I Write Like…

I’ve been posting to kuro5hin since it split from slashdot under one name or another. Having been there to see it born I feel obligated to stick around to see it end. I’ve contributed a lot to the site over the years in terms of both stories (rated content) and diaries (unrated content). One of the guys ponied up a link to I Write Like and I gave it a try. I would say it’s interesting in terms of proposition but not in terms of accuracy. When I was actually trying to write like a particular author – usually William Gibson – it instead chose Stephen King. This is sort of sad since I think his writing is crap, but if they put William Gibson in there I’m afraid far too many people would simply go “who”?

It eventually chose David Foster Wallace and Lewis Carroll.

The exposition I wrote when asked for comment:

When I’m writing a manual, it comes out like Wallace. When I’m writing for atmosphere, it comes out like Steven King or Lewis Carol.

Which is weird, because when I’m writing for atmosphere I am usually trying to write like William Gibson. That is to say I try to describe people, places and things with detail while making an effort to withhold information so I can also describe this later.

Neuromancers first line was “the sky above the port was the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel”. I always thought it was a great, great piece of writing, and what possibly adds value to it as a metaphor is the idea that new TVs – the hip, high tech and sleek ones he wrote about – don’t give you the static gray anymore. It’s only if you know how things were before, or you explore a piece of technology which is “old and busted” to find a use for it, which would provide you with what a TV might look like tuned to a dead channel. In this march of technology the writing becomes more relevant to the gritty cyberpunk culture Gibson wrote about. “The street finds it’s own use for things”.

Go figure.