Who Do You Write Like?

There’s a nifty little tool that will tell you what famous author you write like, when you paste a sample of your work in the Analyzer.  It’s I Write Like.  I’ve used it before with some of my blog posts.  The results were…mixed.  I got Stephanie Meyer and Margaret Mitchell.  One is a Pulitzer Prize winner, the other is not.  I leave it to you to determine which is which.  But hey, either way, I’ve got what it takes to sell a lot of books, right?  Yeah.

Pulitzer Prize for literature

This could be mine one day...

I forgot about the site.  Then, when looking around on the wordpress forums, I saw the thread,  “See Who You Write Like”, started by TheInsanityAquarium.    I started thinking.  Unusual, I know.

I’m writing a novel.  I have over 20,000 words I could plug into this baby.  This isn’t some silly blog post.  This is me, as a novelist.  Who do I write like?

So, I went to the WIP, and copied and pasted each session into the I Write Like analyzer.  (This and Words With Friends is what I do when I should be adding to my word count.  Procrastinate much? )  Anyway, here’s what I got.

Lewis Carrol (once)
Kurt Vonnegut (three times)
Ian Fleming ( SIX times)

Me, the dork that I am, Googled each author and their writing style.  (I could have written 1,000s of words in the time it took.  *sigh*)   I wanted to know what “you write like…” meant.

Lewis Carrol

Lewis Carroll, the well-known author of Alice'...

  • “Frequently use italics for emphasis” and employ “odd usage of parentheses and capital letters.”  Viewed as “unprofessional.”  Source:  Down the Rabbit Hole and Back
  • Use nonsense words.

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut speaking at Case Western Reserve...

(I went to the man himself for style advice)

  • Find a subject you care about
  • Do not ramble, though.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Have the guts to cut.
  • Sound like yourself.
  • Say what you mean to say.
  • Pity the readers.
Ian Fleming oil painting

Ian Fleming (Keep in mind, I got this SIX times)

There is actually a web page called, “How to Write Like Ian Fleming.” 

  • Describe food in detail, but make sure it’s good food.
  • Have your characters drink plenty of alcohol.
  • Include sensuous details about clothes.
  • Let your characters take time to relax and enjoy themselves now and then.

“The Fleming style, which he consciously adopted and employed in all his work, includes details calculated to excite the senses and give readers a taste of luxury and hedonism.”

————————————

There you have it.  Who (and What) I write like.  Three very different writers from three distinct time periods.  So what does this mean for me?

Nothing.

Well, except for the fact that I write like a dude.

———————————-

Just for fun, who do you write like?  I’d love to see who you get and what you think of it.  Here’s the link again:  I Write Like…

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20 thoughts on “Who Do You Write Like?

  1. I plugged in a few blog posts and got Stephanie Meyer (on one that was more of a story telling style), Jack London, and someone else that I can’t even remember. I think my style changes a lot depending on the nature of the post, but I haven’t jumped into the novel writing yet!

    • That is fantastic! I pasted mine in by session. I guess I should compile and plug the whole thing in. Of course, that’s probably a waste of time. It’s gonna be Ian Fleming. I swear, I’m not writing a James Bond novel or anything like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

  2. OK – I’ll admit – I’m cheating ‘cos I did this elsewhere (yes, you know where) but hey, you didn’t say I had to do it again to comment, now did you? ALSO – given what your are writing ABOUT I can understand the Ian Fleming style poking through – pun intended.

    I used the draft first chapter of my book an it seems I write like Chuck Palahniuk. I don’t know who he is but he seems to have a lot of books on Amazon, so I guess that is OK?

    Then I got H. P. Lovecraft on a second sample.

    A third sample resulted in Cory Doctorow.

    Trying to see if there was ANY consistency to my style at all, I tried a lucky last fourth sample. This time I got Edgar Allan Poe.

    So I either have NO style at all, or am so accomplished if I was an artist I could paint forgeries for a living.

    I then found out Chuck Palahniuk wrote Fight Club! In a way, I can live with that!

  3. I am so jealous that numerous people I know who have had a look at this website got Vonnegut! The man is basically my literature hero. When I did it I got H. G. Wells and William Gibson. So as I said on the forum thread… a narcissistic writer who lived out his own sick fantasies through his stories and the man they call the ‘noir prophet’… Vonnegut or no Vonnegut, I was still rather happy with that 😀

  4. Erin thats brilliant, it tells me i’m great at poetry, better than i ever thought i was 🙂

    My first poem, ” a sad life ” it said i write like, James Joyce.
    My second poem ” terra firma ” i write like, Dan Brown.
    My third poem, ” lifes a bitch ” i write like, Stephen King.

    So i’m going to take poetry up full time, get a book printed and make millions 🙂 what do you think, or should i just stay on the pension 🙂

  5. Erin, you rock! How on earth do you find time to share these gems with us, raise all those kids, work and write the Nano contest? I cannot imagine how you do it. But I sure do admire you and appreciate this post. (PS I did it before a few times and it always varies, guess it depends what we are writing at the time, rather thinking, lol)

  6. My last blog post (the one about writing & cake decorating) is apparently in the style of J.K. Rowling. Not bad! I’ll take it! 🙂 I’ll have to paste in my NaNo novel next. Fun site! And yes, I should be adding to my word count, not doing this, so thanks!

  7. Pingback: Guest Post – Reading, Writing and being Bonkers by Simone | Day in the life of a Busy Gal…

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