Saturday, January 17, 2015

Have I Become a Canadian?

I have occasionally gone to a web site called "I Write Like". One simply copies into the site a page or two of something and immediatly it spits out who your writing is like. It's a fun site but it's come up with such oddities for my writing as Rudyard Kipling, James Joyce, and Stephen Crane.  I feel no affinity to any of them and am unsure what about the samples an algorithm could have selected.

However, I've just finished writing a longish short story with five different characters, each in segments of their own. I was wondering if each has a specific "voice" or style. So this morning I input a segment about a couple, he with PTSD and she a dental hygienist.  What was spit out at me was "I write like Cory Doctorow". Who? I never heard of him. But Wikipedia tells me his a living Canadian who blogs, writes essays and publishes current topic books as well as quite a few YA sci-fi novels. I went to his blog and liked what I read. I do not read YA novels or sci-fi either. Perhaps we have a somewhat similar attitude toward people with psychic problems and caring spouses. Who knows?  Not me.

A short while ago, finishing off a punctuation directed reading of the short story, I copied into I Write Like a section about an elderly woman and her care taker planning their day.  Comes back, in a blink of the computer's virtual eye, "I write like Margaret Atwood."  Another Canadian -- one whose work I am happy to be compared to but I see no similarities.  I can only wonder if I'm acquiring a Canadian mindset, or maybe it's phrasiology.

I think the moral of this story is don't believe anything one tells you about your own writing whether you are flattered or not.  I have my quirks and they have theirs and if there are similiaries, nice! We writers have to take an ounce of flattery anywhere we can get it.

Note: I am distraught that Wikipedia no longer lets me copy their photos of famous people onto another website, i.e., my blog. I don't believe for a minute that they're in the privacy business.


Kass said...

"I Write Like" seems really fun.

You can always take a picture of your screen when things are not able to be copied. You have to crop, but I do it a lot....or maybe it's easier to just 'Image google' it.

June Calender said...

I don't know about image google. CAn you tell me more or ought I look it up?

barbara judge said...

Well I agree -- take compliments whenever you can -- it feels good. So some kudos to you on your very fine posts. - - barbara

June Calender said...

Thank you, Barbara, indeed I'm always happy to have kudus.

Kass said...

When you do a google search, just include "image" in the search. Sometimes you have to click on the image to make it possible to drag to your desktop. Then you can save it to your desktop and select it when you want to. I have a Mac so I don't know how things work on a PC, but it should be similar.

June Calender said...

Thanks, Kass. I have a Mac too and I love being able to drag images. I've been doing it with Wikipedia photos of famous people. But lately the ones on Wiki will not move to my desktop screen and I go searching else where.
Sometimes I'm impatient and don't search very hard.