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Sister of Mine

  by Laurie Petrou

(about 281 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:

stood watching her, cornering her. “It’s a bad idea. I think I’ve been pretty clear on that.” “I’m not doing anything wrong, first of all—and it’s certainly not an ‘idea.’ She paused. “It’s been a year, Penny. And—he’s nice to me.” “I don’t want him coming here.” “You’ve said.” “And what do you mean, ‘he’s nice to me’? Tell me you’re not that desperate for attention. If it’s nice you need, I can start bringing you flowers.” “I’m not like you, you know.” “You can say that again,” I said, darkly. “Look, I like being with people, okay? It’s a distraction. I actually like to leave this house once in a while. You used to understand that.” “I do understand that. He’s the wrong person to do it with.” “He’s not that bad.” “No? Well, then he’s definitely too good.” “Maybe it’s wise to have him onside. Have you thought of that?” “Onside is one thing. Inside is something else altogether.” “Jesus, Penny. Fine. I’llI’ll let him down easy.” She shrugged, as if she didn’t care about ending the friendship, as if it were her choice. I paused, knowing that while she may not do it right away, she would sooner or later. She would do what I asked. “You hungry?” I was heating up some leftover soup. WE SAT DOWN AT THE LARGE CHERRYWOOD DINING TABLE that our mother had bought at an auction when she was pregnant with me. The story was that she had roads, ducking into hedges with every sound of a car approaching. Eventually she hears fire trucks screaming dimly behind her, where she can see a thin column of smoke if she strains her eyes, lifting her chin and squinting over poplars in the dark sky. A deer startles her, leaping over shrubs, its tail in the air. Her long, thin summer dress is muddy at the bottom, torn in places, a lacy hem pulling away from the skirt. She pushes fingers through her hair. She swears and pants and refuses to cry. Blocks away, she knows that her sister, curled in her tangled sheets, is waiting. The old clocks ticking, the big old house holding its breath, about to take in another secret. Can her sister hear that siren start to wail? Mouth dry, body hopping with ragged energy, she takes a familiar route though a laneway, passing light, metal fencing wound up with a dead vine, and moves quietly to the back of the old house. Like when they were young, and would slip in after curfew. Not so long ago. When she was silly and bad, but not as bad as this. Not as good as this. She reaches into the bird feeder in the apple tree and pulls out a key, a magic ticket, shaking off sunflower seeds like fairy dust. She opens the back door, letting the screen butt against her leg, into the quiet of the lower hallway. She breathes in the flowery, soapy air

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 1406.12 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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