When I’m asked what my writing is like, I’m usually at a loss. “It’s, um, journalistic,” I say. “Direct. Not lyrical.”
I’m not sure that helps since there are tens of thousands of journalists out there, and they certainly don’t all write alike.
Today I found a clue at the I Write Like site. Using a few paragraphs as a guide, it analyzes one’s writing to find which famous author is most similar to one’s personal style. I pasted my prologue (from last week’s post) to get this result:
Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t know who David Foster Wallace is. But I should. According to the Oracle of the World Wide Web (a.k.a. Wikipedia), Wallace was an award-winning American novelist, short-story writer and essayist widely known for his 1996 novel “Infinite Jest.” He lived in Illinois once. His unfinished novel, “The Pale King,” was among the three fiction finalists this year for the Pulitzer Prize; none of them was actually awarded the prize when the committee couldn’t reach a majority vote.
Why was it unfinished? Wallace committed suicide in 2008.
“The Pale King” is called a “rollicking postmodern romp” about the Internal Revenue Service.
I’m not sure if I Write Like knows what it’s talking about, but in any case, I’ve been introduced to a new author, and I can add another book to my summer reading queue.