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Who Asked You

  by Terry McMillan

(about 421 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:

I didn’t like some of the things he’d done. But people do stupid things when they’re young. And they can change. He sounds like he’s paid in years lost for a crime he still swears he didn’t do. It was no big deal, really. I just wish he didn’t have to live with you.” “You and me both. But thank you, Arlene.” “You’re welcome. So, Omar has made some dramatic changes.” “Don’t tell me he’s finally moving out?” “No. But he’s lost about forty pounds. And counting.” “So he did get that Lap Band?” “Who told you he was getting it?” “I thought you did. Didn’t you?” “No, I did not. It had to be Venetia with her big mouth.” “Was it supposed to be a secret or something?” “No. When I told Venetia, I didn’t know he was actually going to do it. But he did.” “Isn’t that expensive?” “Insurance covered it.” “Well, good for Omar. He’s a good-looking young man. This should do wonders for his self-esteem.” “What makes you think he doesn’t have any self-esteem?” “I didn’t say he didn’t have any. I just meant that with a few less pounds he’d probably feel better about himself. You knew what I meant, Arlene. Damn. Is this what you wanted to tell me?” “That’s one thing.” “What’s the other one?” “Have you talked to Venetia lately?” “Not in a week or so, why?” “Rodney’s gone.” “Gone where?” “Where do you think, Betty Jean?” “Hell, I don’t know. He’s nothing breaks or the walls don’t crack. He clears his throat. So I carry on, making sure the oil is hot as I flick a few drops of water into a giant skillet and jump back. When a geyser shoots up from it, I know it’s ready. I wish I could get rid of this big old electric stove and get a gas one. And a Kenmore. Stainless. It took years, but our Sears card has a zero balance and I’m afraid to charge anything until I can be more certain about our future. I pick up the Ziploc bag full of flour and sprinkle some seasoning salt, garlic powder, white pepper, and paprika inside it. Chicken breasts and thighs are piled up on a floral platter. These are the only pieces Lee David likes. After thirty-seven years of marriage, I’ve forgotten how much I used to love wings. I dip a few pieces in a bowl of whisked eggs, drop them inside the bag, shake them back and forth, and then place them in the skillet. I wash my hands in warm water, stand in front of the sink even though I should sit down, and start snapping string beans. “Mrs. Butler? You got a big brown one from Dexter today. Want me to set it inside the screen door for you or leave it out here on the top step?” “Inside is fine. Thanks, Mr. Jones. And you have a nice day.” “Is that fried chicken I smell

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 2104.78 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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