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The Leavers

  by Lisa Ko

(about 470 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:

him like he’s my own son, not just a foster kid, but there’s this chance it won’t work out.” “Remember, Jamie said it’s unlikely there will be an appeal since there hasn’t been any communication from his family. And after six months we can start proceedings.” Back to China? Proceedings? Who were Jim and Elaine? If his mother had gone anywhere, it was Florida, not China. In his bedroom, in the dark, Deming held his breath, wondering if they would say more about her, if they knew things about her that he didn’t. They were hiding things from him. He’d been right not to trust them. “Did you read that article in the paper today?” Kay said. “An abandoned baby in a bus station in Buffalo? I’m sure his mother had her reasons, whatever they were, mental health, financial hardship.” “All that matters is that we’re taking care of Daniel right now,” Peter said. “Not whether we’re Asian or Chinese or whatever.” “But do you think we didn’t prepare enough? Even if we’d been planning for years.” “Oh, we could have read every single book out there and it still wouldn’t have prepared us.” “I think of his mother constantly, though I probably shouldn’t,” Kay said. “What did she look like? What was her name? It’s not like I can ask Daniel about her. He doesn’t say a peep. Sure, I know it’s cultural, but it’s also like he’s scared of us.” “He won’t always be.” “I hope so. We’ll over round metal tables that faced windows beaded with salty broth, steam eking onto the sidewalk. Three noodle shops on one short block, sweating and striving beneath the bridge’s tail, each shop with its own specialty, beef broth, chicken broth, pork broth, lamb. Here there was only one dish, noodle soup with lamb. “Sst,” Leon said, and a man in an apron stood up from behind the counter, dough stretched between his arms. Leon held up three fingers and pulled out stools. Spilled soup splashed our toes. The waitress set our bowls down with plastic cups of tea, wiping the liquid on the table with a dishcloth, and we slurped, sucking soft chunks of meat between our teeth. Chewy and thick, the noodles were perfect; the soup tasted like a favorite memory. Your face shone with pleasure. Leon burped and put down money for the meal. “Where are we going now?” you asked. Leon looked at his phone and calculated the time left before his shift. “You like boats?” “Yi Gong used to have a boat,” you said. “Are we going fishing? Yi Gong used to fish.” “You don’t want to eat the fish in this river,” Leon said. “The fish here comes out with two heads.” The snow was melting, its surviving remnants peppered with dirt beneath icy top crusts. “To the bottom of Manhattan,” Leon shouted. It was the Staten Island Ferry, a bright orange boat braying a hippopotamus honk. We stood on the deck as it shambled

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 2348.50 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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