The literary blogosphere continues to buzz with angst and dismay as thousands — or maybe even millions — of people learned the shocking news this week that they write like …Dan Brown. The growing outrage — sparked by a computerized prose analysis on a obscure website called “I Write Like” — could be the biggest controversy involving Brown since the release of his insanely successful but widely reviled book, The Da Vinci Code. (BTW, Audrey Tautou was lovely as Sophie in the movie version.)In a move that some hoped would calm the fears, the NYT’s Paper Cuts blog weighed in on the controversy Thursday with a post titled “I Write Like…Yeah Right.”
“I entered my last blog post and was told I write like Edgar Allan Poe,” NYT blogger Jennifer Schuessler wrote. “Pretty neat. But then a colleague plugged in a paragraph from Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” and was told it sounded like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
One reader commented: “Thank you for debunking that. It told me I write like Dan Brown,
and I almost killed myself.”
Brown, meanwhile, has gone into seclusion after learning that he writes like Jane Austen.
PS: Only parts of this post are true. The rest is fiction. I would like to dedicate it to Jonas (I hope you’ve gotten that dreadful program to finally give you Hemingway.)
Also, I have no idea who did the cartoon — now floating freely about the Internet. (Email if you know the source.)
My friend Carolyn Kellogg at the LA Times’ fantastic Jacket Copy book blog had the most clever post today. She found a website — called I Write Like — where you can enter a few paragraphs of your prose to find out if you write like Hemingway, Chuck Palahniuk or even Bram Stoker. (There are a bunch of other authors ranging from Stephen King to J.K. Rawlings).Take the five-second test and let me know here how it goes!
If you write like Jane Austen, you win a special prize — a date with Colin Firth! (Joking.)
I was surprised to learn that I write like Kurt Vonnegut. I had no idea Mr. Vonnegut used so many exclamation points in his prose, but I applaud him!!
(Above photo found at F— Yeah, Kurt Vonnegut! on Tumblr.)