Analyze This (writing sample)

by John MacBeath Watkins

Well, here's a fun new game.  I've discovered, via Obsidian Wings, a tool that analyzes writing samples, compares them to the writing of famous authors, and tells you who you write like.

I've put in a number of posts on this blog, and the tool sometimes thinks I write like David Foster Wallace, sometimes James Joyce, Margaret Atwood, H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Chuck Palahniuk and (this is a little embarrassing) Dan Brown.  Strangely, it seems to make a difference when I include my byline.

Two of Jamie's posts came up as being like Stephen King, or H. P. Lovecraft, or David Foster Wallace.

In this post, by the way, it says I'm writing like David Foster Wallace.

Makes a man quietly proud.  Of course, the tool is probably intended to flatter people into using the other services offered at the site.


  1. I entered my recent bit of flash fiction and it came back with Vladimir Nabokov--now, isn't that a hoot! My other stuff is all like David Foste Wallace--he seems rather popular...

    I'm inclined to agree with you, that it may be a ploy...

  2. Of course, that doesn't mean it isn't valid. I just don't know how to interpret the fact that it came back with so many different authors that I write like. Of course, those that mentioned religion tended to bring up Dan Brown, and the poetry brings up Joyce because it doesn't sound like prose, but why all the others?


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