Firstly, I just wanted to thank everyone that gave me a like to my last post or started following me after reading it. Last week was my biggest week for followers and that post had more likes than any other of my posts. So, once again, thanks guys!!! Now on to business!
Question: What do David Foster Wallace, Rudyard Kipling and H.P. Lovecraft all have in common?
Answer: My writing style!
So, there is this fantastic website, pointed out to me by Katharina Brendel over at Portable Magic, called I Write Like. It’s an interesting site that takes a piece of your writing and analyzes the words and writing style in order to determine what writer you write like. It’s incredibly cool, in my opinion. So, I tried it out with four different pieces of writing and two came up as being like Wallace, one like Kipling and one like Lovecraft. Funny thing, it was one of my fantasy pieces that was similar to Lovecraft, not the horror stories I’ve written! LOL!
Here is the interesting part though. I have only ever read a handful of Lovecraft’s novels and have never taken the time to read Wallace or Kipling. This made me pause. It is possible that the site, using little more than its programming and a possible algorithm, merely makes intuitive suggestions based upon its findings. But, being the melodramatic romantic that I am, I can’t take this answer in its simplicity.
What if it’s more than that? What if there is something that truly binds each of us writers together? Something that peers not into our minds and our writing style but into the very core of our soul, binding us together allowing us to understand and share in a collective knowledge? Having never read much of the aforementioned writers, can there really be any more meaningful answer than this? No, I believe this is would be the best possible dream that we could hope for. I certainly don’t want to be known as the guy that just copies other writers style. But that is where it gets good!
The sheer fact that my writing is considered similar to these other great writers, not just one writer but a handful of them, validates my theory more than anything else. It’s easy to say, “He writes like someone, because he reads that person’s writing”, but I don’t. Each of these writers made their own dots, and now I am one of a possible billion dots that connect them, and the other dots that connect these writers to other writers makes us one evolutionary tree of creation.
You may be asking yourself, “What is your point?” Well, I lead this to something I’ve been thinking about lately. I hear a lot of talk about indie writers versus conventional big publishing companies. It’s not openly noticeable, and I’m sure that each of us would say that we respect other writers no matter what. However, I can’t help but feel an underlying tension between the two. As a man that plans on submitting his writing pieces to well known publishing companies, I can safely say that I fully support any writer, even if they decide to independently publish themselves. But I worry that there is a line being drawn in the sand, dividing the my evolutionary tree of collective knowledge.
So, bringing this post full circle, I hope that each of keeps this simple thought in mind as you converse with other writers of various styles of writing and publishing: Though we may each have our own methods to our madness, we all share the same madness.
Lastly, I have a request for those of you that have made it this far in my “ramblings of a madman”, take the time to the website out, and let me know your findings. I’m interested to know what kind of writers each of you shares a connection with!
(Edit: Changed the title because I’m an idiot! LOL!)