I never let anyone read them. Once I let a friend read part of one and it was so nerve wracking that I never did it again. My writing was so personal to me that I didn’t want to hear even the slightest negative comment. Any criticisms I got would stay with me. For instance, I remember a short story I wrote in Grade 10, and the teacher said the ending was “a bit of a let-down.” That bothered me for years. I don’t write much by way of pure fiction anymore, but I’m still just as attached to my writing. I still find it hard to give drafts of papers to my superiors.
Someone told me about this site called I Write Like. You give it a piece of your writing and it uses “statistical analysis” to see which famous author’s style is most like your own. I had to try it right away. I cut-and-pasted my recent Revenge Willy post and waited a few seconds for my analysis. Imagine my horror when I got the following result:
Dan Brown!! I actually gasped - a proper gasp with my hand over my mouth and everything. I mean, I didn’t expect Dickens or Austen, but Dan Brown!? God help me. I liked that review too. Now it is forever tainted. I suppose it could be worse, it could have said I write like “Stephenie” Meyer.
Next, I gave it my review of Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. This time the result was awesome:
Arthur C. Clarke! He’s, like, a science fiction God. I can totally live with that.
Next up was my criticism of metro transit bus shelters:
I admit, I haven’t read him. I used to own one of his books though. I think he may have died recently.
Next I put in the Introduction section from a paper I recently published and got back:
Intriguing! I should really check this guy out.
Finally, I entered in the first part of my Discussion from the same paper. Even more intriguing is this result:
So…my discussion reads like 1984? None of the reviewers said that. I suppose if it’d gone to a third reviewer…
I had to stop myself there. I could do this all day.