Digging for Words

One writer's quest to bring the past to life through imagination

I write like…!


OK, this is a quick one, but it’s a lot of fun. An article today in the L.A. Times features a website called “I Write Like” where you can pop in a few paragraphs of text and discover which famous writer your style most resembles. I did it about ten times, selecting different sections from The Thrall’s Tale, this blog, and my new novel, Pasture of Heaven. Here’s what I got:

For The Thrall’s Tale, James Joyce and Charles Dickens, which is both a daunting compliment and an answer to why some people find the book challenging to read.

I write like
Charles Dickens

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

For the blog, I’m apparently Arthur C. Clarke from my most recent entry, Facing the Editor, and David Foster Wallace for Whirligig Mind!

And for Pasture of Heaven, I’m alternately Neil Gaiman, Rudyard Kipling and Frank L. Baum. Hmmm… how do I take all this? I should be so blessed!!!

(By the way, why don’t I write like any women?)

P.S. Check out the interesting experiment The New York Times did with the same “I write like” site: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/getting-the-not-quite-right-stuff-from-i-write-like/


Author: Judith

Judith Lindbergh's latest novel, Pasture of Heaven, is about a nomad woman warrior on the Central Asian steppes in the 5th century BCE. (And there really were!) Her first novel, The Thrall's Tale, is a literary historical novel about three women in the first Viking Age settlement in 10th century Greenland. The Thrall's Tale was a Booksense Pick and a Borders Original Voices selection. Judith is also the founder and director of The Writers Circle, a creative writing program offering workshops for children and adults.

5 thoughts on “I write like…!

  1. Harry Harrison, Kurt Vonnegut, David Foster Wallace … oh wait I’m a woman too. This is weird, but fascinating.

  2. Ooo…sounds fun and a little terrifying. I’m definitely going to try this!

  3. Well, let’s see. The first time I wrote like Jack London. The second time I wrote like Arthur Conan Doyle! Both different sections of the Alaska book. I’m afraid the website might be worthless, after all. But it was fun.

  4. I submitted two different snippets from my first chapter and both came up David Foster Wallace. I decided to Google him and the first website that came up informed me that the author hanged himself in 2008. This bodes well for my future as an author, eh?

  5. This was really fun.

    For my new novel, The Fairest Portion of the Globe, I wrote like David Foster Wallace (yes, the “hanged himself” guy). I read that his work was called a “manic, human, flawed extravaganza.” Which I think actually describes my book pretty well!

    For my earlier novel, To the Ends of the Earth, I got Kurt Vonnegut. His work, as Wikipedia says, is characterized by “wild leaps of imagination and a deep cynicism, tempered by humanism.” I actually don’t think I’m cynical at all. But I’m still flattered to be compared to Vonnegut, even if it’s just by an Internet novelty website.

    And for the blog, I got H.P. Lovecraft. Known for his weird fiction, blending the mystical, supernatural, and the real.

    Wow, no wonder I’m not connecting with the “Sweet Potato Mamas” crowd.

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