Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Am Not Dead (Well, I THINK That I Am Not Dead, But I Could Always Be Wrong)

So I'm here after an era of a hiatus to bring you *cue heavenly chorus* a whiny writer identity crisis post.
Yeah, sorry.
For some reason, I decided to paste a portion of my manuscript into the I Write Like analyzer. And it spat out this:

I tried it again, this time with a different portion of text, and it still insisted:

I then copied my ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT into the box and punched "Analyze".
Three guesses as to what it told me.
By this point, I was pretty offended. It's been a long time since I've read any of the Twilights, but one thing I remember noticing about SM's style is that she layers on her adverbs. I've lost track of how many articles I've read that warned me not to overuse my adverbs, so I'm pretty conscientious about where I put my ly's.
So I started researching critiques of her style. I found a forum that raised some interesting points, and a tumblr blog that is both hilarious and intimidating.
Some of the main problems people have with SM's writing is her Mary Sue of a main character, the unhealthy romance, her slow pacing and anti-climaxes, her repetitious prose, and her overall lack of taking the writing craft seriously.

The character development and story issues don't really have anything to do with me. I'm not saying that my crap is perfect (or that it's better than Twlight--that's an opinion that I'm going to stay away from) but the Analyzer was judging my style, not my story.
Even though I'm writing the second draft of my novel, it's still a rough draft. I think it's even rougher than my first draft. Seriously, this thing is UG-LAY. It needs major cosmetic reconstructions. So maybe I am making some Meyer-esque mistakes. Maybe I'm over describing stuff. Maybe I'm using a bit too many m-dashes in my hasty typing. Maybe my attempt to dwelve further into my characters' heads and play with their voices has resulted in some language that is crude and simplistic.
Maybe once I [finish and] edit my manuscript, I'll try the analyzer thingy again and I'll get a different answer.
Maybe I really do write like Stephenie Meyer.
Maybe I should just shut up and get back to writing.
Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe baby.

I still don't know what to think. 


  1. I tried it three times and got Vladimir Nabokov for one scene, J. K. Rowling for another, and Harry Harrison for the manuscript as a whole. Not really sure who Vladimir and Harry are and it's been many years since I read Harry Potter so I'm not entirely sure what this says about my writing style... but, at the end of the day, our writing styles are all unique. We might be statistically "similar" to other writers, but that doesn't mean we are exactly like them or that we share their weaknesses (though we would hope to share their strengths!).

    So I wouldn't worry too much about it, Elle :) I had a big freak-out over writing voice the other day and it killed my drive to write and staked any natural writing voice I had through the heart. Just write the words that come to you -- that is the raw outpouring of your imagination. That in itself has its own beauty and charm. Any particularly rough parts can be polished up later. For now, just write the way you WANT to write, not the way you feel you SHOULD write. And if the analyser says you’re like Stephenie Meyer again, well, at least you have no sparkly vampires in Everlae. That’s one point for it right there ;D

    1. You are my writing guru, I swear. Thank you.(:

      Haha, there may be a few sparkly faeries here and there. But at least faeries are expected to sparkle...


I'd love to hear your thoughts!