Posted by: L. E. Barnes | July 22, 2010

I Write Like…

All you fellow bloggers and other writers should check out this website to find out what famous author you write like–and it’s appropriately titled “I Write Like.” Clever, huh? :-)>

I went to the site and uploaded the following piece I had written:

In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd struck eastern North Carolina. Greenville, where my parents and I had been living in for over a year, lay right in the path of the monster. The morning after Hurricane Floyd ravaged our area, I sat in our kitchen listening to a small battery-powered radio, the electricity having gone out the night before. I had managed to find a Spanish AM station, and since I knew a fair amount of Spanish, I decided to listen to it, thinking I would get both a chance to work on my listening comprehension as well as learn news about the hurricane. The radio announcer remarked that reports were coming in from some of the station’s employees in Rocky Mount that some of the houses there were “inundadas hasta los techos” (flooded up to the roofs).

Until then, I had not known any serious flooding had occurred. Outside our house, rainwater had overflowed the drainage ditches and completely covered the street and our yard, making the house look as if it were sitting in a lake. The wind even created little whitecaps on the water, adding to the effect. Fortunately though, no water got into our home, and the rainwater was slowly draining away. The worst things my parents and I would have to cope with were the loss of electricity and running water for a few days, odors from both the dampness and our unwashed bodies, and the loss of the food in our refrigerators. Otherwise, we and our pets and property got through the storm unscathed. However, I now learned that the Tar River was overflowing and, making matters worse, would not crest for several more days. Thus, other families were not to be so fortunate as we were.

Hurricane Floyd had been bad enough; its offspring, “Flood Floyd,” proved a nightmare. Over the following weeks, the news carried story after story of farms, homes, and businesses ruined by the floodwaters from the Tar River. Tearful survivors told of losing all they owned. A cartoon in The Daily Reflector, Greenville’s newspaper, depicted Hurricane Floyd as a sinister version of Floyd the barber from The Andy Griffith Show, with wild eyes and a devilish grin and brandishing a long, sharp straight razor; underneath him the caption read, “Bad for Mayberry.” Gradually, eastern North Carolina picked up the pieces and carried on. Flood-damaged homes were gutted and refurbished. All over the region, people volunteered their time, money, and goods to help flood victims get back on their feet. President Clinton even visited Tarboro, my mother’s hometown a little north of Greenville, to encourage the residents and announce that he was declaring the region a disaster area and that federal assistance would be forthcoming. Yet those of us who experienced Hurricane Floyd’s wrath will never forget what came to be called the “Storm of the Century.”

My results? The site’s analyzer told me I write like… (drumroll, please)… Kurt Vonnegut. (In case you haven’t heard of him, he’s the author of a number of novels, such as Slaughter House Five.) So, I’m trying to decide whether it’s good or bad that I write like him. At least I don’t write like Dan Brown…



  1. […] I Write Like… […]

  2. Huh…I read plenty of Vonnegut decades ago and don’t agree with the website’s conclusion.
    I’ll try it too.

    • I know. Go figure.

  3. I write like Strphen King?

    • Maybe you should try your hand at writing horror stories. 😉

  4. An interesting exercise. I’ll have to do it too. I wonder if women writers will be likened to excellent women writers. Hmmm…

    • Barb,
      A lady I know tried this, and it told her she wrote like Dan Brown! (And she’s a devout Catholic, so she wasn’t thrilled with those results!)

  5. Hoo boy. I just got my analysis and it said that I write like Dan Brown. Now why couldn’t it have been Shakespeare?!!!

  6. I just submitted another blog post and this time it came back Isaac Asimov.

    • LOL! Maybe it changes from time to time. But I think writing like Asimov is better than writing like Dan Brown!

  7. It says I write like David Foster Wallace. I’ve never read his work. Is that a good or bad result?

    • I have no idea. I’m not familiar with his work. 🙂

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