Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Which Famous Writer Are You Like?

I just discovered this really awesome tool from a post at Olivia Herrell's blog: I Write LikeWhat you do is paste in some text that you've written and a statistical algorithm analyzes your writing and comes up with the famous writer whose work yours most resembles.

I got the following results on various excerpts:  James Joyce, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and 3 or 4 Stephen King's.  Which is pretty good company to be in.

Curious, I tested it on an excerpt of "The Return of the King" and found that it correctly identified Tolkein. Rats. I was hoping perhaps it would identify him as Stephen King (since his is the most frequent result), and that by implication I might actually write like Tolkein.

However, I was a little curious about the fact that none of the results were women.  So I tested it on a excerpt of Rosamund Pilcher's Winter Solstice, and it identified her as H.G. Wells.  Perhaps she's not well-known enough, so I tried Agatha Christie and got Mark Twain.


Dorothy Sayers was identified as H.P. Lovecraft.  I don't even know who that is. Toni Morrison was Vladimir Nabokov. I had to look him up. He was born in St. Petersburg in 1899.Wow!  Wrong gender, race, continent and century.  The only thing right about that was the hemisphere.

At least Jane Austen was recognizable.

Danielle Steel was another Stephen King.

So, take this with a grain of salt.  The moral of the story, I guess, is that we all pretty much write like Stephen King.  Probably due to the success of "On Writing."  Or because he pretty much typifies the modern standard style for genre fiction.

And, now that I have succumbed to the analytical temptation of the day... back to writing!

Wait, Wait!  Woo-hoo!  I tried another excerpt to pull up the Bradbury badge and got.. J.K. Rowling!  That's the one I'm using folks.

P.S. Interestingly enough, one of my contemporary short stories came up as Jane Austen. I know this is all totally off-the-wall, but I still have a serious case of the warm fuzzies!

P.P.S. My resume was analyzed as Isaac Asimov!  Can I put that ON the resume?  "By the way, I write like Isaac Asimov.  As you can clearly see."  Actually, it was probably the amount of technical jargon on there - and the mention of NASA - that triggered that label.


  1. awww the website is blocked. I'll have to check it out later.
    And you don't know who HP Lovecraft is?!
    Cthulu would not be pleased...

  2. I got the dude who wrote "The Godfather".

    My book's narration is like that of Maximum Ride, except probably a lot worse.


    So I tried again, this time with a blog post, and got, naturally, Stephen King.

    Then I got Kurt Vonnegut. Finally, someone who at least writes humor -.-

    Next, I input a typed version of my old math homework (like, the wordy part where I was explaining my solution).

    ...And I got Stephen King.

  3. Izzy, that's too funny! I wonder what my teacher's blog would read like?

  4. Okay, the following post got "Dan Brown:"

    "The statistics final exam is tomorrow, May 12th, at 10 a.m. in the CIM Auditorium. It is 50 questions, multiple choice, and you will have 2.5 hours to complete it.

    Be sure to bring:

    * your calculator
    * two pencils with good erasers (the exam is multiple choice)

    See you then!"

  5. This was way cool. It was fun to see who's names came up when I plugged in different pieces of my writing. I was a little impressed. :)

  6. Hi,

    Always willing for light-hearted funtime!

    Happy to have come up with James Joyce and Virginia Woolf on my historical numbers.

    Tried out two of my modern category romance stories which brought forth Chuck whats-his-name) of "Fight Club" Fame and that of Joanna Trollope.

    So giggles all round methinks!

  7. You tested a bunch! Think I'll go back and test some more later. Glad you shared! And, btw, I went back and changed the title of my post! :)

    ~that rebel with a blog

  8. Very interesting. I tested seven different sections of text, including some dialogue scenes. I consistenly got either James Joyce or Chuck Palahniuk. I wonder how much of that is because I use deep POV and write in present tense. It does tell me I'm ok labeling my work literary rather than mainstream, though.

  9. I tried this one three times, once with each of my three novels that I've got floating in my hard drive. My adult urban fantasy brought back Ernest Hemingway while my YA fantasy gave me James Joyce. My genre romance gave me Dan Brown. LOL.

    Fun timesuck isn't it?

    Methinks there be something squirrely with the algorithm. Or with me...

  10. I gave one of my short stories to my boss, and he said it reminded him of his childhood obsession with Arthur C. Clark.

    It inspired him to read more ACC, too. That's a pretty good comparison!

    Being compared to H.P. Lovecraft is a mixed compliment. That dude was something else entirely. Not sure I'd like to be compared to him.

    - Eric

  11. i was James Joyce with 3 different pieces. i think i'll plug in my chick novel and see who that gets me.

  12. Michelle, I plugged some Blackheart and Eldala stuff in from your blogand got James Joyce, too!

    I put Kristal's in and got Oscar Wilde for her children's book and Stephen King for "Emissary."

  13. This was a lot of fun! Thanks for the tip. I tried the first two paragraphs from my three novels, and got Leo Tolstoy, Dan Brown and, surprise surprise, Stephen King.

  14. This was going around Livejournal the other day. I plugged in 3 samples and got Lovecraft (love him!), Poe and and James Joyce. I'll take them all :)

  15. Tolstoy, Margo? That's neat. KA.. I had to look up Lovecraft. I have never heard of him before.

  16. Don't know who Lovecraft is? For shame!

    Lol. Just kidding. He's a horror writer. Famous for the Cthulhu Mythos style stories. Weird stuff.

    I got some author I've never heard of. Which probably is a bad sign. heh.


I apologize for the word verification. I hate it, but the spammers made me do it.