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Walk In My Combat Boots

  by James Patterson, Matt Eversmann & Chris Mooney


(about 398 pages)
99,395
total words
of all the books in our library
34.86%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.16%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.37%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.75%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.62%
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
I’m a man now.” “Tell me why you think you are.” “The thing I realized when I was over there was that I’m the one who’s responsible for me. Nobody is responsible for me, and I’m totally responsible for every choice I make.” “Yes,” I say, “you are.” “Now that I’m a man, I’ve fallen in love with Katie.” I’m not surprised. They met when they were fifteen and have been going out, or whatever the kids call it now, for a while. “I would like to have sex with Katie,” he says. “I want to have it here, at the house, so I want your permission.” “Excuse me?” “Well, you know, I’m a man now, so…” “That’s great that you’re a man now,” I say. “I’m so glad you are. I appreciate you asking and the answer is no. I’m sure you’ll figure something out, but it ain’t going to be in my house.” Bart gets accepted at West Point with a caveat. His math score was a bit low, which isn’t a surprise since math isn’t his greatest suit, so in order to attend he has to take a summer course and do some other work for the math program. “I’m not going,” he says. “What? Why?” “I don’t want to waste that time catching up. I’ll be a whole semester behind.” Which isn’t true. The truth is, he wants to stay with Katie. The truth is, I don’t want him to go to West Point, either. I’m relax and get in the mood. I don’t, so I stand there naked, straining to pee, trying to get out as many drips as possible to meet the marker line inside the cup. They move us into another room to hand out uniforms. We’re given a seabag and then, as we walk down an aisle, they throw our uniforms at us—two pairs of this, two pairs of that. Out of the corner of my eye I look down, expecting to see the “blueberries” the recruiters promised me—the blue camis that are so cool and so much better than the old Navy uniforms. What I see instead are these old-school prison dungarees straight out of The Shawshank Redemption, along with navy-blue dickies and a light-blue long-sleeve shirt. I’m holding a janitor outfit. They lied to me. This is not the cool uniform I thought I would be rocking. I’m used to wearing Patagonia, and now they hand me this watch cap and a borderline see-through ski mask and this scarf that’s probably been in a Navy uniform locker since the 1800s. What did I get myself into? They teach us how to fold, clean, and iron uniforms. Then we start learning basic seamanship, stuff like rope handling. When I arrived here, I thought I’d be running and gunning, and I’m learning how to fold towels and toilet paper, how to properly clean the head, all these menial tasks. It’s a really interesting mix of people, a real melting pot

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 1987.90 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 James Patterson, Matt Eversmann & Chris Mooney

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