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The Reckoning

  by John Grisham

(about 570 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:

had slowed, his senses were normal. He convinced himself that no one would ever know, other than himself, Stella, and Miss Twyla. Florry would soon be dead, and like all good Bannings she would take her secrets to her grave. He and Stella would eventually follow suit. A broken and disgraced family would not suffer further humiliation. And what did it really matter? Neither he nor Stella, nor Florry, for that matter, would ever again live among those people in Ford County. Let the truth be buried there, at Old Sycamore. He wasn’t going back. A hand touched his shoulder and Stella sat next to him, close. He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her tight. There was no emotion. They were too stunned for any of that. “How is she?” he asked. “It won’t be long.” “She’s all we have left.” “No, Joel, we have each other, so please don’t die young.” “I’ll try not to.” “A question, Counselor,” she said. “If Mom had told the truth, what would Dad have done?” “I’ve been thinking of nothing else. I’m sure he would have divorced her and run her out of the county. He would have sworn revenge against Jupe, but then he’s safe in Chicago. Different laws up north.” “But she would be alive, wouldn’t she?” “I guess. Who knows?” “But Dad would certainly be alive.” “Yes, along with Dexter Bell. And we would have our land.” She shook her head and mumbled, “What a lie.” “Did the flower beds and shrubs, to see how much had changed in three and a half years, but there was no light, no moon on a cloudy night. She walked to the side and saw Pete’s truck parked exactly where he’d left it. She knew that Joel had assumed ownership of the Pontiac. In the backyard, she inched her way through the dead grass. A breeze kicked in from the west and she shivered and rubbed her arms. The rear door to the kitchen was unlocked. She entered her home and stood in the kitchen, stopped cold by an aroma that was so thick and familiar it overwhelmed her: a mix of cigarette smoke and coffee, bacon grease, fruity pies and cakes, thick beef and venison stews that Nineva simmered on the stove for days, steam from the canning of stewed tomatoes and a dozen vegetables, wet leather from Pete’s boots in a corner, the sweet soapy smell of Nineva herself. Liza was staggered by the dense fragrances and leaned on a counter. In the darkness, she could hear the voices of her children as they giggled over breakfast and got themselves shooed away from the stove by Nineva. She could see Pete sitting there at the kitchen table with his coffee and cigarettes reading the Tupelo daily. A cloud moved somewhere and a ray of moonlight entered through a window. She focused and her kitchen came into view. She breathed as slowly as possible, sucking in the sweet smells

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 2851.76 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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