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A Mother’s Lie

  by Sarah Zettel

(about 351 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:

depending on whether or not her nerve held. But it’d be done. What she should have done years ago, when she first found them. But she’d told herself there was no rush. That she could do it anytime. Time’s up. The gun was heavy and warm, Beth’s palm was slick with sweat, her arm was weak as water. The sirens were still going but not moving. The cops were here. How long would it take them to get to this room? They’d see this. They’d shoot her. Bang, bang. “It doesn’t matter what you think of me!” shouted Jeannie. “You know he’s not going to stop coming after you! After your girl! He’ll make me do it all again!” “You better hope she kills me!” roared Dad. “Because I’m going to kill you if she doesn’t! Kill the jealous bitch! Kill her! This was her idea!” “You have to stop him, Beth!” Beth again. She should have called me Star. Star would do what she was told. She wouldn’t know what else to do. But Beth was another story. Beth understood the game. “Mom?” whispered Dana. They could have fought each other, could have done each other in years ago. But they hadn’t. Despairing, furious, unable to understand how it had all gone so wrong, they lay there, looking for somebody else they could sucker into doing what they wanted. For the one who would save them from themselves. That was supposed to be her job. That had always been Jeannie shaking her shoulder. “We’re here, honey. Here. Put this on.” The blanket peeled back. Hands urged her upright. Her palms and face felt scraped raw. Her neck hurt. Her head hurt. Somebody dragged a sweatshirt down over her and yanked the hood over her face as far as it would go. What’s happening? She tried to look up, but somebody shoved her head quickly down and pushed her out of the car. It was dark. That someone (Jeannie? wrapped an arm around her shoulders and steered her, stumbling, up some steps toward a dark doorway and down a dark hall. There were more stairs. She stubbed her toes on the first one and again at the top. She hurt so bad. Back, neck, head, throat, hands. Another dark hallway. Another dark door. A light snapped on. A door slammed behind them, and a lock turned. She saw burgundy carpet through the tunnel of the sweatshirt hood, and the corner of a table. “There. It’s okay now. You can come out.” Dana pushed the hood back. She blinked in the track lighting. They were in a bedroom. It was all pale oranges and brick reds. A Navajo blanket hung on one wall. Gauzy curtains looked out onto a patio, a green lawn, and big trees. The place smelled like laundry, or air freshener. Dana started to shake. She wrapped her arms around herself. Jeannie stepped into her line of sight. She brushed the hair back from Dana’s forehead. “Oh, honey

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 1755.94 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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