HAVE YOU CONTEMPLATED WRITING A MYSTERY?

I have not been so tempted but the following piece might give some who are thinking of taking the leap an idea of how they might fare in the world of books.  The results of my test left me laughing and scratching my head.

In July I posted information about a website, I WRITE LIKE, that is funny and, if one is not careful, can become an obsession.

The website, http://www.iwl.me (www.IWriteLike.ME), provides an area in which original material can be typed or a writing sample can be pasted from another site.  Hit “analyze” and you will learn what established and respected writer shares your writing style.

The results can be baffling.  I took excerpts from reviews I wrote and posted on this blog.  The comments that were analyzed were mine, not the authors.  Take a look at the reviews and see if you can understand the connection.  I can’t.  Here are the results:

SHOOTERS & CHASERS       Lenny Kleinfeld                Edger Allan Poe

ASSASSINS OF ATHENS      Jeffrey Siger                      James Joyce

FACES OF THE GONE          Brad Parks                         Poe again

ECHOES OF THE DEAD        Johan Theorin                   Kurt Vonnegut

CITY OF LOST GIRLS         Declan Hughes                   Isaac Asimov

BREATHING WATER           Timothy Hallinan              Arthur Clark (2001)

THE DARKEST ROOM          Johan Theorin                  Daniel Defoe

SHOOTERS & CHASERS  is a mystery that is also very funny.  Poe means THE TELL-TALE HEART, not a mystery and definitely not funny.

ASSASSINS OF ATHENS is a terrific mystery set in an ancient (and sunny and warm) city.  Just about everything Joyce wrote is a mystery to everyone who tried to read it but Dublin will never be described as sunny and warm (even with global warming it will probably be just more rainy).  And Jeff Siger writes in easily understood sentences.

FACES OF THE GONE is a mystery whose protagonist is a reporter.  Poe had many jobs so maybe he worked for a newspaper as well.

CITY OF LOST GIRLS is set in Hollywood and Dublin; the Hollywood part could count as science fiction so Asimov could fit there.  Asimov also wrote a few collections of short stories that were mysteries.

BREATHING WATER is set in present day Bangkok.  I can’t imagine how anything I wrote could possible connect me to Arthur Clark.  2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY has nothing to do with anything in the real world.

ECHOES OF THE DEAD and THE DARKEST ROOM, both written by Johan Theorin, elicited the most interesting results.  My comments on ECHOES OF THE DEAD were compared to Kurt Vonnegut, while the comments on THE DARKEST ROOM  were compared to Daniel Defoe.

If you have given thought to writing a book, check out your style.  Maybe a contract is in your future.

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5 Responses to HAVE YOU CONTEMPLATED WRITING A MYSTERY?

  1. idon’tknowwhyyousayidon’twritelikejoyce.

  2. Beth says:

    I, for one, am grateful that you don’t. Even your attempt is discernible. It is my belief that Joyce was a practical joke by someone who wanted to make the literati look silly when they published their analyses. FINNEGAN’S WAKE might just be a collection of words as spoken by a two year-old.

    While I think that many who claim to have read Joyce didn’t, he has added immeasurably to the colorful life of Dublin and to the takings of all its bars each year on June 16. ULYSSES chronicles a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, which has become a travel guide for those who want to get drunk in as many parts of Dublin as possible. On “Bloomsday”, Joyce fans (or Guinness fans) dress in Edwardian costumes and prowl the streets pretending it is a literary festival.

    A Jeff Siger book is a joy to read. A Joyce book, be it incomprehensible or maudlin ( and the Irish love both) isn’t meant to be read – it’s just an artifact that makes someone look like they attended Trinity.

  3. I don’t think I’ll take that test. I have written a mystery/suspense novel, “Mixed Messages,” but, after reading your results, I’d be afraid to see who the site compares me to. Cute idea though!

  4. Beth says:

    The website is fun to play with. I know for a certainty that I don’t write like any of the gifted people to whom one is compared.

  5. kathy d. says:

    Only male authors!

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