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Shadow Target

  by David Ricciardi


(about 300 pages)
75,118
total words
of all the books in our library
48.63%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.64%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.26%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.93%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.33%
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
to the Russian president. THREEIS THE LINE secure?” It’s your equipment,” said Misha. Don’t be a wiseass. There’s too much as stake.” It’s secure, but Kozlov isn’t. He’s worried about Keller.” Put him on.” He’s… indisposed.” I don’t think you’re taking this seriously enough.” I just took down a commercial airliner—how much more serious do I need to be?” Shadow said nothing. You’re being paranoid,” added Misha. “How much of a threat is Keller really?” He’s barely thirty years old and he’s already the best paramilitary officer I’ve ever seen.” Except for me.” It’d be a fair fight.” Not if I’m involved.” Don’t be so goddamned cocky. Keller may be a Boy Scout, but every time we throw him in the deep end—Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia—he manages to thread the needle between doing what he thinks is ‘right’ and what the Agency actually needs. Once he gets his claws into something, he doesn’t let go. I don’t know what alerted him to you and Kozlov, but we can’t have him poking around this close to the London operation.” He’s one guy.” So is the president.” And if Keller lives?” So does the president.” Misha snorted. “How is the golden boy now? He was in a plane crash. It’s not a stretch to think that London might be over before he gets out of the hospital.” He’s alive. We don’t have details.” I thought CIA was in the intelligence business.” Keller is on a leave of absence.” I’m tiny stainless steel machine screw, no more than an eighth of an inch across and an eighth of an inch deep, lying on the counter next to the computer. It was a tiny little thing, and if the overhead recessed lights hadn’t been on, he probably wouldn’t have seen it at all, but the owners of the farm had installed a dozen of the high-output lights—along with the thick granite countertops and the six-burner gas stove—when they’d redone the kitchen. Jake dove for the floor. FIFTY-THREETHE EXPLOSION WAS deafening. Debris rained down across the kitchen: broken wallboard, splintered wood, fragments of glass and pottery. Bare electrical wires and mangled pipes hung from the damaged walls and ceiling. Somewhere, in another part of the carriage house, a smoke alarm wailed. Jake rose up on one elbow, coughing and covered in dust. He felt as if someone had dropped a piano on his chest. A few of the recessed lights had survived the blast. They lit the room through a thick cloud of pulverized drywall that hovered in the air like early-morning fog. Jake put a hand on the countertop and pulled himself upright. The ringing in his ears was affecting not only his hearing but also his balance. He looked around. Shards of glass and bits of ceramics tumbled from shelves. Cabinet doors hung from their hinges at odd angles. The air smelled of burnt plastic, charred wood, and crushed wallboard. The countertops were blanketed in rubble. The countertops

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 1502.36 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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other books by David Ricciardi

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