Hey, thanks, y’all, for the kind comments from yesterday. I continue to muddle along, and don’t you worry, I’ll get into the flow of things yet.
For today, check this out, in light of our recent conversations about my tendency to make up verbs and such. Remember how a few years ago Donald Foster pegged Joe Klein as “Anonymous,” the author of the book about Bill and Hillary Clinton, Primary Colors?
Which was made into a movie, starring John Travolta. Who also starred in Saturday Night Fever. Which featured the BeeGee’s “Stayin’ Alive.” Which is this blog’s theme song, thanks to y’all BGs.
Hah! “Six Steps from Kevin Bacon” proven again.
But I digress.
Anyway, this Foster guy proved Klein, who lied like a dog sayin’ he didn’t write the book, really did write it. Foster ended up writing his own book about this investigation and others he’s done, called Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous. Foster’s proven theory is that no two authors write alike. We each leave our “literary fingerprints” on our work. Foster paid particular attention to Klein’s overuse of adverbs, hyphens, and capitalization, among other things. After studying this writer’s idiosyncrasies, Foster insisted it was Klein, even when Klein continued in his denials. (For awhile, anyway, until the jig was up.)
Makes you realize there really is something to this author voice thing, huh.
Well, the above I knew about. This I did not. I’ve just been introduced to The Gender Genie. GG uses algorithms to determine which gender is speaking. You can copy a portion of your work (500 words minimum is best), submit it at the Web site—and presto! It’ll tell you if the speaker’s a guy or gal. What a cool little device for when you’re writing in the POV of a character of the opposite persuasion.
What’s most interesting is the typical things we might look for to show gender in a passage aren’t what GG looks for. If your eyes don’t cross (as mine do), you can scan through the abstract that explains how GG works.
I challenge you to try GG out. See if your male character really sounds male, and your females sound female. And remember, it’ll have nothing to do with the topic of conversation. It’s how the conversation is worded.
Fascinating stuff. Now if I could only find an algorithm that would write Coral Moon for me.