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Disappearing Acts

  by Terry McMillan

(about 515 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:

wasn’t as if I didn’t use anything. Should I be reading this differently—that I’m supposed to go through with it? That things happen for a reason? This would make three abortions. Three times that I stopped a life. But having it would be stupid. Where would it sleep? We’d have to get a bigger place, which would mean more rent; pay a baby-sitter—everything would change. I’d probably have to stop my voice lessons, and how would I learn to juggle my time so I wouldn’t have to give up singing altogether? What if my seizures flared back up and I’d have to get back on phenobarb? I’d be taking a chance that my baby could be born with something besides ten fingers and ten toes. I don’t want to take that chance. Not right now. Not until I can trust science more. You’re just being selfish, Zora. All you’re thinking about is yourself. No, I’m not. Yes, you are. If I don’t, who will? Of course I’ve read about women whose seizures had long since stopped, and they had perfectly normal pregnancies and healthy babies. But it’d be just my luck to have fits for the next nine months. And Franklin would find out before I had a chance to tell him. Maybe he’d feel deceived and leave me. I do not want to be a single mother, that much I do know. “Hi, girl,” Marie said, as she kissed me on the cheek. “Are you okay?” “I’m of scallops. Right next to it was a produce stand that sold everything from vegetables to Pampers. I bought broccoli, fresh mushrooms, scallions, a large bunch of flowers, paper towels, toilet paper, and white grape juice. I decided to walk home around the block, to get a better feel for the neighborhood. Some gay guy was standing out in front of this gorgeous little gourmet shop, trying to entice people to come in. “Free coffee samples to celebrate our grand opening,” he said. “You look like a lady with good taste. Come on in, honey. Try some. It’s divine.” “Thanks. Maybe another time.” I’d only taken a few steps when the rich scent of coffee lured me back. He handed me a finely printed piece of peach-colored paper that described the store’s specialties. All kinds of delicacies, imported foods, breads, every kind of cheese you could think of, dried fish, and pickled everything. I went inside, and staring me in the face were samples of white Scandinavian chocolate. “Go ahead, it’s fabulous,” he said. My fingers itched with desire, but I said, “No. I can’t.” “Oh, come on. One little piece won’t hurt. Go on. Splurge.” The next thing I knew, not only had I eaten a piece, I’d bought a quarter pound (which I vowed to stretch out over a week or two). I also got some dilled Havarti cheese, liver pâtè, some kind of crackers I’d never heard of, and a pound of Vienna roast mixed with mocha

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 2574.12 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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