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True Blue

  by Jane Smiley


(about 295 pages)
73,746
total words
of all the books in our library
50.32%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.61%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.21%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.56%
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
which I didn’t do, but it looked like I did until Kyle Gonzalez spoke up), Mom had only been mad for a few minutes. Afterward, I thought maybe she wasn’t mad at me as much as she was mad at the school, though she didn’t say anything about that. I kept looking at her. The thing was, I didn’t know whether Mom believed in ghosts. If she did, maybe I didn’t want to be the one to tell her that we now had one, because if it scared her, then it would scare me more. And if she didn’t, well, sometimes it’s harder to tell your mom that you are stupid than it is to tell her that you’ve been naughty. I didn’t even know if I myself believed in ghosts. At times during the day, I had been completely sure that ghost had tapped me on the shoulder and told me Blue was her horse and then chased Rusty into the house, and other times I thought I was crazy. But another thing was true, tooit’s not so embarrassing to think crazy thoughts as it is to express them. So I didn’t say anything, except, “I wish I could ride.” “How is it feeling?” “Boring. It doesn’t hurt anymore.” “It will when you take the cast off and start using it. Just don’t do one thing that Nancy Hazen’s nephew did when he broke his arm and had a cast up past his elbow.” I said, “What was dark, wet blade of grass. I looked up. The stars were even deeper than they had been through the window, layers and layers of stars beyond stars. I took a breath and then another one. The air was wet, but I could smell the grass and the lupine. My boots made a noise in the mud. I tried to go more quietly. The halters were buckled along the second bar of the gate. There was no one at the water troughs, no one scrounging for bits of hay. The horses were under the trees. It was too dark even to see Blue. And then he walked out into the open, his head stretched down and his tail swishing. He was walking carefully, because of the mud, and the dark-haired lady was lying across his back, her head and chest resting along his neck, and her legs in their black boots hanging down. Her arms were hanging, too, but her elbows were bent, and her hands were resting under her chin. He had no saddle, of course, but also no bridle—he was just walking along free. Her hair was so thick that it hid her face. I stared at the two of them, walking here and there. His coat was brighter than she was—she was wearing dark gray or black. Sometimes I could see her and sometimes I couldn’t. The other geldings, even Jack, were lost under the trees. I turned and looked at the mare pasture. The mares

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 1474.92 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.

similar books by different authors

other books by Jane Smiley

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