On Writing Like the Greats

I know that some of us more egotistical writers like to believe that our voice is entirely unique, and our style is above and beyond and far removed from anyone else’s, but I saw this “Find out what famous writer you write like…” on someone else’s blog and couldn’t resist stroking my ego in a different way.  I decided to throw in a few various samples of my writing to see what I turned up.

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut

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

I write like
Margaret Atwood

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

I write like
Arthur Clarke

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

I was a little surprised that my first badge turned out to be Kurt Vonnegut, I haven’t yet read any of his books yet. I know, I know, shame on me (Slaughterhouse Five and Cat’s Cradle are high on my ‘To Read’ list, I swear)…but I will say this, ever since watching this Youtube Clip of Kurt Vonnegut giving a creative writing lecture, I’ve been smitten with the man.  Believe it or not, last year I asked everyone in my family (and I mean everyone) to get me a book by Kurt Vonnegut for Christmas last year and, damn them all, I did not get a single one.  I must have been very naughty that year…

In retrospect, typing ‘naughty’ into the Google Image search, probably not my brightest of ideas…as I hit enter, my mind screamed, “NOOOOOOOOO!”

Several of my writing samples, however, turned up Margaret Atwood.  That was a little less surprising, very flattering, but not altogether surprising.  Her book The Handmaid’s Tale did change my life — I’m only being slightly dramatic.  I read the book shortly before voting for the first time in the 2004 election.  When Bush Jr. won, I spiraled into a completely irrational panic that the fanatical Right-Wing was taking over and soon I would be stripped of my identity, forced to dress in red with a funny white cap — I do not look good in white caps, and given the new name ‘Ofconservativerichman’, who I would be forced to sleep with in hopes I’d bear his child.  But no worries, I would totally carve “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” under my bed to give me strength.  Yeah…I was eighteen and naive.  Since then, I’ve become jaded about politics, and come to realize, there is no fanatical Right-Wing with any actual power in government, they’re all moderates, which means, they say and do whatever will line their pockets and get them re-elected next year.  This is good, though, because now I don’t have to worry about wearing a funny white cap.

But duuude…just think of all the things I could do with this kind of hat: hide candy, play basketball…as the net, carry water to thirsty villagers…

I also got Arthur Clark a few times and, sadly, had to look him up because I had no clue who he was…yes, you are allowed to throw things at me if you so choose, I seriously kicked myself when I pulled up his profile.  Really.  Honestly.  Dying happy now.  As a sci-fi writer, getting an “I write like…” badge for an author previously hailed as being one of the ‘Big Three’ of science fiction alongside Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov  is like getting a candy cane on any day that’s not Christmas.  (Oh, oh!  I knew who those last two were!  See, I’m not completely outside the loop of my own genre…and, you know, one of these days I will definitely finish Starship Troopers.)

Arthur Clark is like…


So, all in all, it was a fun little game.  Now, I’m going to get back to writing like Atwood, Vonnegut and Clark, (See?  Ego sufficiently stroked) so that maybe one day I can enjoy the same…similar…close to…perhaps, possibly…a fraction of their acclaim.

If you decide to get your writing ‘analyzed’, please, let me know what famous writer you turned up and what it meant, or didn’t mean, to you!

  1. Happy to be the “other blog.” Glad you liked it, and glad it inspired such a fantastic post. Love that Vonnegut clip!

    • Well, thank you very much for the fantastic original post that inspired this one! By the way, I’ve added your new book to my ‘To Read’ list. Zombies always make the list.

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