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ningloreth [userpic]

This week, I am mostly writing like

October 30th, 2015 (10:42 am)
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I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!





I saw the 'I write like...' meme in curiouswombat's journal and got curious, so I tested a bit of my most recent Draco/Hermione story, Knight on a Purple Bus, and the result was


I write like
J. K. Rowling

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Result!

But then I thought, Maybe it's just recognising the character names. I mean Draco, Hermione, Harry Potter, Fenrir Greyback -- they're all a bit of a giveaway. So I tried my most recent Lord of the Rings story, The White Ladies of Eryn Carantaur (probably the story I'm most proud of):


I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Not a result :-(

I tried to cheat by testing another chapter of the same story (I'm not too proud):


I write like
Neil Gaiman

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



No, still not Tolkien!

So then I decided to experiment by testing all of my Lord of the Rings stories, in order of writing (because, if anything, you might expect the first one to be the most Tolkien-like, and subsequent stories to become more and more me-like). Story 1, My Bow Shall Sing with your Sword, was, on reflection, a pretty clunky bit of writing:


I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



LOL!

Story 2 To the Sea, to the Sea! was still quite clunky:


I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



WTF?

Story 3, The Time of the Orcs has Come, was, I think, where I started to write like a writer, and write a story (as opposed to a series of events):




Well, thank you! I love The Last of the Mohicans !

Story 4, The Lady Vanishes, is plotted around a week of traditional Yuletide celebrations and contains a lot of Yuletide folk law and some colourful descriptive passages:


I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Um... I'm flattered, but no, I think not!

Story 5, Misrule in Mirkwood, is set, you know, in Mirkwood and even includes a few brief quotes from The Hobbit, plus, in addition to 'Legolas' and 'Eowyn', the name 'Thranduil', so...


I write like
Oscar Wilde

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



I really should have put that one outside the cut!

Story 6, The Strange Sea Road, is an Arabian Nights fusion, and so pretty AU:


I write like
J. R. R. Tolkien

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Yay! Result! {Does Happy Dance} All I had to do was persevere!

Unfortunately, I lost it again in story 7, The Usual Suspects, even though that's a Casablanca fusion and equally AU:


I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Anne Rice now has a convincing lead!!

Story 8, Shadowland is a Forgotten Realms crossover, a monster of a story with two parallel-ish universes, and duplicate characters who (I hope) have different... characters, so shadow!Legolas still has, as Gimli puts it, an axe handle up his backside...


I write like
J. K. Rowling

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



No, not this story! (And JKR is on Anne Rice's tail).

Story 9, Season of Mists, is almost PWP, except it has a subplot about satyrs (tad-dail, 'two-legged animals') stealing human women:


I write like
Anne Rice

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



And Ann Rice has pulled well ahead!

Story 10 Winter Magic is unfinished, but has some fun stuff about Legolas having a tarot reading (somewhat ripped off from Calvino's The Castle of Crossed Destinies). I'm kind of itching to get back to this story:


I write like
J. R. R. Tolkien

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!



Yay! Yay, yay, yaaaaaay!

JRR joins JKR in second place!

So it seems that I mostly write like Ann Rice, with a smattering of JKR (not surprising) and a touch of JRR Tolkien (though probably not as much of JRR as I would like, which might explain the spectacular lack of comments I always get on my LOTR stories ;-)

Comments

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 10:50 am (UTC)

LOL!!! That seems a lot of work to find that out..... not much to do today? ;)

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 04:07 pm (UTC)
draco_halloween

LOL, worse! Lots to do (work-wise and cleaning-wise), and no inclination to do it!

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 01:55 pm (UTC)

Blimey! Not a resemblance I would have spotted...

It's interesting how different styles get picked up, isn't it? Although I really wonder how the likenesses are estimated. I did this for my Eagle sequel story The White Hare, and it came out as William Shakespeare. Which...just... No. :-D

Then I tried the story I'm working on at the moment, which has what I intended as a Kiplingesque intro, and then a more modern colloquial style. The intro came out as Oscar Wilde, and the rest was Douglas Adams. I suppose at least it did spot the change!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 04:39 pm (UTC)

Shakespeare is odd, isn't it? They're obviously not looking for blank verse! Douglas Adams is odd, too, having read some of your stories, because his writing is so mannered.

I recently gave a talk about writing and came across a website ('Gender Guesser') that analyses a sample of writing and detects whether the writer is male or female. It's based on research that supposedly found certain key words that signify male or female writing -- such as using 'you' to refer to people in general, which is a female signifier, whereas 'they' is a male signifier -- and certain n-grams -- such as punctuation-followed-by-close-quotes, which is a female signifier because, they say, even in non-fiction, women tend to bring in other people's opinions more than men do, LOL. They argue that men inform the reader, whereas women collaborate with the reader (which actually rings true for me with my Technical Writer's hat on).

Unfortunately, they call male-style writing 'informational' and female-style 'involved', which is just asking for accusations of misogyny.

They claim 60-70% accuracy for N American writers (because the weightings are different for 'Europeans', apparently). I found a list of the keywords:



but I'd love to see the n-grams.

I should think 'I write like...' uses a similar method. But liberal use of 'Legolas' is not sufficient to signify Tolkien!

Posted by: bunn (bunn)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 08:43 pm (UTC)

Wow, I shall be watching out for those words when writing now!

Do you think that your Anne Rice id may be related? (I actually quite like Anne Rice's writing style, although I'm not wild about her characterisation or plotting. But I'm guessing that the app can't detect those things. :-D )

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 31st, 2015 10:40 pm (UTC)

I've been watching for them!

One construction they said was a masculine signifier is 'x of y', eg 'garden of roses' (part of the informational business), and I noticed, when I was quoting Oscar Wilde in my talk, that he uses it a lot. (Though I think that, for him, it's part of a highly enamelled descriptive technique).

Do you mean did I score as Anne Rice because we're both female? I would think that's part of it. I imagine that, for each author, they just counted the number of different words they used and how often, and the number of different constructions they used and how often, did some statistical magic[TM], and generated a style fingerprint they could compare our samples to.

I liked The Vampire Lestat, but I gave up half way through Memnoch The Devil. I think the McGuffin had become real to her. (Also, she's very hostile towards fanfic writers).

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: October 30th, 2015 11:52 pm (UTC)
suitable job for a lady

Hmm... I have to admit to never reading anything by Ann Rice so I don't know if it is a good thing to be considered like her or not.

Thinking about your comments about male and female writing styles, it would be interesting to know what Algorithm this meme use, as we have both said before.

Perhaps it recognises your style as feminine? Although it would be interesting to know if the other one recognised them as female anyway.

If it has encouraged you to go back to Winter Magic it is clearly, however, a good thing!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: October 31st, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)

LOL, thanks!

I actually tested some of my writing with the male/female one. I chose a story in which Draco had a very strong and (I thought) masculine voice, and tested just his dialogue -- it took ages to extract it! He came out 'weak masculine, possibly European'. So I tried the same with Hermione's dialogue: 'weak feminine, possibly European'. Then I tried a sample of the story as a whole (which is close 3rd person, Hermione's POV): 'weak feminine, possibly European'.

As I said to bunn, above, I should think a 'feminine' style was part of it. I imagine they just counted the number of different words an author used and how often, and the number of different constructions they used and how often, did a statistical analysis, and generated a style fingerprint they could compare our samples to. It must have been academic research, though. They couldn't have put that much effort into an Internet meme!

Posted by: Maz (thismaz)
Posted at: December 11th, 2015 05:37 am (UTC)

Wow. *laughs* That was a entertaining read and, I imagine, a lot of work to do. Trust you to do a proper investigation and analysis.

But not really why I popped in. What I wanted to say was,

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: December 11th, 2015 07:49 am (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: December 11th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)

Running in to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Sorry it's so late - I hope you had a really good day!!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: December 11th, 2015 11:53 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

I met up with my brother and sister-in-law and ate a lot of food that was not on my diet ;-)

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