Mighty Red Pen

July 20, 2010

I write like . . . Dan Brown

Filed under: Lit review — mighty red pen @ 7:38 pm

In a thorough analysis by the computer algorithm hard at work over at I Write Like, yesterday’s post here at MRP was said to be written in the style of Cory Doctorow. Do I sound like a total Philistine if I say this is an author with whom I’m totally unfamiliar, despite the fact that he’s apparently a great influence on my style of writing?

The fact that this post was deemed by I Write Like to be written in the style of Dan Brown caused Mister MRP to hoot out loud (no disrespect to Dan Brown). I, on the other hand, take it only to mean that MRP’s style is easily accessible to and popular with thousands and thousands of people. Or something like that.

I feel slightly redeemed (again, no disrespect to Dan Brown) by the fact that this post was deemed to be written in the style of Vladimir Nabokov, who is actually mentioned in the post.

So there you have it.

Dave Itzkoff at the New York Times and Christopher Shea at the Boston Globe both have at I Write Like, which also finds that they both write like Dan Brown (Shea subjects his own work, and a smart-aleck commenter of Itzkoff’s puts his article through IWL for him). Coincidence or just keeping good company?


  1. […] was scrolling through my feeds and noticed a guy calling himself “Mighty Red Pen” ran a few of his posts an algorithm that purports to analyze your writing — he wrote, it said, sometimes like Dan Brown, other times like Cory Doctorow, and once like […]

    Pingback by blog.rightreading.com » I write like … — July 20, 2010 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  2. This certainly is an interesting algorithm, and it seems almost like an opinion I’ve heard expressed in the past, that certain pieces of writing have different voices or characters as a whole. The fact that every piece that I put in seemed to come up with a different result seemed interesting to me. On a random note, I wonder if anyone has typed in some of Dan Brown’s work, just to see if it comes up as influenced by him. Oh, yeah, and he was also the guy that popped up most to me. I really hope you’re right about the mass appeal being what it means! It’d really give me good hopes for my dream career.

    Comment by JokiLoki22 — July 20, 2010 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  3. Thank heaven! I just completed a search for “I write like Dan Brown” due to my chagrin after a book thatI have just written came up pretty consistently as said author (as above – no offense Dan – I suspect your bank balance can take it). Actually I did test Dan Brown’s own work, along with a plethora of Nobel laureates – his website extract from Digital fortress came up as Isaac Azimov, although the Da Vinci code did indeed come up as him (I assume it’s almost certainly been fed into the algorithm and could perhaps be recognised in a ‘photorealistic’ kind of a way). Thankfully one Nobel laureate also came up as Dan Brown, but most came up as more obscure and ‘worthy’ authors. The best bit though was the breadth of the search results – several pages of emotionally traumatised authors looking for solace on line. At least were not the only ones! 🙂

    Comment by Jezz — June 18, 2012 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  4. PS – the last post came up as H.P. Lovecraft which seems to appear frequently also! It appears that time has matured my style and changed me beyond recognition subsequent to my previous book 😉

    Comment by Jezz — June 18, 2012 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  5. PPS – try typing in “Life, the universe and everything”. Guess what?

    Comment by Jezz — June 18, 2012 @ 7:10 pm | Reply

  6. PPPS – OK, so the trauma has turned to obsession (as well as robbing me of the inability to insert an apostrophe in ‘we’re’) – I just put in an excerpt from Douglas Adams and it’s come up as Arthur C. Clarke based on the “space ship” references I suppose. I can rest easy now, knowing that if they can do that to Douglas, I don’t need to worry. Finally this time, no more post scripts – so long (and thanks for all the fish).

    Comment by Jezz — June 18, 2012 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

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