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The Scar Rule

  by Heidi Vanderbilt


(about 295 pages)
73,661
total words
of all the books in our library
73.24%
vividness
of all the books in our library
6.19%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.25%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.64%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.61%
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
ready.” “How can you reconcile being against soring and having your daughter ride sore horses?” “Is this an interview?” “I guess.” “Well, I can’t reconcile it. And I can’t do anything about it. Sylvie is almost eighteen. I can’t stop her. I may not agree with what she’d doing, but she’s too grown up now for me to control. Doesn’t mean I sanction it. She’s my daughter and I love her.” “And the rest of your family?” “I can’t speak for them. We all grew up soring horses. I’ve quit and I’m speaking out against it. That makes me unpopular with my own kinfolk. But I’m doing what I think is right. And so are they.” “They think soring is right?” “Let’s say, they think it’s their right. Billie, can we quit this interview and just be ourselves for a while? It seems I’m on stage all the time now. Press and media interviews and then all of it all over again. I’d like to just be with you, not your editor, not your iPhone, not your notebook. Can we?” “Can you tell me how Alice Dean is?” “She’s home now. She’ll be fine.” “I’m glad. Yes, we’ll just be us.” “I’d kiss you if I could.” She watched his lips as he spoke, imagining them, remembering them and the shape of his earlobe, the taste of his neck. “Stop it,” he grinned at her. “Can’t.” He leaned forward to whisper, “I’m sorry I couldn’t make it last night. Can Her hair was mounded on top of her head like the burl of a gnarled oak tree, and Billie wondered how much hair spray it took to keep it there. The woman wore turquoise eye shadow, thick black liner, and pink lipstick. She smoothed a pink and white striped apron over her dress, Lucille embroidered on its breast. “Get for you?” Lucille asked. Billie sat at the counter. “Decaf, please. No! Wait! Regular.” Lucille slid a cup and saucer into place in front of her, followed by a pink china bowl stacked with creamers. “You take sugar, honey?” Billie shook her head as the older woman poured her coffee. “But I am hungry. I don’t suppose you’ve got any breakfast ice cream?” Lucille laughed. “Now that’s a first. Scrambled eggs in a waffle cone. I should add it to the menu. I do serve food besides ice cream. Specials are there.” She pointed behind her to a whiteboard leaning against the mirror, the menu written in blue cursive handwriting. Billie looked at the list. “Macaroni and cheese, please, with sweet potato fries. Ranch on the side.” “You sure are hungry.” Lucille smiled, tucked her order pad into the apron’s frilly pocket, and disappeared through the swinging doors. While Billie waited, she looked around at dolls in ruffled Gone with the Wind style dresses, teacups, butter dishes shaped like cows, patchwork squares salvaged from antique quilts that had been remade into pillows, placemats, and stuffed animals—all with tiny white paper

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 1473.22 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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