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The Night Agent

  by Matthew Quirk


(about 397 pages)
99,226
total words
of all the books in our library
43.93%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.78%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
1.99%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.54%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.46%
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
He answered it. “Rose. Are you okay?” “I’m fine.” The words were clipped. “Are you at the hotel?” She hesitated. “You didn’t tell anyone what I told you, right?” “No. What’s up? Where are you, Rose?” No answer. “Rose. You’re making me nervous here. What’s going on?” “If I told you where I am, would you promise not to tell them?” “I can’t lie for you Rose.” “I just need time. I don’t have anyone else.” “Where are you? You need to get back to the hotel where you’ll be safe.” “It’s not safe there.” “What are you talking about?” “I left.” “What about the guards?” “They followed me.” “They’re supposed to.” “Not where I could see them. They were far back. If you’re trying to protect someone wouldn’t you stay close?” There were reasons you would stay back: if you didn’t want the target to know you’re following them, but that would be surveillance, not protection. “What am I, bait?” she asked. God, what if she was right? That was another reason for a long tail, if you wanted to see where the target would go or who would come for them. But perhaps she was grasping at shadows. He thought that showing her the basics of surveillance would give her confidence, but it might have made her more paranoid. “Rose. There’s a lot going on, and you have every right to be concerned. But you have to let me help you. Where are you?” No answer. “Fine. It’s a reluctant fluorescent buzz. He sat down and put his head back, relaxed for the first time in fifty hours. He shut his eyes, and three inches of foam cushion over marine plywood felt like a bed at the Four Seasons. He was crashing, exhausted. There was a pop and the smell of sulfur hit his nose. Rose was at the stove, a match between her fingers. “The pump is down there,” Peter said, leaning forward. “It’s an alcohol stove.” “I’ve done some time in trailers. You take it easy.” The smell of tomato sauce filled the cabin, and for the first time, it seemed, Peter could feel the pain of his encounters. His ribs were screaming. As he tugged his shirt away from his skin, the pain spiked. He gritted his teeth and let the shirt fall back. He would deal with that later. Rose came over to the table with two plastic bowls full of SpaghettiOsshe’d split the can—and two of the sandwiches. “You should have all the soup,” he said, looking at one of the bowls, and slid onto the bench at the table. “I’m okay.” “You need to eat.” She took a bite, and he tried a spoonful. Salty mushy nothingness, with a beef flavor mixed in. “Holy shit that’s good.” “Right?” she said, the corner of her mouth ticking up. “I grew up on this stuff.” He opened one of the sandwiches and bit off a corner. It was chicken salad, more mush

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 1984.52 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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