I Am Vladimir Nabokov

Christopher Fowler
Actually, I'm also James Joyce and David Foster Wallace, whoever he is. Yes, I succumbed to the 'I Write Like' website that analyses your prose and tell you who you're like in prose style. I Write Like, designed by software developers Coding Robots, lets you paste in a section of your prose and analyses your vocabulary, sentence-length and punctuation. It then compares this to a list of 40 US-centric famous writers, and comes up with the closest comparison to your style. Only it doesn't, not really. On the one hand, you only get compared to somebody wonderful and popular in America, so nobody turns out to be William McGonagall, and it seems you can be a load of different writers, depending on which chapter you submit for testing. I was kind of hoping for JG Ballard, but he seems unknown in this site. So I loaded a chunk of J G Ballard text, and the software decided that he was, in actual fact, Stephen King. As it also did, apparently, for Margaret Atwood. So much for technology replacing teachers.


hampshireflyer (not verified) Fri, 16/07/2010 - 17:43

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Does it even tell you how it works? I got both Stephen King and Mario Puzo when I pasted in different blog posts...

Daniel (not verified) Fri, 16/07/2010 - 19:21

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I posted in a few of my short stories, to be told I write like Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and then finally I got Dan Brown. I thought to myself "How amazing is this? After just three pieces pasted in, it knows that I write like me!", then I realised that it meant that <em>other</em> Dan Brown. The one with the multi-million pound book deal and five shelves worth of his novels in every second hand bookshop...

Not including William McGonagall was a grave error, mind you. I'd be walking on air for a week if I was compared to him. To be told you're, stylistically speaking, a bit plodding and mediocre (King and Brown), is faintly upsetting to the ego; to be so bad it verges on comic genius is something else entirely. Even if it's just a piece of software doing the judging. All that being said, I'm clinging firmly to the Atwood comparison. It's my ego, I'll flatter it however I want.

Alan Morgan (not verified) Fri, 16/07/2010 - 19:57

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well just to join in with the cool kids, I looked it up.

More normally it seems James Joyce or Magaret Mitchell. For the Campaign For Real Fear - David Fisher Wallace.

And the Blog topic our jolly admin started this with? Margaret Atwood. Mind you, how many answers are actually possible?

Brian (not verified) Sat, 17/07/2010 - 01:16

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

"...David Foster Wallace. Whoever he is." And you don't appear to be joking. I'm stunned. Go out immediately and purchase Infinite Jest.

Anne Hill Fernie (not verified) Fri, 30/07/2010 - 13:15

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I got 'Arthur C Clarke' which is pretty strange considering most (real people) feedback so far has been more of the 'Dickens-esque' variety.........

Anne Hill Fernie (not verified) Fri, 30/07/2010 - 13:25

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Creepy postcript to the above. I'm not a lover of science fiction, have never read Arthur C Clarke and the story I 'sampled' is set in present day Salford but spookily I DID have a header quote from the film of 2001 A Space Odyssey (which I DIDNT paste in...) how very odd.