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A Good Horse

  by Jane Smiley


(about 267 pages)
66,728
total words
of all the books in our library
49.36%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.57%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.41%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.70%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.71%
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
it would be easier to do the work myself. So. Abby! Very good, dear. Do you want to do some more?” Daddy looked at me. Right then, it was up to me, and there was part of me that had had enough (though I might not have said that if they hadn’t told me how high the fences were), and there was part of me that was ready for another round. I sat there for a moment, then I said, “Don’t you think he’s had enough?” Daddy said, “We can come back Saturday. For a short time.” And Jane said, “Let’s do that, then,” and that was the worst thing we could have done. Newmarket Boots Sawcow Row of Stables I should have felt good about our session, and I did, in a way. Daddy was proud of me, Jane gave me a little hug, and I knew that teasing was Rodney’s way of being impressed—with me or the horse, but what was the difference? After we got home and were eating a late lunch, Daddy told Mom, “Well, Sarah, these two are getting better and better, thank the Lord.” “Of course they are,” said Mom, but she gave me that look that said there was no “of course” about it. Then, while she was rinsing the lunch dishes, she started whistling. But everyone around me was feeling good—including Black George—and I wasn’t. That number, four, was stuck in my head, and I knew we would do asleep right away, too. My head was full of adverbs and faces, and laughing, and the flat darkness, across the living room, of that big window that looked out over the valley. The twinsroom had lots of windows, too, and I could hear an owl hoot as I fell asleep. My head was so full that I didn’t think of Mom or Daddy or Black George at all, and I forgot my nighttime prayer (though I remembered that and said it when I woke up for a moment in the night). I did not have any dreams. Blanket Halter Chamois A bagel turned out to be a round roll, like a doughnut, but hard and not sweet. Poppy seeds turned out to be tiny black, crunchy seeds that were sprinkled on top of the bagel. Mrs. Goldman had a special wooden block that she set the bagel in. She cut it in two, toasted it, and spread it with cream cheese, then laid flat orange slices of lox on it. Lox was fish, and sort of slimy, but also very salty, and along with some sliced pineapple and melon, that was breakfast. Alexis and Barbie drank coffee, just like their parents. Mom showed up while we were still eating, and they had her come in and sit down and have a cup of coffee. Mom said, “We really have to … but she sat down and received her cup, poured in the (real) cream, and took a spoonful of sugar

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 1334.56 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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other books by Jane Smiley

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