Writing

I Write Like

I’m a bit behind the curve on this, but I just discovered the website I Write Like which analyses a sample of your writing then tells you who you write like. Pretty cool, you would think. So I gave it a go using Addled: Adventures of a Reluctant Mystic.

I Write Like James JoyceDrum roll…

I write like James Joyce.

Blimey!

Now, I found that hard to believe. Since I’d only used one chapter I decided to try another and got… J.K. Rowling. Chapter 3 was Kurt Vonnegut, as were 4 and 5. Then back to J.K. Rowling for chapter 6. Addled has 22 chapters so I analysed each one and got seven different writers:

  • Margaret Atwood – 7 chapters
  • Kurt Vonnegut – 6 chapters
  • J.K. Rowling – 4 chapters
  • James Joyce – 2 chapters
  • Cory Doctorow – 1 chapter
  • Stephen King – 1 chapter
  • P.G. Wodehouse – 1 chapter

Bonkers. Out of curiosity I tried the whole book in one chunk and it came out James Joyce. Hmmm.

So I dug around a bit and found people have been putting all sorts of writing samples into this website and getting extremely stupid results. Margaret Atwood put her own work in and discovered she writes like Stephen King!

The algorithm on I Write Like is a Bayesian Classifier. No, I don’t know what that means either. Apparently they use similar algorithms to filter out spam and analyse text. The website only has about 50 authors in the database so it’s not exactly comprehensive. In fact, when someone analysed a slice of Hamlet, Shakespeare was informed he writes like James Joyce. So I’m in good company!

Karen Blakeman analysed the following text, bullets and all:

  • what’s new in Google, Bing and Yahoo and how to get the most out of the new features
  • how social media is being incorporated by the “big three” into their standard search results and does it work?
  • why social media is important as a part of the search strategy
  • specialist tools for subject/industry searches and the hidden web
  • image, video and audio search tools – new technologies, new search techniques
  • news services, blogs and twitter
  • tools for searching social and professional networks, people search tools
  • setting up your own customised search engine

It came out as Charles Dickens.

So.

I think I Write Like is good for a bit of fun. It may boost your writing ego for a very brief moment (and goodness knows it could use a boost every now and then), but ultimately it’s bollocks.

This post, by the way, is written in the style of Cory Doctorow. Yep – Science Fiction.

Who do you write like? Post the lies below…

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4 thoughts on “I Write Like

  1. I entered two separate portions of my novel-to-be and both time I received the same answer, I write like David Foster Wallace. Hum…that’s a bit scary since Wallace suffered severe bouts of depression and ended his own life. Luckily, I’m not taking it any seriously than a bit of fun either.
    Thanks for the great distraction!

    Like

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