What famous writer do you write like?

By Grant Jacobs 15/07/2010 8


Go to I write like, paste in a sample of your writing and let us know!

You also get a badge (icon) you can place in your blog or website if you’re into that sort of thing.

I pasted in the articles in the ‘more articles’ links at the end of this post. Here’s what writer’s works it considers them most similar to:

  1. Douglas Adams
  2. Margaret Atwood
  3. Isaac Asimov
  4. Chuck Palahniuk
  5. Stephen King
  6. Dan Brown

I’m all over the place!

Ah, well… (Maybe I could say I have a gift of writing in many styles? Nah. Somehow I don’t think anyone is going to buy that one!)

The analytical – scientist – part of me wonders if it’s affected by the subject matter to some extent. GMOs: Margaret Atwood; mental rotation: Douglas Adams; notebooks: Dan Brown…

Maybe this works better for fiction? After all I’m comparing non-fiction with fiction.

Either way, it’s fun to try.

So, what famous writer do you write like?

Bonus quiz

A similar thing is the quiz to test what kind of science writer you would be that GrrlScientist put up earlier this year.


Other articles on Code for life:

  1. Book sales, frumpy readers, and mental rotation of book titles
  2. GMOs and the plants we eat: neither are ’natural’
  3. The inheritance of face recognition (should you blame your parents if you can’t recognise faces?)
  4. Monkey business, or is my uncle also my Dad?
  5. I remember because my DNA was methylated
  6. What is your relationship with your research notebook?

8 Responses to “What famous writer do you write like?”

  • Hi Grant, cute link. I copied a few blog replies in to the site and got the following:
    1) Stephen King
    2) J K Rowling
    3) David Foster Wallace
    4) William Shakespeare
    5) Kurt Vonnegut
    I would seem to be in auspicious company, although I’m not familiar with Wallace’s work. I’m a little envious of your Isaac Asimov result though, he’s one of my favourite SF authors. :)

  • We were playing with this on Twitter yesterday, and I have to say, I’m highly sceptical of its accuracy.

    Feeding in one post, it said I write like Stephen King.

    Feeding in the next two posts got me writing like Dan Brown!

  • Every single post I threw at this came back with Margret Atwood.

    A thesis chapter was more like Issac Asimov

    So I’m much less skeptical than Aimee about the accuracy of these estimates 😉

  • Aimee,

    I didn’t have a lot of time to fiddle with it, but before I wrote this I tried giving it slight variations of the same article (a few more paragraphs of the same article, a few less) and it didn’t change the result.

    When I gave it larger variations of the same article, though, I did manage to get to it claim the same article as being similar to different writer’s work! :-)

    I often have an informal lead-in, with later passages that are more formal (explaining the science), which might influence that.

    Writing styles would be more than just word choice per se, e.g. sentence / paragraph structure, use of dialog or not, etc.; you’d suspect this thing might be just counting words. (?)

  • David,

    Have you tried giving it posts with different subjects? I’m still wondering if (for non-fiction at least) it’s swayed by that a bit.

    It’s fun all the same, though :-)

  • Posts on research topics are all over the map for me, from Ursula K. Le Guin to Shakespeare but off the cuff posts are more consistently labelled as David Foster Wallace.
    So I’m not sure

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