Saturday, December 4, 2010

"I write like...Chuck Palahniuk? Okay then...bring it, Charlie!"



"This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time." -C.P., "Fight Club"

...being the novice scribblers that we are, chomping at the bit for a drop of notoriety from anyone willing to read our thoughts, I'd bet my left shoe that most of us have skipped over to the "I Write Like" website, and accepted the challenge of seeing who our work most resembles. Dickens or Cormier. Perhaps your fingers mimic the work of King, or Collins...someone with prowess, someone granted the opportunity to quit their dayjob and begin life anew. And in return we're allowed a moment of bliss, to daydream...to think, "So if I write like him, then maybe..."

And so I went to the site, plugged in a line or two from "South of Charm," punched ENTER, and a name spit out that I wasn't expecting, but after some thought, didn't mind in the least.

"I see the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived...and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables." -C.P. "Fight Club"

Chuck Palahniuk was born in '62, in Burbank, Washington. He grew up in a mobile home, his family living paycheck to paycheck, surviving as best they could. His parents separated when he was still a young adult, scraping by on dreams alone. With little else to strive for, Palahniuk turned to the arts, realizing his passion for writing at an early age.

"This was freedom. Losing all hope was freedom."-C.P. "Fight Club"

Palahniuk earned acceptance to Oregon University, majoring in journalism. He took a job at Freightliner, making ends meet. He eventually gave up journalism, focusing his time on writing fiction when not struggling to pay his bills. He was in his mid-thirties when lightning struck.

"You aren't alive anywhere like you're alive at Fight Club. Fight Club isn't about winning or losing fights. Fight Club isn't about words. You see a guy come to Fight Club for the first time, and his ass is a loaf of white bread. You see this same guy here six months later, and he looks carved out of wood. This guy trusts himself to handle anything."-C.P.

Like Palahniuk, I grew up in a mobile home, the bill collectors taking turns knocking on our door. My parents separated when I was fourteen, forcing a change of scenery...new school, different life, a time when keeping one's feet on the ground proved challenging. And so I turned to the one thing I always felt I was meant to do...a pen, some paper, and away I went...

I'm unable to predict whether lightning will strike or not, for that's up to my readers to decide, but good or bad, the story's on its way.

And so perhaps I write like Chuck Palahniuk, an honorable comparison...but then, you tell me...

"For thousands of years, human beings had screwed up and trashed and crapped on this planet, and now history expected me to clean up after everyone. I have to wash out and flatten my soup cans. And account for every drop of used motor oil. And I have to foot the bill for nuclear waste and buried gasoline tanks and landfilled toxic sludge dumped a generation before I was born."-C.P. "Fight Club"

...No one saw them. A pair of shadowy forms, ghostlike against the darkened backdrop of an expiring twilight. They appeared from behind an aging Dumpster along the edge of the church parking lot. Careful not to bump against its steadily decaying welds, the metal having long since fallen victim to corrosion from Ohio's inclement weather, they crept along behind the steel deterrent, patiently awaiting nightfall's obscure embrace....

...To anyone passing by on nearby State Route 62, they would've resembled the darkened forms of a pair of meaningless shadows belonging to anyone. A peculiar presence spotted through one's peripheral vision, then gone without any thought of foul play. An untimely blanket of goosebumps rising upon one's arms, then forgotten with a frown and the pull of a steering wheel.... E.G.-"The Fellas"

Perhaps one day, on a whim, Chuck Palahniuk will find himself on "I write like," entering a favorite passage of his, then hitting ENTER, and seeing my name appear on the screen. For that's why we're allowed to dream, is it not?

Thanks for reading,
EL ;)


24 comments:

KarenG said...

I'd believe you write like Chuck more than I do, but every time I plugged in excerpts from Uncut Diamonds that's what came back. HUH??? I write women's fiction like a man, guess that's my problem.

E.J. Wesley said...

Nice post, Elliot. It said I write like Dan Brown ... should I be offended? :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Man, are you lucky. I punched in a section of my prose, and it churned for a minute, then spat out :
You write like crap.

Ouch!

Have a good Saturday and better Sunday, Roland

The Words Crafter said...

Wow, that's not only cool, but eerie!

Lemmiwinks said...

great background you have here!

followin

Joanna St. James said...

Jack Kerouac and it is eerily true.

Jodi Henry said...

Margarete Atwood, a poet. This is interesting.

B.E.T. said...

Ha! That's awesome. I couldn't think of a better compliment it could give you.

I got Cory Doctorow when I put an excerpt of my newest project in. I've never even heard of this guy, but I suppose it's a good thing.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Just joking with my earlier comment, Elliot. Actually one submission said I wrote like Stephen King, the other like Raymond Chandler.

I do not trust the program as I do not know how it comes to its conclusions -- and how the program is set up. Roland

Olivia J. Herrell said...

El, I think you write like Elliot Grace and what a writer HE is!!! :)

I played around with that a while back and pasted in several excerpts from my first wip, each from a different pov. Interestingly, it gave me different authors for different povs. I kinda like that. It means all my characters don't sound the same. Yeeehaaa.

I got Chuck, too. Margaret Atwood once. Dan Brown a few times. Even Stephen King.

Anyway, we're in good company. Heck, YOU are good company.

BTW, just for grins here's a clip from a blog I did about the app and I was talking about CP: "...imagine my surprise when I googled and found out he's the author of "Fight Club" and half a dozen other novels and writes in a genre known as transgressional fiction. Heck. I had to google that, too.

What I read made me blush. Well, not so much at what I read, but that my work might be considered transgressional...

Thanks for the excerpts! that rebel, Olivia

Jemi Fraser said...

That's a fun site. My novels all turned out to be King and my blog entries turned out to be Margaret Atwood. Made me smile! :)

Cinderita said...

I just stumbled upon your blog via SSW and am so grateful. What an amazing place to visit! I'll be back. And thanks for sharing the site. How fun!

Anne Gallagher said...

Not a bad place to be. Loved the "fella's" paragraph.

How's the new job? Any word on the precious girl? Will she be with you for Christmas?

I don't expect answers to these questions, I just want you to know I'm thinking of you and your family.

The Golden Eagle said...

Interesting connection between you and Palahniuk . . . I liked reading the paragraphs of his work!

RaShelle said...

Elliot - That would be so cool! He'd be lucky. =D

Terry Stonecrop said...

To be honest, I like your writing style better.

Yes someone else posted this a few months ago and I got Palahniuk the first time. But I tried a few more times and got different writers. I can't remember if I used different graphs from my WIP or the same one.

Kimber Leszczuk. said...

When I ran my novel through I got Vladimir Nabokov. "Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced [vlɐˈdʲimʲɪr nɐˈbokəf]; 22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1899c – 2 July 1977) was a multilingual Russian-American novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist. He also made contributions to entomology and had an interest in chess problems.

Nabokov's Lolita (1955) is frequently cited as among his most important novels and is his most widely known, exhibiting the love of intricate word play and synesthetic detail that characterised all his works. The novel was ranked at #4 in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels.[1] Pale Fire (1962) was ranked at #53 on the same list. His memoir, Speak, Memory, was listed #8 on the Modern Library nonfiction list.[2]" LOL

When I ran my short story through though I got Chuck Palahniuk.

When I ran my children's book through I was compared to Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin has received five Hugo awards and six Nebula awards,[6] and was awarded the Gandalf Grand Master award in 1979 and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master Award in 2003. She has received nineteen Locus Awards for her fiction, more than any other author.[7] Her novel The Farthest Shore won the National Book Award for Children's Books in 1973.

I then entered a blog entry and was compared to Margaret Atwood. Ha ha ha

I don't know how accurate that site is but BOY that makes me feel good! :)

THANK YOU FOR THE WEBSITE!! :)

Elliot Grace said...

...thanks guys for your comments. I just survived a nasty bout with the flu, (and nearly lost, or felt that way at least,) and happily returned to smile, laugh, and applaud everyone's thoughts:)
EL

G.~ said...

Hey El, I think that's a great compliment. But that could be because I love his work. Fight club is definitely one of the best.

It's good to see you still here and plugging away.

I'm on my way over to "I write like this." Maybe it will motivate me...or maybe it won't.

G

L'Aussie said...

Hey Elliot I like this post and what you did with the 'I write like...' website. I forget who I was supposed to write like but I didn't agree. I think I write like me. I loved Roland's first comment! BTW there is an award waiting for you at my blog! Another avoidance activity!

Donna Hole said...

Everything you write pulls me in, and I always want to read on. I believe one day you'll be on a shelf for me to flip through the pages and enjoy the crisp feel of awesome talent.

This was a nice tribute to Chuck.

Keep on dreaming and writing El.

.......dhole

JEHELB said...

Funny to see all these comments. Number 3 is hilarious cause that would be the majority of the rest of us walking and breathing who have to reread the simple notes we write to the teacher or bus driver for errors. However, I do think it would be neat to see as time goes by how many different ones you'll be compared to! I hope to get to read the one you write that compares you to the smutty vampire writer of soo many books I love to read. Just kidding. Its been fun and its only beginning...

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Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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