You Remind Me of You

You Remind Me of You

Yesterday, when I no doubt should've been doing more productive things, I pasted snippets from my various books into the online "I Write Like" statistical analysis tool and three names kept coming up:

* Stephen King
* Cory Doctorow
* Chuck Palahniuk

I've only read one of these authors so can't really comment except to say that I found it interesting that no matter which of my books (unpublished ones included) I lifted the passages from the result was that I write like one of the three above authors. So then I got to thinking, does that mean Stephen King, Cory Doctorow and Chuck Palahniuk write like each other? I've only read one of the three so don't have a clue but as a test I stuck several paragraphs from Salem's Lot into the analyzer and the result was, unsurprisingly I suppose, that Stephen King writes like Stephen King.

But I wasn't convinced that Stephen King would always sound like Stephen King so I followed up by pasting a snippet from King's book Cell into the anaylzer and it spit out the name: George Orwell.

Chuck Palahniuk apparently writes like himself with more consistency as both excerpts from Lullaby and Survivor garnered the same result from the anaylzer: Chuck Palaniuk.

Finally, I put Cory Doctorow to the analyzer test, dropping in outtakes from Little Brother and then Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. The analyzer confirmed Little Brother was written like Cory Doctorow but suggested the second work was written like Robert Louis Stevenson.

All of this leads me to the conclusion that 1) the analyzer might be on to something but clearly doesn't know everything AND 2) this is mostly a tool for wasting time which is something that many writers have already mastered.

And yes, today I've wasted much time indeed. Over two and a half hours was spent at the TIFF site attempting to order film festival tickets from an overloaded ticketing system which continually crashed under the weight of demand...and then crashed again...and then appeared as if it might actually sell me some tickets only know...crash. But in the end I was able to score tickets for a few things I really want to see so shouldn't grumble too much. The Toronto Film Festival is, from a writer's POV, alot like publishing in that it's a major time investment. First, there's the ticket line-up—either in person or battling the busy signal over the phone or repeatedly hitting the reload button as you begin to snore over your computer. Second, there's the endless queue for your seats hours before movie time (if you're lucky enough to have tickets at this point and don't have to join the standby line!).

But if you persevere the majority of of the time you can get into the movies you want to see at the festival. Publishing is much the same. As a writer you might be waiting in line for a good long time but if you don't give up, I think in the long-run your odds are actually rather good. And while you're waiting—and writing, writing, writing—you can indulge in the occasional amusing waste of time, like sticking words from your most recent novel into the "I Write Like" analyzer.
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