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Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

  by Carmen Rita Wong

(about 329 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

nothing—that he didn’t have anything to do with it.” She paused. “So they let him go.” “Oh my god, he must have been terrified.” “Yes. The police saw that too. He was very scared and crying. They could tell he was telling the truth.” “You found out about this today?” I asked. “Yes. Your brother called me,” she said. I couldn’t wait to talk to him but also I knew he’d be very hurt and embarrassed and probably needed space before we spoke. “So, your father is in jail for now. And it looks like it’s going to be for a long time,” Mom said. My eyes got wide. That must have been a lot of drugs. “Is this going to be on Alex’s record? He’s trying to get a job!” “No. They didn’t press charges,” Mom said. I was relieved. “The trouble is that… that means that we are not going to have Peter to help pay for your college.” I was gearing up, looking at schools, and was definitely depending on Papi contributing to my education as he had for Alex’s. “Okay. I’llwe’ll figure it out.” I would need scholarships, grants, and loans, and would have to save up enough money to buy regular clothes, which I didn’t have much of, being in a school uniform five days a week, plus everything for my dorm. I was sleeping on worn-out bedding I’d had for ten years. I’d figure it out. I had no choice. What was for after-school snacks. Summers meant helping Dad light the fire in the charcoal grill on weekend nights, his nights to cook. It meant playing badminton with him in the yard, this grown man showing me no mercy, treating me no differently because I was a small girl. And late summer, early fall, it was time for the drop-off of our wood for the winter. Our house used a wood-burning stove in the basement for heat. The load of wood that arrived took up half our lawn and looked like eight full trees without their branches stacked up on top of each other. Dad would dress in a red flannel shirt, jeans, heavy construction gloves, and Timberlands, stand at the top of the pile with his chainsaw screaming its gritty gasoline scream, and cut up the trees into manageable logs while we all stayed inside, watching through the window, steering clear of debris. “Oh, woof! Almost done,” Dad said as he stomped into the family room entryway, working to get some of the tree gunk off his boots onto the mudroom rug. “Lupe—can I get a water?” Mom would pour him a big cup and he’d gulp it down, standing in place, covered in wood powder and sweat. The smell of newly cut wood mixed with the saltiness of his sweat filled the room. I would join both Marty and Alex for step two, wearing a rolled-up flannel shirt from Dad—which fit tiny me more like a woodsy muumuu

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1643.50 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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