Count Zero or Stephen Hero?

I’m torn. I don’t know which way to turn.


...or this?

  • Count Zero or Stephen Hero?
  • Flee the draft, or flee Oliver St John Gogarty shooting at cooking pans overhead.
  • Exile in Toronto or exile in Trieste?
  • Write a blog or fear a dog?
  • Cyberspace or quark?
  • Neuromancer or Nora Barnacle?
  • Be garlanded with awards or burned, banned and censored?

Start out like this:

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. (Neuromancer, 1984)

Or like this:

riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. (Finnegans Wake, 1939)

It’s all because I had my writing style analysed by I Write Like. The prose in my book Blackwatertown is most like the style of another Irish writer of whom you may have heard.

My Badge

I write like
James Joyce

But the prose in my blog is most like the writing of William (Cyberpunk) Gibson.

My Badge

I write like
William Gibson

Which way to turn? Who to let out – Jekyll or Hyde? Can you help?

Happily it all helps with choosing a pseudonym. Not sure whether to go for the planteresque Gibson Joyce, or the more challenging Joyce Gibson. Your thoughts?

What about this?

Of course, what I like is to write like Ken Bruen. I commend the first three pages of his Jack Taylor novel, The Guards. Here are the opening lines:

It’s almost impossible to be thrown out of the Garda Síochána. You really have to put your mind to it.

Funnily enough, Ken Bruen apparently writes like Agatha Christie. Which if you know Ken Bruen tells you all you need to know about these online text analysis tools. (He’s also got a film coming out soon – London Boulevard.)



Filed under art, Influences, My Writing

16 responses to “Count Zero or Stephen Hero?

  1. According to the analysis of my first serial “Falling”, I write like Dan Brown (?!?). But based on the analysis of part one of my latest “Out of the Depths” I now write like James Joyce. From soul-shattering shame to slightly less shame, what a journey this whole thing has been.

  2. Damn. When you said Irish writer, I immediately thought of Marian Keyes.

  3. blackwatertown

    @ JakeKale – Oi! You can’t be James Joyce. I was James Joyce first. Apart from James Joyce that is.
    @ Tim – Thanks for that.

  4. Apparently I write my weblog in the style of Chuck Palahniuk. I had to look him up – ‘Fight Club’?

    My novel writing is in the style of Cory Doctorow. [Who?]

    I give up.

    Why can’t I write like Barbara Cartland?

  5. Paul, your posts are always interesting reads. I wasn’t aware of the ‘I Write Like’ website, but thanks to your blog, I’ve learned my writing (blog only) is in the style of Cory Doctorow. I was trying for Tolstoy, but apparently need a few hundred more characters and an actual story line.

  6. I scored a James Joyce as well but from a financial perspective, I’d rather be JK Rowlings.

  7. @ Baino & Jake Kale – Whoah! This is becoming like “No. I’m Spartacus.”

    @ Grandad & exileimaging – Yeah – I was thinking Cory Doctorow, who? too. But he’s Mr Boing Boing. One of them anyway.

    @ Grandad – Chuck Palahniuk – met him once, interesting bloke, read some of his books. I’ve a feeling you could have a meeting of minds. He’s a toughie. Very harsh Washington State views on whatever calamities befall the US east coast cities.
    Also – re your wished for writing style – you’ve transformed my picture of you completely. I’m thinking of you all got up in pink fluffiness with the flapping tongues of yapping lap dogs as moisturiser. (I’m getting a bit carried away now, better have a break.)

  8. Pink fluffiness and poodles, huh? The mind boggles.

    Anyhow, I ran throuh a different post and a different chapter, and I am now Kurt Vonnegut and P G Wodehouse. I feel better now. Even if I do suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder.

  9. I love puzzles:

    * Count Zero or Stephen Hero?

    Count Zero – think’s he’s hot but he’s zero!
    * Flee the draft, or flee Oliver St John Gogarty
    Flee the draft.

    shooting at cooking pans overhead.
    * Exile in Toronto or exile in Trieste?

    * Write a blog or fear a dog?

    fear a dog.
    * Cyberspace or quark?
    * Neuromancer or Nora Barnacle?

    Nora Barnacle – won’t give up.

    * Be garlanded with awards or burned, banned and censored?

    Banned because misunderstood — by a dog? LOL

  10. What? Turns out I write like Stephen King. Oh, my. What HAVE I done?

  11. Egad. On another try, I’m Isaac Asimov.

    I’m not at all who I think I am.

  12. TaylorGooderham

    By using the prologue of Mental, apparently I write like J. K. Rowling. But according to Time Cut Short, I write like Arthur C. Clarke. I’m cool with both of those (although I hated Harry Potter).

  13. I love the idea of Joyce as a first name for a man, especially a writer, so I vote fulsomely for the more challenging version.

    Exfoliator or exfoliatee?

  14. hello fellow Joycian!

  15. speccy

    I apparently write like Arthur C Clarke also. (I wonder how many authors there are in the database?) I llook forward to announcing the Speccy McSpec annual award for services to Chick Lit, since I know nothing about space. Mind you, I know less about Chick Lit than Barbara Cartland, so maybe Grandad should do it?

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