Categories for Ramblings

August 4, 2015

Online toys for writers  

It’s entirely possible I might be procrastinating again, but anything that keeps the accounts at bay for another hour or two must be a Good Thing.

So which of us could resist playing with the latest language analysis tool? Here it is – the IBM Watson Personality Insights Service

From the website –

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more.

So I selected a huge chunk of text from my novel-in-progress and pasted it into the text box and pressed analyse, wondering if the results would say something about me, the writer – or about Alice, my narrator.

And this is what the machine said…

You are genial.

You are calm-seeking: you prefer activities that are quiet, calm, and safe. You are confident: you are hard to embarrass and are self-confident most of the time. And you are empathetic: you feel what others feel and are compassionate towards them.

You are motivated to seek out experiences that provide a strong feeling of well-being.

You are relatively unconcerned with achieving success: you make decisions with little regard for how they show off your talents. You consider helping others to guide a large part of what you do: you think it is important to take care of the people around you.

Well, that’s not Alice – certainly at the beginning of the novel she’s pretty much the opposite of self confident and in fact the section I analysed included a panic attack.  An interesting result.

Still it reminded me of that other fun tool, I Write Like, which analyses your writing and compares it to the writing of a whole host of well known writers. I’ve had results in the past ranging from Dan Brown to Margaret Atwood, but hadn’t tried the new novel yet.

So I pasted the same selection from my novel in there and my result was –

I’m not having much trouble in sticking to my follies and nonsense theme so far, am I?

Quietly bemused and no wiser about my novel, I guess it’s time to start working on the accounts…. But if you would be kind enough to tempt me away from them, please do try the tools out on your own writing and share the results.