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How Lulu Lost Her Mind

  by Rachel Gibson


(about 334 pages)
83,425
total words
of all the books in our library
61.79%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.97%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.20%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.69%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.51%
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
up. “They’re smiling like they are.” Perhaps there are a few smiles, but I’m not mistaking them for a good time. Mother is a seventy-four-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s, and I’ve never heard her say anything racist. She’s never looked at color when choosing a partner. All that has ever mattered is gender. So is it worth explaining the meaning of the photo? Do I risk another rattlesnake strike? “Look at those poor little kids. They don’t have shoes,” Lindsey says just before she bursts into tears. I’m taken aback, and all I can do is stare. This is a side of Lindsey I’ve never witnessed. I’ve seen her all business with Mom, happy about her new driver’s license, laughing with Cajun Jim, and scared shitless by ghosts and Raphael. I’ve never seen her this emotional. I suppose, coming from her family, it’s understandable that she would have a soft spot for children trapped by the circumstances of their birth. My heart aches for her, and I wrap an arm around her trembling shoulders. “It’s okay,” I tell her, because I don’t know what else to say. “No one gave them shoes,” she sobs through her fingers. “That’s hor-rible.” I rub her back and wish I could do more. “People can be so meeeean.” “What’d you do to Lindsey?” Mom is finally looking at me, and her eyes are snaky at the edges. “Me?” “You’re always bossy and mean.” “I didn’t do anything.” “Well, you must have done something.” “I didn’t more hardened version of her three daughters, with their blue eyes and hair pulled back in varying lengths of brown ponytails. I can’t tell the aunts apart and assume they’re twins. Curly gray hair frames round faces, and thick glasses rest on their short noses. The only difference I can detect is the color of their Mardi Gras T-shirts. All six women sit in various chairs I’ve pulled into the parlor, hands folded in their laps like they’re afraid they might break something. Their accents aren’t as thick as Jim’s, but they sound every bit as Cajun. The front parlor is awash in blue balloons, streamers, and tissue pom-poms complete with cutout elephants and vases of blue hydrangeas. A WELCOME BABY FRANKIE banner hangs from the balcony above the front porch and a two-tier cake sits on the kitchen table, which we dragged into the front parlor. Or back parlor. Whatever. I serve blue raspberry punch from one of my great-grandmother’s big Limoges bowls. Mom’s cocktail peanuts and butter mints sit beside the silver tea service while several bottles of wine chill in crystal ice buckets. Mom and Lindsey and I are all in baby blue—Lindsey in a muumuu, Mom in a tracksuit, and me in a cotton sundress—and all of us in blue sequined headbands. Mom sits on the chesterfield like she’s holding court while Raphael hangs upside down in his locked cage. Both he and Mom have behaved themselves so far, but I know how quickly

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 1668.50 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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other books by Rachel Gibson

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