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Gee Whiz

  by Jane Smiley

(about 272 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
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:

had been outside, Danny and Dad had been having it out about Gee Whiz. Of course, Dad would have said that enough is enough, the horse had to go once the payment had run out, and maybe Danny would have said that the horse belonged to him now, and then Dad would have said that that was a stupid thing to do, take on a horse when your life is about to change, and after that, I had no idea what they would have said. But if I’d been there, I would have spoken up, “I’ll take him.” No one asked me, though. We all knew that by this time next week, Danny would have had his physical, so maybe it was best to put off all disagreements until then. But after all, it was me who was called into the living room and told to sit down because we had to have a serious conversation. It was New Year’s Eve. The pie that Mom had made for the service the next day was in the oven—I could smell it. When I sat down on the sofa, Dad and Mom looked more concerned than angry, and why would they be angry? I mean, except for me not telling about how Gee Whiz got out that first time. And even if that was my fault, I didn’t think it was a sitting-on-the-couch-for-a-serious-discussion sort of thing. Dad cleared his throat. Then he said, “I have asked the Lord whether this is all wearing nice clothes. I was wearing the black-and-white dress Mom had bought me when we were looking for school clothes, plus a black satin headband and pumps. I thought I looked pretty good, and Carlie Hollingsworth did, too—she said, “Oh, that look is so sophisticated!” Carlie’s dress was bright red, and she had a sprig of holly pinned to her shoulder. She looked like she should be in a departmentstore window. Mom wore her best navy-blue dress and she also had a corsage—a beautiful white gardenia that smelled like heaven. Dad had on his favorite shirt, his best boots, and black trousers that weren’t jeans. Sister Larkin was already setting up the candles—a hundred of them—and everyone helped her. Then we set out the food for an early supper. Mom had taken the turkey out of the oven just as we left the house so that it would have its required rest on the way to church. While Dad carved it, the other brothers and sisters put out what they had made, and it was quite a feastshrimp with cocktail sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, three or four vegetable casseroles, two kinds of rolls, Mom’s pie, Sister Brooks’s pie (pumpkin), cupcakes frosted in red and green. I was glad to see there was no Jell-O. Once it was all set out, Mr. Hollingsworth got out his camera and took a picture, then we helped ourselves. I watched Carlie—she took small helpings

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 1359.44 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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