Friday, August 27, 2010
Writers Can Be Scientists Too
At least, according iwl.com which will analyze paragraphs of your writing and let you know who you write like based on word choice. I tried it a few months ago and got Stephen King, but the same text today resulted in Margaret Mitchell so I wouldn't go around telling people you'll be the next Stephanie Meyer or Herman Meville.
Since it uses keywords to analyze and sort, I thought I'd see how genre affected my results. Putting my high school science education to work, I hypothesized that since my word choice and tone vary according to the rhetorical situation that my results would change according to genre. I tested a few some fiction pieces, blog posts, and academic essays and as predicted my results changed between the genres. My academic essays both resulted in H. P. Lovecraft and my blogs posts resulted in Cory Doctorow, but my fiction ranged from Margaret Mitchell to J.D. Salinger. Why? I'd guess because I'm still trying to find my voice with fiction while I have a set voice in my other writing, but it will take another experiment to confirm that.