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Stories I Might Regret Telling You

  by Martha Wainwright

(about 278 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:

I was gone and would soon be running out of frozen breast milk. My flight was leaving that afternoon. At some point that morning, Rufus and I both drew our mother in pencil. Rufus’s drawings were better, but mine still caught her likeness. I sang her the lullabies she used to sing me and held her hand. Dr. Tabah was there with us, and a couple of times he came to Kate to smell her breath. From the smell, he could tell she was very close. She made some more groaning noises, and I became extremely fitful myself, almost as if I could feel her frustration. I kept crying out, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” I was sorry that I had to go. I was sorry for everything. Mainly for not being there for her in her last few months. I was sorry for being a disappointment. For wasting my time. For being mediocre. For failing to carry a child to term. For not being smart. For not being everything she wanted me to be. But mostly I was sorry she was dying. I was sorry for her because I knew she must be afraid. Terrified. Angry. I wanted to say, “It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay,” but I couldn’t because it wasn’t. Nothing was okay; it was simply awful and wrong and unfair and seemed like the work of an unjust and cruel god. But that’s not what it was. It was just death. Then it was calm my body and brain. I closed my eyes, and the next thing that happened is something I hope never to experience again. When I slowly opened my eyes, a cat was staring at me from a few feet away, backlit in bright sunlight. I was lying in the hall, with my head resting in a sticky pool of blood. I’d passed out, it seems. The bathroom was small, and I must have hit my head on the sink before toppling off the toilet and into the hallway. I have no idea how long I was out for, but the blood had already coagulated. Thank god it was the cat that found me, and no one else, but even so, I was completely ashamed in front of this creature. As I wobbled to my feet, the cat put out its tongue and took a little experimental lick of the blood on the floor. When I turned around to look in the mirror, I discovered that I had gashed open one of my eyebrows and there was blood running down the side of my face. I kicked my underpants off and got into the shower, letting the water flow over me, cool first and then warmer. I started to cry a little since I still felt like shit. When I got out, I wrapped myself up in a towel and pressed a bunch of wet paper towels against the gash to stanch the bleeding. Then I lay down on the couch

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 1392.28 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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other books by Martha Wainwright

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