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A Painted House

  by John Grisham

(about 476 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:

left its banks, our house would be in danger. “I guess we’re done pickin’,” I said. “Sure looks like it,” she said, just a little sad. “Why does our land flood so quick?” “Because it’s low and close to the river. It’s not very good land, Luke, never will be. That’s one reason we’re leavin’ here. There’s not much of a future.” “Where we goin’?” “North. That’s where the jobs are.” “How long—” “Not long. We’ll stay until we can save some money. Your father’ll work in the Buick plant with Jimmy Dale. They’re payin’ three dollars an hour. We’ll make do, tough it out, you’ll be in a school up there, a good school.” “I don’t want to go to a new school.” “It’ll be fun, Luke. They have big, nice schools up North.” It didn’t sound like fun. My friends were in Black Oak. Other than Jimmy Dale and Stacy, I didn’t know a soul up North. My mother put her hand on my knee and rubbed it, as if this would make me feel better. “Change is always difficult, Luke, but it can also be excitin’. Think of it as an adventure. You wanna play baseball for the Cardinals, don’t you?” “Yes ma’am.” “Well, you’ll have to leave home and go up North, live in a new house, make new friends, go to a new church. That’ll be fun, won’t it?” “I guess so.” Our bare feet were dangling, gently swinging back and forth. The sun was to be in the fields by sunrise. My father rapidly milked two gallons, which would’ve taken me half the morning. We delivered the food to the kitchen, where the women were in charge. The ham was already in the skillet, its rich aroma thick in the air. Breakfast was fresh eggs, milk, salt-cured ham, and hot biscuits, with sorghum optional. As they cooked, I settled into my chair, ran my fingers across the damp, checkered oilcloth, and waited for my cup of coffee. It was the one vice my mother allowed me. Gran placed the cup and saucer before me, then the sugar bowl and the fresh cream. I doctored the coffee until it was as sweet as a malt, then sipped it slowly. At breakfast, conversation in the kitchen was held to a minimum. It was exciting to have so many strangers on our farm for the harvest, but the enthusiasm was dampened by the reality that we would spend most of the next twelve hours unshielded in the sun, bent over, picking until our fingers bled. We ate quickly, the roosters making a ruckus in the side yard. My grandmother’s biscuits were heavy and perfectly round, and so warm that when I carefully placed a slice of butter in the center of one, it melted instantly. I watched the yellow cream soak into the biscuit, then took a bite. My mother conceded that Ruth Chandler made the best biscuits she’d ever tasted. I wanted so badly to eat

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 2379.74 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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