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Horse Heaven

  by Jane Smiley


(about 996 pages)
249,074
total words
of all the books in our library
41.10%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.50%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.47%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.95%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.52%
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
two steps after the finish line, he’s done his job that he was born into this world to do.” “I don’t think—” “What? A Thoroughbred is not a natural phenomenon. His mommy and daddy didn’t fall in love, get married, and decide to have a baby. None of these horses would be here if they weren’t meant to race and win. The breeder is their God and the racetrack is their destiny and running is their work, and any other way of looking at it is getting things mixed up, if you ask me. The last thing I want to do is get things mixed up, because, as fucked as I am now, I’d be really fucked then, because I wouldn’t know what I was doing.” “Buddy—” “Farley, we’ve been training together around this track for twenty-five years or so, right?” “Yeah.” “Well, here’s what I’ve noticed about you. You’re smart. They all say that about you, Farley’s smart. Sometimes he’s too smart, but he’s always smart. I ain’t smart, if you’ll pardon my English. If I’m going to get winners, it isn’t going to be by being smart, it’s going to be by sticking to what I know. That’s how smart I am, exactly. I’m smart enough to know how to get by without being smart.” “Anyone can learn—” “Can they? You had that colt Rough Strife, remember him? You had him around here for a year and a half. He was dumb as a post, wasn’t he? He’s sat down at her brilliantly white and sparkling table, former seven-pound, two-ounce female baby with only the lightest down of hair on her head. Fifty years on. Hard to believe. Just then, one of those handsome, blue-eyed men appeared with a basket of something warm, and set it on the table. He said, “There you are, then, dear. Its nice currant scones this morning, and the butters right there. Coffee or tea this morning?” “Tea, please,” said Rosalind, lifting the napkin on the basket. Five or six square buns were tumbled in their nest. She picked one up. Both its flat bottom and its domed top were deep, crispy golden. The butter that they had been brushed with came off on her fingertips, which she licked. Then she bit off a corner of the scone. It was warm and savory. The buttery shell of the crust, the heavy, soft, crumbly interior. It was just sweet enough to remind you that the marmalade on the table beside the pale, creamy butter would go perfectly if you could pause long enough to smooth it on. Rosalind closed her eyes. The fragrance was delicious, too—biscuity and fruity and buttery. Her grandmother had been a great baker of biscuitsbig tins of biscuits coming out of the oven every morning for her grandfather and her father’s brothers who worked the farm, who were just coming in the door from the first milking as Rosalind came down the back stairs from the sleeping porch

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 4981.48 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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