Thanks to a post on Emily Ann Shaffer’s blog, I spent a happy five-minutes being distracted by the I Write Like website. All you have to do is paste a couple of paragraphs onto the page and by clicking a button, the website uses a statistical analysis tool that matches your writing style to that of a famous author. I’m always struggling to think of which published authors my writing resembles so, in spite of my scepticism, I gave it a go. I was hoping to be matched with someone like Anne Tyler but the computer said no. The name it came up with was Chuck Palahniuk and as I’d never heard of him, I got back to my writing.
But Chuck’s name has stayed with me and I decided to have a look on the internet to find out more. Wikipedia says he is best known for his award-winning novel Fight Club which was later made into a feature film earning him a cult following. That leaves me none the wiser but I’ve just asked my sixteen-year-old son who’s playing a silly computer game next to me on the desktop and he tells me it’s a great film, one that made Brad Pitt famous and that the book is even better.
Suitably informed, I’ve watched the Fight Club trailer on You Tube and will be reserving the book at the library.
- Get author book jacket photos taken now, while you’re young. And get the negatives and copyright on those photos
And, more seriously, he talks about the three different types of dialogue:
- descriptive: the sun rose high….
- instructive: walk, don’t run…
- expressive: ouch!
According to Chuck, most fiction writers only use one or at most two of these forms. So he recommends using all three. Mixing them up to show how people really talk.
Now that bit of advice has been worth the distraction.