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The Bancroft Strategy

  by Robert Ludlum


(about 669 pages)
167,285
total words
of all the books in our library
46.03%
vividness
of all the books in our library
8.41%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.25%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.33%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.92%
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
you’re up against. I guess I’m starting to have some sympathy for you.” Belknap shook his head. “Maybe you shouldn’t. You saw some S.A.P. brutes in action, and you were appalled.” “Damn right,” she put in sharply. “Whereas the fact is I’m one of them myself. Just not right now.” “But—” “It’s best that you know exactly what I am. I’ve done what they were doing. I could have been any one of them.” “Which raises an obvious question. If your own colleagues don’t trust you, why the hell should I?” “I never said they didn’t trust me.” His slate eyes appeared almost guileless. “Their job was to hogtie me and put me into a cage. That doesn’t mean they’ve decided I’m untrustworthy. For all they know, maybe it’s because I’m too trustworthy. They’re not the ones who make the decisions. They’re the ones who carry out the decisions. I’ve got no hard feelings toward them. Like I say, I’ve been them. Only difference is, I’d probably have done the tracking solo. Possibly the capture, too. And I’ve have done it right.” “Tracking?” “It’s what I do, Andrea. I find people. Usually people who don’t want to be found.” “You good at it?” “Probably the best,” he said. There was nothing boastful about the way he said it. He could have been reporting his height or date of birth. “Your colleagues share that assessment.” He nodded. “They call me the Hound. Like I say, it’s what I do flesh; it compressed the carotid arteries and the internal and external jugular veins, preventing blood from entering and leaving the brain. Done properly, it should be wetwork without wetness. As here: The only fluid released was the urine that now spotted the aging spymaster’s trousers. Rinehart dragged the body downhill, the sound inaudible above the noise of the million buzzing midges and stone flies and the piping of little tree frogs, until he reached a trail of reddish volcanic soil. He removed and folded Garrison’s clothes, placed them in a plastic trash bag, and stowed the bag in his rucksack. He could simply dispose of the corpse in the underbrush, but there were better options. Soon a sulfurous miasma become pungently evident, and the vegetation thinned, gradually giving way to slippery mats of lichens, moss, and grasses. Scattered vents and mud pots released wisps of steam that shone silver in the filtered moonlight. Ten minutes later, walking by the intermittent light of a half-moon in a partly cloudy sky, Rinehart looked past a boulder and saw a milky-looking circle of water mostly obscured by steam. It was the lake. He heaved the body—even in the available light it was obviously an unpleasant specimen, with its withered dugs, varicosities, and dorsal pelt of coarse graying hair—over a ridge of crumbling pumice. It bounced down the steep declivity and plunged into the churning, bubbling waters, After a few hours of simmering amid the harsh sulfur fumes, its flesh would peel

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 3345.70 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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