Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Write Like...

Everybody and their second cousin twice removed (and when did the second cousin twice removed not qualify as 'everybody') has been bitten by the I Write Like bug. It is simple (go to the site, paste a piece of text, click the Analyze button, and share or not share depending on how you feel about the result), it is addictive (if you get Kurt Vonnegut and PG Wodehouse, wouldn't you want to keep going?), and great fun (who would have thought chick lit could seem like hard core science fiction?).

But this is not about me. This is about my six year old and his future. About a year back, he decided he was a 'Storyteller', and for nearly a month insisted on telling me a story a day everyday. Sometimes I wrote them down, mostly I couldn't dredge up the energy to do to so, but the stories never ceased. This summer (an Indian summer, in case you don't know, rougly corresponds to an American or European Spring- it starts in March and ends sometime in May/ June), he discovered Powerpoint, and insisted on typing the stories himself. Since his spelling skills are at about the same level as his typing skills, it was tough going for him, and after a couple of days, he stopped writing stories altogether (and discovered a new medium for storytelling - puppets, but that is another story). But I do have this
bank of stories written entirely by him, without any unconscious edits from my side.

I decided to analyse one of those stories, and this is what I came up with.
Next story. Identical result.
Third story. Same result.
Fourth story, fifth story, sixth story....... there must be something to the programme after all, if it throws up the same result each time.

When I ran out of stories from this Summer, I tried some of the stories from last year. Every one of them threw up either a Rudyard Kipling or a L. Frank Baum.

Nobody else that I know of has got such consistent results. Maybe I should stop stressing about his (lack of) subtraction skills, and start focussing on encouraging him to write. Who knows, there may well be a future Nobel laureate in the family?


For another Delusional Thursday post, head over to Burrowers, Books & Balderdash to learn why you should not be turning fans on unless you want to heat your room in winter.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great! I think you've a budding author there.

aLmYbNeNr said...

That is really awesome! Definitely encourage his writing! This is the first I've heard of the site but I'll have to check it out - have you tried pasting text from a book to see if it spit back that author - or another?

Jules said...

This is just as cute as can be and yes I would encourage him. I've seen that sight but I'm afraid my writing would come back anonymous.

Drama Queen said...

That is great!

I put my blog in, and I write like Stephen King. I was hoping for Ernest Hemingway!

KarenG said...

How exciting! Yes, I'd definitely encourage this young man. And now I want to go try the site!

Jayne said...

I haven't tried that site yet, but am well impressed with your boy typing things up in Powerpoint at such a young age - WOW! Even if he found it tough going that is still awesome. :)

RA said...

Hey that's cool! I'll run with this! :)

slommler said...

When I put mine in it said James Joyce!! Interesting!
And sounds like you have a writer there in this young man. That is wonderful!!

Tina said...

That is so amazing! I mean, he'll still need to subtract, but how lovely that he's a writer! Now I need to go check this out...wonder who I write like...

Saumya said...

I am not surprised about your consistent results. You will definitely make your family incredibly proud with your literary accomplishments :)

(I was, however, surprised that Kim Kardashian got James Joyce! That's how I first heard about this.)

Stephen Tremp said...

That was fun. I did it last week and my result came back Dan Brown. I'm in good company. And Kim Kardashian can read and write>?!?!?!

Stephen Tremp

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Most enjoyable Rayna. well done,think you'll do well.


RosieC said...

That's really great, Rayna. Talent must run in the family :)

Cricket McRae said...

How does your son feel about the results? Is he a fan of Kipling?

I'm going to have to check out that site. Thanks for the reminder!
Hearth Cricket

dipali said...

Most impressed! You have to tell us when his first story gets published:)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I haven't tried this exercise yet. I think I'm afraid to. :)

Clarissa Draper said...

I write lots of different stories and when I pasted in my different novels I kept getting new writers from Dan Brown to David Foster Wallace.

So, what does that tell me? Perhaps I'm schizophrenic. ha ha ha...


Amy said...

Coming from a teacher... er, a person who spent 7 years learning about teaching... YES, encourage the writing! Teaching him typing skills so he can write his stories. Let him know that he should write without worrying about spelling, just get his thoughts out. He can go back and edit later.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Alex- I certainly hope so. If he doesn't write, it is a waste of a perfectly good imagination.

@ Amber- I haven't but others have, and it has given strange results.

@ Jules- why don't you try it for a lark?

@ Drama Queen- Stephen King means your blog is well edited- says a lot about you.

@ KarenG- it is fun, isn't it?

@ Jayne- he types with one finger, and needs me to spell out most of the words, but I am happy he does it on his own.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ RA- none of my friends have been as consistent as my kid.

@ SueAnn- wow. James Joyce is awesome.

@ Tina- absolutely. What is life without subtraction?

@ Saumya- there are shades to her that I did not suspect.

@ Stephen- lol!
And Dan Brown mean you will be successful.

@ Yvonne - thanks

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Rosie- he's much better than I could be, or was at that age.

@ Cricket- not really, but he does love animal stories, so will be if I introduce him to Kipling.

@ dipali- do you seriously think I will not tell you.

@ Patricia- it is great fun.

@ Clarissa- it tells you that your style is dependent on the stories you write- which is a good thing!

@ Amy- I will, Amy, I will. Spellings are important, but not the only thing.


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