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Pie in the Sky

  by Jane Smiley

(about 276 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:

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 wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and boots. The other boys had on regular button-downs, except for Billy Russell and Sergio Garcia, who were wearing cowboy shirts that my dad would have liked. The girls all looked less “simple” than I did—Linda A. had a tight skirt, black, which made me realize that green is a really boring color for a party. Alexis and Barbie had gone into their mother’s and aunt’s closets and come up with dresses from the 1940s. Alexis’s was dark blue, with buttons down the front and short sleeves. The sleeves, the collar, and the pockets were trimmed with white, and she had found a pair of short white gloves. Barbie was wearing a shiny gray dress with a wide belt and a huge skirt, and under that was about ten acres of petticoat. She had on a small white hat pinned over her bun. They looked both fun and beautiful, and I missed them already. Barbie kissed me on the cheek and said she loved my necklace. Stella and Gloria were very up to date. Gloria was wearing a nice sleeveless dress in beige and gray. The beige top came straight across and then angled down toward the waist, and then the gray skirt flared out. She looked right out of Seventeen. Stella had on windowpane hose, white culottes, and a short square jacket. She looked really good, and I saw the others watching her. The first thing I did, though, was go into the kitchen

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 1379.38 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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