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Champion Horse

  by Jane Smiley


(about 276 pages)
68,949
total words
of all the books in our library
51.33%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.72%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.31%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.66%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.65%
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
if that’s possible. His job is to cull the herd.’ ‘What does that mean?’ ‘That means, part of what he does when he goes around giving clinics is look for horses and riders that might go really far, like get on the team. That is only a handful of riders. They have to be talented and experienced, but they also have to have a certain temperament. Do you know what that is?’ I nodded. ‘You mean, just the way that they are, starting when they’re born.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Like my colt Jack is bold and full of energy.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘So what is Sophia’s temperament?’ Jane stared at me. I hoped that she wasn’t going to do what the teachers at school liked to do, which was to say, ‘What do you think?’ But she was nicer than that. She said, ‘I thought Sophia was tough as nails. So did Colonel Hawkins. That time she hurt her shoulder, she almost had him convinced to let her keep riding.’ I said, ‘Has he asked her why she doesn’t want to ride her horses?’ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know that the colonel ever asks why.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Well, you know. “Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die”.’ ‘What does that mean?’ ‘Oh, it’s a poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”. It’s about being in the cavalry, which Colonel Hawkins was in for years before it disbanded.’ ‘Well, someone should ask her.’ ‘Someone should,’ said Jane. When I was Daphne and Rascal, walk back towards the barns. By the time I had watched the three-foot-three-inch hunters, I was almost dozing off, and then I remembered the tack tent. The tack tent was where they sold all sorts of things for horses and ridersboots and breeches and saddles and bridles, brushes, blankets, shirts, saddle soap, belts with horseshoe buckles, hairnets, leather halters and brass nameplates, horse bandages, and also books about riding. That’s what I thought I would go look at. Blue needed that, maybe. I got up and threw away my paper plate and my lemonade cup. The weather was now perfect – the pine trees around the show grounds were brilliant green in the sunshine, and their tops were swaying slightly with the ocean breezes. The air was fresh and smelled of all sorts of things – pine needles, horse manure, the ocean, some sort of sweet flower (Mom would have known but I didn’t). It was Thursday afternoon, and more horses were arriving for the weekend – glossy bays and chestnuts, a few greys and blacks. Not a single buckskin. We had had a buckskin, Dad’s favourite horse ever, Lester, but he’d sold him, just like he sold them all. The tack tent was not far from the barns, so I checked on Blue. He was working on his hay. He looked up, nickered once, and went back to it. I said, ‘Good boy.’ I knew that the saddles and bridles and boots and breeches in the tack tent

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 1378.98 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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