As I was cruising the forums on www.nanowrimo.org, wasting time by not writing to meet my quota, I came upon a thread that asked who would you like to write like. Curious, I clicked and read about an online “test” that could tell you who you write like. There are several authors who have inspired me to write and it was interesting to see if I could score to be like them. If you want to take the test go here: iwl.me
For myself, I took a couple different excerpts and tested them, getting several different results: Stephenie Meyer, Jane Austen and Ursula K. Le Guin. While I don’t know how the test works, in the following sections, I’ll explain what I posted and how I think it relates to the results.
The above came from a heavy talking scene (I do a lot of that). I like Stephenie Meyer. She’s not my favorite by far, but I definitely respect her for several reasons. I won’t go into that here, but I will say that I know why this came up. One of my main characters, of which I have two, is named Jacob. He’s been Jacob for years. I love that name and it just fits the character. When I read Twilight, I thought about giving up on that name as a character, but I can’t. Jacob has existed in my head since high school, and I just can’t change his name now. Still, I don’t know if it’s that, or the fact that it was heavy on dialogue that scored this excerpt as Stephenie Meyer. I’m actually quite please with this result for several reasons: she hit it big time, she came up with a fairly new idea, and it was about vampires, a species that I’ve had a crush on since I read Dracula the first time. Or maybe it was when I first saw Dracula: Dead and Loving it. Not that it matters. It did not bother me that her vampires sparkled, perhaps because I saw the movie before reading the book, but I’d like to think that I have an open mind.
This one came from a heavy description scene. Yay! My favorite all-time author. I went through a few phases of what I liked to read while growing up, however, in my AP English class in high school I was introduced to Jane Austen. I had never thought of reading literary fiction for fun before. It was a chore to be done. Also, I just don’t like being told what to read (I was also introduced to Faulkner during this year. I hate him to this day). I fell in love with her style. Her prose flows so well, so when I get this, as I usually do, from my descriptive scenes, I’m ecstatic. Of course, this could be a not-so-good thing. When Jane Austen was writing flowery and heavily descriptive writing was what was in. It’s not really in today. At least, not in the same genre as she was writing (thinking contemporary fiction would have fit her category if she were writing today). I still see some language that can be over the top, but they are usually in Fantasy books, where description is often necessary to help the readers see worlds that don’t exist. Since I write, primarily, fantasy that’s not such a bad thing. Still, if I could write like Jane Austen every day, that would be awesome!
This one came, and regularly comes as I expand on my nanowrimo novel, from the entire manuscript. I’m ashamed to admit, that while I’ve heard of her and seen the TV/Movie adaptations of her works, I’ve never actually read any of her books. So I can’t really explain why I think my novel sounds anything like the Earthsea novels. It could be because I have several words that I have made up, as I know she must have. It could be that in several places I put a stress on names, as I believe she does (at least I get that from watching the adaptations). It looks like I’ll be adding these to my Christmas wish list.
The really odd thing, to me, is that I seem to write like women. I’ve read, and have been inspired by male writers as well, like Piers Anthony, CS Lewis, Robert Pullman and Stephen King. Perhaps I’ll have to reread some of their work and find out what they have that I don’t. Not that I’m putting much faith into this game, since that’s all it is, but still, it’s interesting that they were all female writers and I’m a female writer.