and I use a loose tone with it.

    Having it analyze some of my fiction writing (http://restlessdeep.com/) gave me a wider variety of answers. I got one Vladimir Nabokov, two Rudyard Kiplings, and one Dan Brown. (Really? *cries*)

    I wonder how it identifies the writing style. I suspect it’s mostly on word selection, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.

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  4. Brian 'Psychochild' Green

    I was curious and plugged in my most recent blog post into the system, and now it says I write like David Foster Wallace. Went and selected 2 more posts at random, and got another Wallace, then I got Doctrow again.

    Interesting….

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  5. Pingback: Writing like who? « A ding world

  6. Kevin

    First time I tried it I got Dan Brown very consistently. Today I tried it with some of my older writings (and one I just jotted down yesterday) and it was all over the map, from Vonnegut to Rowling.

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  7. PTD

    I would guess it gives a lot of weight to certain keywords. I pasted in a post I wrote that involved Resident Evil 5 and mentioned Zombies, and it spit Stephen King out at me.

    I’ve gotten Nabokov, Cory Doctorow, David Foster Wallace, Edgar Allen Poe and more.

    Dude, I’m not that versatile. :) In short, it seems completely unreliable, but kinda fun!

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  8. PeterD

    I got 2x Cory Doctorow and 1x William Gibson. It seems fairly random, though it does at least consistently spit out the same thing if you keep putting in the same input.

    Hmm, I should try pasting one section in, getting the result, then cut it in half and paste it in again and see what happens.

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  9. PeterD

    Hmm, Cory Doctorow 2x again. I wonder if it’s actually good enough to recognize that they’re all travel stories I’m pasting in so written in the same tone about similar subjects. Apparently so. Ah well.

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  10. Mac

    The “Write Like” thing picks an author by word choice, so you could use a thesaurus on the same written piece and get two different results. It doesn’t judge on content or sentence structure at all.

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  11. Bhagpuss

    I put in a big chunk of “Catcher in the Rye” and it correctly gave me J.D. Salinger. Looking good.

    Then I put in a piece of “The End of Something” and instead of Hemingwey it offered “Arthur Clarke” (no “C” either). Hmm, not much similarity there.

    “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote came up as James Joyce, but it got “The Dead” right. In some ways, though, I’d have been happier if it had given that one back to Capote.

    A couple of paragraphs of Agatha Christie’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” turned up Arthur Conan Doyle, which is really interesting.

    This could run and run…

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  12. Tesh

    I tried the analyzer twice on the same post, with minor edits in between (an added paragraph). The first time I got Wallace, the second time I got H.P. Lovecraft. Having read neither, I’m not sure how that happens… especially since I was writing about communication.

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