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Skipping Christmas

  by John Grisham

(about 151 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:

earlier.” “No, she assumed we’d be here with a tree and gifts and a party, same as always. Who would ever dream that two otherwise sensible adults would skip Christmas and go on a cruise?” “Maybe we can still go.” “Another dumb idea, Luther. She’s coming home with her fiancé. Is this registering with you? I’m sure they’ll be here for at least a week. I hope so anyway. Forget the cruise. You have bigger problems right now.” “I’m not doing Frosty.” “Yes you are. And I’ll tell you something else. Blair will never know about the cruise, understand? She’d be crushed if she knew we’d planned it, and that she’d interfered. Do you understand me, Luther?” “Yes ma’am.” She thrust a sheet of paper at him. “Here’s the plan, bozo. You go buy a tree. I’ll get down the lights and ornaments. While you’re decorating it, I’ll hit the stores and see if there’s any food left for a party.” “Who’s coming to the party?” “I haven’t got that far yet. Now move. And change clothes, you look ridiculous.” “Don’t Peruvians have dark skin?” he asked. Nora froze for a second. They stared at each other, then both looked away. “I guess it doesn’t matter now,” she said. “She’s not really getting married, is she?” Luther said, in disbelief. “We’ll worry about the wedding if we survive Christmas.” Luther darted to his car, cranked it, backed down the drive quickly, and sped away. Leaving was easy. Returning would be drive too fast.” “Why not?” “Those pine needles are awfully brittle.” Back in traffic, Luther sat low behind the wheel and stared straight ahead as he crept along. At a traffic light, a soft drink delivery truck eased next to him and stopped. He heard someone yell, looked up to his left, then cracked his window. A couple of rednecks were staring down, grinning. “Hey, buddy, that’s the ugliest tree I’ve ever seen!” yelled one. “It’s Christmas, come on, spend some money!” yelled the other, and they roared with laughter. “That tree’s shedding faster than a dog with mange,” yelled one of them, and Luther raised his window. Still, he could hear them laughing. As he neared Hemlock, his pulse quickened. With a little luck, maybe he could make it home without being seen. Luck? How could he hope for good luck? But it happened. He roared past his neighbors’ homes, hit his driveway on two wheels, and came to a sliding stop in the garage. All this without seeing a soul. He jumped from the car and was pulling at the ropes when he stopped, and stared, in disbelief. The tree was completely bare—nothing but crooked limbs and branches, no greenery whatsoever. The brittle pine needles Scanlon had warned him about were still blowing in the wind between the Kroger and Hemlock Street. The tree was a pitiful sight lying there on the flattened cardboard, dead as driftwood. Luther looked around, scanned the street, then yanked the tree

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 755.76 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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