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Dead Man Switch

  by Matthew Quirk


(about 285 pages)
71,165
total words
of all the books in our library
47.50%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.60%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.11%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.50%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.60%
non-ly-adverbs
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:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
they seemed like mirages, and even now he never expected them to last. He didn’t get to have this. And that was fine. He’d never thought he would. It had been tough, coming home, but he and Lauren were finding their way. The time in exile had changed him, hardened him. They didn’t have to talk about it all, because the choice had been made. He couldn’t stay. He would still see them, would always be a part of their lives, but it would be on bases, with protection running so that the people who were hunting him wouldn’t ever come near his family. He couldn’t live here. The job would be his home, as it had been for so long. Even before his exile, the deployments and training had kept him away three hundred days a year. Lauren had been the first to point it out—the new arrangement wouldn’t be all that different. He told her she didn’t have to wait, that he understood if she needed a change, and she told him to be quiet. He knew she couldn’t think about that now, couldn’t stand to hurt him. She was strong and could hold down this family and this house without him. Her father had been U.S. Army, Tenth Mountain Division. She knew about the work, and they’d always been straight with each other. She would be fine without him. He could see her strength in his daughter too. They would be okay. The sun was the Toyota’s headlights, its grille growing larger and larger. She didn’t have a chance. Her BMW dipped into a rut. Brown water splashed on the windshield and for a second her tires spun uselessly as the car slipped toward the high dirt walls laced with branches. The truck’s lights knifed through the woods behind her. She pulled her husband’s gun from the glove box, stumbled out, and clambered up the bank on her hands and knees. The rain soaked her hair, her clothes, dripped down the small of her back. She ran. The brambles tore at her shins, and a vine dragged thorns along her neck. It was an ugly forest here, overgrown and immature, and she could barely manage more than a walking pace despite all her exertions. A door opened and slammed shut behind her. She cut to the left, thinking in a half a dozen directions at once. He would guess she’d run away, so maybe she could get around him, circle back to her car. The mud filled her shoes, sucked them down. She reached her hand in to free her foot and stumbled another twenty yards, then stood behind a wide oak and rested her head against its bark. Her breath came fast and ragged. Wet hair was pasted to her cheek. She looked back the way she had come and saw it: broken branches, huge smears of footprints through the red clay, mud streaked over the downed trees she had jumped over. The trail

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 1423.30 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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