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Flash Points

  by David Hagberg


(about 352 pages)
88,028
total words
of all the books in our library
35.14%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.76%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.52%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.82%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.69%
non-ly-adverbs
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:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
He’d wanted out, but Franklin had held him back. And so had Pete. And more than once he had almost lashed out at them. “Well, you’re not going to show up,” Pete had told him two days ago, once he was out. “At least not right now. Otto’s handling everything as if it were a cyber crime.” “It won’t be that easy,” McGarvey had shot back. “You’re not ready.” “Nor will I ever be sitting here on my ass.” They were meeting for pizzas and beer at Otto’s safe house in McLean. Larry Kyung-won and Estes had joined them. “I’m surprised Franklin let you off the reservation,” Kyung-won said. “He didn’t,” McGarvey said. “What about you? I’d have thought Marty would have snagged you for something?” “Training officer at the Farm.” “When do you start?” “Last week,” Kyung-won said. “And I know exactly what you’re going to say next. But you won’t be given any recognition nor will anyone cut you any slack.” “What the hell are you talking about?” Pete demanded. “I’m going to the Farm to get my edge back,” McGarvey said. “Franklin won’t approve it.” “He’ll have to find me first.” “Why, goddamnit?” “Because this won’t stop unless we do something,” Estes said. He’d just come from Langley after thirty-six hours straight and he looked pale, his eyes bloodshot, like he’d been cramming for a difficult final. Pete had looked away, and McGarvey had touched her hand. “When it’s over we’ll take a vacation.” “No place will uphill, on narrow paths covered in deep sand or loose gravel or even layers of slate, each piece about the size of a paperback book, and slippery even when it wasn’t raining. Some of it pushed through dense undergrowth with sharp brambles; the only way through was on the belly, the same as for the swamps and other water hazards on the path, which were covered with thick logs or rusty metal culverts with sharp edges and coated with slick slime. Two sections overlooking the river had to be fast-roped down fifty-foot drops, while in another place the trainee had to climb one hundred feet into a tree with only irregular handholds and drop, almost like a flying squirrel, to the branches of an adjacent tree and make it to the ground without breaking any important bones. One quarter-mile section was to be run in under two minutes—usually with a full pack. An automatic timer lit up when the trainee crossed the starting point, and flashed the time at the finish line. By that point most trainees had trouble even walking it in under five minutes. At the top of the first cliff down to the river, McGarvey knew that he wasn’t alone on the course, and he pulled up short and doubled over on his hands on his knees as if he were trying to catch his breath. His stump burned as if hot coals had been poured into the socket, and he thought that he was bleeding

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 1760.56 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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