Social Question

6rant6's avatar

What famous writer do you you write like?

Asked by 6rant6 (13604 points ) April 13th, 2012

I stumbled across this site [link fixed in edit] where you paste in some of your prose, and it tells you what famous writer you write like. It’s obviously just for fun, since there’s no option to say, “you write like a third grader.”

This snippet was associated with PG Wodehouse. “I have to go outside. It’s raining. I want to stay inside. There’s mud in the yard. The dog barked when I came in. We was having twizzlers between Mike and me.”

Still. It’s fun.

My style matches Cory Doctorow supposedly. Is that good or bad? I have no idea.

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59 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Your link is wrong, brah.

ro_in_motion's avatar

Hopefully I write as well as some of them but try hard to have my own voice – something I am fairly confidant of at this point in my career.

As a kid, I stole the voices of James Thurber and Groucho Marx in a lot of my writing. In University, I discovered the Firesign Theatre and Hunter S Thompson and I can definitely see a bit of those two in my early writing.

6rant6's avatar

Can someone delete this question so I can start it over cleanly?

ro_in_motion's avatar

It’s fine as it is or you can simply point to a new link. I have no idea how to kill it.

gailcalled's avatar

Hit the contact button.

wundayatta's avatar

Ursula K LeGuin? Cory Doctorow? Pardon me, but I smell a dead fish. I don’t think there’s any real analysis going on there.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I copy and pasted a few of my longer Fluther responses and also got Cory Doctorow.

o_O

gailcalled's avatar

MIlo here; I am thrilled to write like Gail. At least she has a few redeeming qualities.

mazingerz88's avatar

Apparently, I write like James Joyce. Who-?

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t even know who Raymond Chandler is.

6rant6's avatar

Chandler is a mystery writer.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^That is disheartening, isn’t it?

6rant6's avatar

@gailcalled I took some prose from a mystery writer friend and ran it through. It said he was William Shakespeare. I wonder if anyone has heard of him?

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

H.P. Lovecraft

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Blackberry Noir writer. His most famous work is probably The Big Sleep.
Anyway, I got Kurt Vonnegut, which is funny because I have never read any of his stuff. Probably gonna start now.

Charles's avatar

Jim Murray, late sports writer for the Los Angeles Times….only because he was a smart ass too.

ro_in_motion's avatar

I’m not saying this is bad, but the site exists to sell you stuff.

6rant6's avatar

I took a random page of PG Wodehouse, copied it in, and lo and behold, it said the style was PG Wodehouse. Dickens begot Dickens. Tom Sawyer returned Twain. Sherlock Holmes returned Doyle. Okay, so __Moby Dick__ returned Doyle, and then James Fenimore Cooper, and then Poe. But four out of five? Color me impressed. Maybe Melville isn’t in the database.

filmfann's avatar

I pasted a short bit a wrote for another question, and got back Cory Doctorow.
I pasted another answer to a different question, and got back Vladimir Nabokov.
I pasted a third comment, and got Dan Brown.

Apparently, I have no style at all, which I am sure many here will confirm.
(by the way, that line comes back as Jane Austin.)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Like @Aesthetic_Mess, it churned out H. P. Lovecraft. This was after entering a blog entry. To test out the accuracy, another blog entry was submitted. Neil Gaiman came up this time. Never heard of him. So I looked him up, and oddly, he attributes HP Lovecraft as one of his literary influences. That was an interesting tidbit of information.

I also plugged in two different entries of the SO’s from our shared blog. Both came back as Dan Brown. He’s not going to be happy.

6rant6's avatar

@filmfann The shorter the snippet, the less dependable the classification, I’d guess. Pretty much everyone writes, “The end.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who the hell is Bram Stoker?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Your thinger is full of it! I posted funny stories that I’ve written about things that have happened to me in the past, and it says I write like Stephen King! I was hoping for Kipling or Milne!

gailcalled's avatar

I write, apparently, like Cory Doctorow also. He must be the default. I never heard of him, however, and do consider myself widely read.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ha ha!! I copied and pasted some thing directly from Winnie the Pooh, by AA Milne, and it came back as Raymond Chandler!

FluffyChicken's avatar

I got Stephen King for an old blog post, and James Joyce for a fluther response.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I pasted an excerpt from Mein Kampf and got H.P. Lovecraft.

And why are all these authors names so weird?

wundayatta's avatar

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction writer. I met him a few times at my local science fiction convention, back before I became too famous to attend cons ;-P He is an ok writer, but I don’t consider him more than middle of the pack.

Keep_on_running's avatar

“He is an ok writer, but I don’t consider him more than middle of the pack.”

What are you trying to say about my writing style @wundayatta?

wundayatta's avatar

Are you Cory Doctorow, @Keep_on_running? Dude!?! “Down and out in the Magic Kingdom?” What were you thinking?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Apparently I write like HP Lovecraft. What?! I wrote about the weather

thorninmud's avatar

David Foster Wallace.

flutherother's avatar

I got Leo Tolstoy, well actually it was Cory Doctorow.

tranquilsea's avatar

This surprised me: Margaret Atwood. I don’t really like her writing lol.

Blackberry's avatar

I did something longer and it said Stephen King.

downtide's avatar

I’ve been told that I write just like Brian Jaques (who wrote a series of kids/YA books called the Redwall series). I was quite flattered, as my daughter was a huge fan at the time.

stardust's avatar

I got Margaret Atwood. Huge fan so I won’t complain.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I had it “analyze” two different poems of mine, and was told I write like David Foster Wallace and Gertrude Stein.

Maybe I’ll have to try a “story” and see what it says.

Edit: I pasted in two of my blog posts, and got Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut. I wish it would have said Dean Koontz. He’s my idol and he thinks I’m funny. Teehee!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Koontz???? Argh!

6rant6's avatar

I don’t think blog posts are a fair test. For one thing, they’re not long enough. How can it gage what the distribution of your paragraph lengths is? For another, the questions shape the use of pronouns. Plus they always redact anything really good.Finally, writing fiction is different than writing op ed pieces. I know, I know. A lot of what gets written here is fiction, but it’s written as if it were op ed.

6rant6's avatar

One of Doctorow’s novels, Maker is made available by him for download. He’s at the forefront of the creative commons movement. He writes glib SciFi.

Part of a review:

Makers is a book for the lovers of technology, for the gleeful optimists more than the cynics. It’s for the people who love the kooky engineering projects you see on Boing Boing, for the people who believe that, as the poster says, “The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.”

Bellatrix's avatar

I write like Anne Rice.

Now, if only I can write a book that sells like hers do…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Okay, okay, no more blogs. I posted a portion of a book I’ve been fiddling with off and on, and it says I write like Chuck Palahniuk.

mazingerz88's avatar

Wrote while drunk. It came out George Bush.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Mine was consistent. I put in three different pieces of writing, one on Antigone, one about public transportation, and a short story about Beethoven, and I got H.P. Lovecraft each time.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

It probably judges your writing based on certain words and sentence length. I’m sure if I just wrote a bunch of gibberish and threw in a couple of words that one writer uses a lot, it would give me that writer.

gailcalled's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess: I’d be interested in that experiment. If you have the time, why not try it?

thorninmud's avatar

A couple of days ago, I wrote an answer deliberately in a Raymond Chandler-ish style. I just plugged that into the app, and it returned “James Joyce”.

6rant6's avatar

Found this article on how the site came to be. According to it, the programmer put up the website and discovered it got a lot of attention, then asked for advice on how to use it to make money.

Bellatrix's avatar

Well I have now put in three pieces of creative writing.

The first piece – I write like Anne Rice.
The second piece – I write like Ian Fleming.
The third piece – I write like James Joyce.

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix How long were they?

Bellatrix's avatar

Between 250–500 words. Each piece was from a different genre of writing and they were produced over a long period of time. The earliest has me as Ian Fleming and was from a ghost story. The second was from the intro to a crime novel (James Joyce), the third was something I wrote for a writing class and I am not sure what I would catagorise that as but it was a fiction piece.

It would be very interesting to know what exactly is being coded. (I should say I don’t believe I write in the style of any of those writers. I don’t actually have any faith in the accuracy of this website. It would be nice if it was true though.)

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix I think we’d have to decide what “accuracy” meant before we could agree orn an evaluation of this website. According to the developer, here are the things his software measures:

”...it takes into account more stylistic features of the text, such as the number of words in sentences, the number of commas, semicolons, and whether the sentence is a direct speech or a quotation…”

I think 250 is too little to evaluate with any confidence. I was feeding it at least 2,000 words when it was recognizing the authors.

Pretty clearly, if it doesn’t recognize vocabulary then it would be a hollow imitation of a human being insofar as we can recognize authors.

Bellatrix's avatar

Well I am not really giving it any credence. However, I just went back and looked and it did say include a few paragraphs for ‘accurate’ results but it gave me a verdict based on what I put in. I won’t be putting this information on my resume though @6rant6. I see the validity of this as being in the same realm as reading your horoscope. I don’t seriously think I write like any of those people. I write like myself and my writing changes depending upon the genre I am working in.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Like @Bellatrix I got varied results with the same text. It appears there are a limited amount of authors the thing spews out.

I purposely popped in some Thoreau and then wrote in his style. For the exact quote I got Isaac Asimov. For Thoreau style, James Joyce…tried again, HP Lovecraft.

6rant6's avatar

@Bellatrix I absolutely agree that if it didn’t reject you for not following the rules, then it is worthless.

__I don’t know if you took the time to read the OP which said, “It’s obviously just for fun.” Of course I always enjoy you arguing the obvious when I’ve already stated it.__

Bellatrix's avatar

Edited by me.

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