Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Analysis

I use a number of writing analysis tools to help me, and others, improve their scripts. One thing I have noticed is that none of them are really adequately helpful. Take this example.

Today I wrote my morning words and submitted them to a web-site for analysis.

It tells me that I talk about the past less than average the present less than average and the future less than average. I'd like to think that this means I have found a style of writing that the analysis tools can't quite measure, which may mean I have a unique voice or possibly that I am just weird (stop sniggering).

It further tells me the answer to this question:

How big is your world? Is it all about you? Or do your thoughts also stretch out to include others? Pair this information with whether or not you have a positive or negative mindset to see if perhaps you spend too much time ranting about others, or criticising yourself.

The answer is that I speak of I, us, you and them (the four choices) all less than average and recently considerably less than average. Who on earth am I talking about?

The tools go on and I find that in almost every category I am below average except that I use slightly more numbers (+3%) than the rest of the world and a few more conjunctions.

The best tool I have ever found for a piece of published work is the sentence length plus fog-factor tool which Bryn Hughes taught a load of us on a management skills for Christian leaders course over twenty years ago. Purists hate it because it involves adding an integer to a percentage but it does give quite a reliable score of readability.

Meanwhile my writing today is divided equally between sad, affectionate and upset and I am concerned mostly about money, death and religion. Well I did write a prayer so whose fault is that?

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