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Slow Burn

  by Stephen Leather


(about 541 pages)
135,146
total words
of all the books in our library
41.40%
vividness
of all the books in our library
9.17%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.54%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.76%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.78%
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
chances, but before we could do anything her pals arrived and it was game over.’ ‘How the fuck did she get a gun?’ asked Shepherd. ‘We went through full airport security so she must have been clean when she arrived at Luton.’ ‘We stopped, once, on the way. She needed the bathroom.’ ‘That’s it then. She must have got the gun then.’ ‘That doesn’t make sense, Spider. No one was following, I can guarantee that. We had eyes on every vehicle anywhere near us and we weren’t tailed.’ ‘They must have had a plan in place, that’s why she wanted the bathroom.’ ‘But they had no way of knowing where we were headed. How could they have arranged a pick-up at the service station?’ ‘She must have had a tracker on her,’ said Shepherd. ‘GPS. They knew exactly where she was so they could have been ahead of you rather than behind you.’ ‘Yeah, but how did she know to stop off at the service station?’ ‘They must have had some way of communicating with her,’ said Shepherd. ‘The kid had a chunky digital watch, they could have used that to get messages to her.’ ‘Bastards,’ said Wheeler. ‘She got very talkative when she was back in the car. Where were we going, house or apartment, wouldn’t shut up.’ ‘Maybe when she was in the service station they give her a bug as well so they could pick up on the conversation. Or even a phone. They could have been covered with a mould-spotted plastic curtain. The shower cubicle itself was grey with grime and there were wads of hair blocking the drain. The plastic toilet seat was yellowed with age and there were brown stains running down the bowl. There was black mould on the ceiling and a damp patch close to the window. The floor tiles were cracked and didn’t look as if they had been cleaned in years. There was a small window with frosted glass. Set into it was a plastic ventilation fan, but it wasn’t moving and was encrusted with dirt. Shepherd reached into his jacket pocket and took out a pair of blue latex gloves. He put them on and gingerly lifted the lid off the toilet cistern. He smiled when he saw the plastic bottle in a sealed Ziploc bag. He put the lid down and retrieved the bag, twisting the lid off the bottle. He peered inside and then sniffed. Cannabis. He replaced the lid, resealed the bag, and dropped it back into the water. He put the lid back on the cistern. There was a wooden cupboard under the sink and Shepherd kneeled down and opened it. Three small cockroaches scuttled away from the light. There was a blue plastic bucket with two mouldy sponges and two bottles of toilet cleaner. He took the caps off the bottles, but there was only liquid inside. He carefully unscrewed the plastic U-bend and smiled when he saw the rolled-up Ziploc bag. He fished

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 2702.92 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 Stephen Leather

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