Sunday, July 18, 2010

For Literary and Typography Nerds

You have probably seen the "I Write Like" thing that is going around: plug in several paragraphs of text, and discover which famous writer's style is closest to your own.

So who are my stylistic antecedents?

Well, when I give I Write Like prose that I have written in my own voice (i.e. blog posts or journal entries), I pretty consistently get David Foster Wallace or Vladimir Nabokov. I'll take those! Both Wallace and Nabokov have a knotty but energetic writing style--and I suppose I aim for that as well.

Unfortunately, I Write Like doesn't work well as a tool to evaluate dramatic writing; after all, the whole point of being a playwright is to write in the voices of your characters, not in your own voice. When I plugged in a monologue that I wrote for my play The Rose of Youth, the computer told me that I wrote like Stephenie Meyer. Well, the speech was melodramatic, and it did use too many ellipses, so I can understand that. It worked for the character, though. As long as my essays or blog posts don't sound like Meyer, I think I'll be OK.

Also, you may have taken the wonderful "What Typeface Are You?" interactive quiz that was going around last winter, but if not, may I urge you to do so? The quiz told me that my type was Archer Hairline: "Emotional, Understated, Progressive, Disciplined. If you are outwardly composed, but occasionally duck into the bathroom for a quick laugh or a quiet cry, only to emerge to the world outwardly composed again, then Archer Hairline is your type." Very accurate, I would say. And a beautiful typeface. For some reason it reminds me of an Art Deco calling card.


蔡靜芳蔡靜芳 said...
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Jamie said...

Took the "I write like" test and determined that I must have multiple personalities as it came out: Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, H. P. Lovecraft, Margaret Atwood, Cory Doctorow, David Foster Wallace, and H.P. Lovecraft

Now to try the typeface