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Getting to Happy

  by Terry McMillan

(about 470 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:

the answer to that. That’s not what I’m talking about.” “I can’t help it if I’m not as gung-ho about fences and decks and playhouses as you are!” “You don’t have to be gung-ho about them, but at least show some respect for what I do.” “I don’t even believe this! You don’t even watch my shows!” “Because they’re boring, Savannah. There’s no punch to them. You’re just reporting what you see—what we all see—and what we already know. That’s why I don’t watch them!” This is just the kick in the stomach I needed. “You know what? Fuck you, Isaac! If they were so boring then how have I been able to keep my job all these years, huh? If everybody felt the way you do, huh?” “Look, it’s my personal opinion, okay? I didn’t mean to say it the way that it came out. I’m sorry. I know you’re good at what you do, Savannah. That’s not what this is about, is it?” “No, it’s not, Isaac. Not even close.” “Then tell me what’s wrong with us.” “I can’t tell you what’s wrong with us. But I can tell you why I’m not happy.” “I’m listening.” “You don’t seem all that interested in me anymore.” “That’s not true.” “You don’t seem to care if what you do pleases me or not.” “That’s probably true.” “Why is that?” “I can’t honestly say.” “Yes, you can.” “People’s feelings change, Savannah. Sometimes you can’t do anything about them.” “What’s because I like them.” “I like monkeys, too, but I’m not going to run out and buy one,” Bernadine says, still from the kitchen. “Don’t make enough for me. I’m drinking water or iced tea this evening.” Everyone tries hard not to look suspicious. “Just tell us when we can eat, please.” Robin pours the mix into three martini glasses and takes a sip of hers. “Anytime is the right time,” Bernadine says. “I’ll bet you a hundred dollars you can’t go a week without shopping,” Savannah says. “I don’t need to prove anything to you.” “You’re right,” Savannah says. “So, let’s fix our plates and come back and watch this movie. I heard it’s probably gonna get nominated for an Oscar.” During the next ten minutes or so they fill their plates with everything they see: chicken and sweet potato salad, tomato and olive pasta with giant prawns piled on top, and everybody’s favorite (which Bernadine borrowed from Tanya Holland’s New Soul Cooking), that mouthwatering confetti cornbread. For dessert: summer pudding, an English recipe. Bernadine usually makes huge bowls of it for everybody down at Oasis. She can almost make it with her eyes closed: fresh raspberries and sugar boiled to a thick liquid then poured over layers of stiff white bread. She staggers them with the same concoction of blueberries and blackberries, puts it in the refrigerator overnight and uses sprigs of mint as a garnish and ultra-rich clotted cream to top it off. “Anybody want to hear

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 2348.94 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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