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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Do You Write Like?

Here's a fun website that's being cited all over the place these days. It's called "I Write Like." You paste your original text in the text box and the site "analyzes" your style and tells you who you write like. I put in the last two poems I've finished, and the first was apparently in the style of Arthur C. Clarke (yes, the science fiction writer), and the second was a la James Joyce. (Ironically it was my poem about Mendeleev, the father of the period table, that was Joycean not science-y, while my poem about mothers-in-law was science fiction-y). Well, this analyzer a totally useless tool  (is that an oxymoron? if something is useless, can it even be considered a tool?) but still kind of fun.

Tonight I was too tired to write but I still stared at my notebook for awhile until an image which I have been thinking about for months suddenly matched itself up with a line. So I got a line and a half out of the evening, and paltry though that may be, I'm pretty happy about it because I tried to force this image into the last two poems I've written (the ones mentioned above) but could not make it work, so I took it out again and just kept it around to see what happens. You know how you're told as a writer not to save anything for the next project, but to use it all up in the current poem with the trust that there will be more images and more wonderful lines coming in the future? Well, I completely subscribe to that policy, but you still have to be sure that everything you put into the poem, no matter how perfect it is on its own, works to further the piece. If not, out it goes, and you hope that someday it will work somewhere.

And tonight it did.

Feel free to tell me who you write like too, if the spirit moves you.

4 comments:

Chris said...

Cory Doctorow, maybe because I've been rereading some of his father's novels recently.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

I love it, Chris! Intergenerational space-time influence.

Perogyo said...

I got HP Lovecraft! I was thinking more like Jennifer Weiner, but I guess the subject of my blog doesn't really lend itself to that.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

HP Lovecraft! I'm jealous!