13
Jul

Margaret Atwood, Me & Stephen King

   Posted by: Brent Toderash   in writers

Grain of Salt I follow a number of authors and writers on Twitter, and today when I saw Margaret Atwood tweet that she writes like Stephen King, I was intrigued. Apparently an online tool can analyze a few paragraphs of your writing and tell you which author’s style yours most resembles. And I had to know. So it was that I discovered,

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Huzzah! That analysis is based on an excerpt from my unfinished novel, which according to the wisdom of some random autodrones, seems to be written at the same level as a couple of award-winning authors. Nice. As for my latest blog post, it turns out that

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Now, not really being a horror reader or writer, I wasn’t that familiar with H. P. Lovecraft, so I did a quick lookup. Turns out, Lovecraft is considered a cult figure and “a true successor of Edgar Allan Poe.” Not only that,

Although Lovecraft’s readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft — as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century — has exerted “an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction”. Stephen King called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

I can’t decide if it’s good to be compared to such an imposing personage, or if it’s bad to be compared to someone who wasn’t very widely read in his own lifetime. Or if altogether this means that I should be switching things up and starting to write horror. Well, at least I didn’t get Dan Brown. That would really depress me.

I thought I’d try something from this blog, but the only post I have here that’s really long enough is Down at the Crossroads, a post I did two years ago simply to capture some rough notes about an experience we had on the Blues Highway in the Mississippi Delta. And wouldn’t you know it,

I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Almost makes me want to give up the craft, but then I reasoned that this post represents rough notes with very little or no editing done on it… not something I’d consider publishable. In fact, except for this one, which came up as (-ahem!-) Chuck Palahniuk, several of my unedited stream-of-consciousness blog posts came up as Dan Brown. And in that context, everything made sense again. And besides,

I write like
Margaret Atwood

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

…which made me wonder why Margaret Atwood apparently doesn’t write like Margaret Atwood.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 2:38 pm and is filed under writers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment

 1 

Curious. I tried some text from my oldest daughter (12) who evidently also writes like Stephen King. My youngest (almost 9):

I write like
J. D. Salinger

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software.
Analyze your writing!

Be afraid. I am.

July 13th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

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