Who Do You Write Like?

An awesome member of the Ficly family has written a Google Chrome extension that will tell you which famous author your story was written like. I just tried it out on three of my stories, and I’ve gotten Stephen King, Cory Doctorow and Ernest Hemingway.

If you’re using Chrome, you can check out the extension in the Chrome Extension gallery

Thank you, mysterious stranger!


  • Jim Stitzel

    So far, I’ve had Cory Doctorow, David Foster Wallace (whom I’ve never even heard of), Harry Harrison (again, never heard of), Stephen King, Dan Brown, and Chuck Palahniuk. Interesting results, and an interesting experiment, to say the least.

  • code dreamboat

    looks like this blog post is in the style of Cory Doctorow :) I get him and Dan Brown for some of my stories as well, both of whom I hadn’t heard of. Definitely exposing me to new authors, which is pretty cool

  • Action Jay

    I got an even keel between J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. You know, the two authors that exist.

    One final post pegged me as James Joyce. After some Wikipedia’ing I feel flattered :)

  • Ana Cristina

    I got Nabokov for most of my pieces, then Charles Dickens and Stephen King, alternately, for a few others. I wonder what it uses to find the results…

  • Raymond Finn

    Unless we could examine the code, there’s no way to know if it’s just a random author selector. What criteria could you use to make such an assessment anyway?

  • Kevin Lawver

    You can check out the site that he pulls the information from:

  • Jim Stitzel

    The results, like anything else from the Internet, have to be taken with a grain of salt. Having read up more on this, I learned that the software always returns a result and that there are only about 50 authors in the database to compare your writing against. So it picks one of those 50 authors that your writing is most like. Still an interesting utility, though.

  • Raymond Finn

    Well, the details of how he makes the determination are not on that site.

    I took several random recent stories of mine. And they gave different authors in each case.

    Uni-Mind – Arthur C. Clarke
    Requieat en Pace – Cory Doctorow
    It’s better to think – Kurt Vonnegut
    In Somnium Veritas – Stephen King
    Imagine There’s no heaven – David Foster Wallace
    A Non Ending in Search of an Ending – Cory Doctorow

    Cory was the only duplicate.

    So either I change my writing voice in each piece, or whatever method that website uses is pretty much useless ego-stroking. (Who wouldn’t want to be told they write like Arthur C. Clarke or Kurt Vonnegut?)

  • code dreamboat

    Like Jim said, it’s only 50 results. Here’s the full interview with the creator of

  • bluefish

    “Margaret Atwood herself pasted in a sample of her own writing and got … Stephen King.” That was on the site code dreamboat linked to. I think that’s enough to show this is all really just good for a lark.

    Though it did tell me I write like William Gibson and H.P. Lovecraft, so maybe there’s something to it. (I wish!)

  • RicoLaser

    James Joyce. Consistently. Every time.

    That means I’m a genius, guys. Right? Right?!

  • HSAR

    Hmmm… everything from Arthur C Clarke to Dan Brown. Very complimentary, although not very consistent. Cory Doctorow and Dan Brown appear to be the most common ones, depending on whether there’s lots of speech (Doctorow) or description (Brown).

  • NightMaiden

    Haha, it’s good if you’d like a little of a boost when you’re feeling down. I’ve gotten H.G. Wells, Margaret Atwood and Stephen King. xD Quite a variety there, don’t you think? :D

  • kaellinn18

    Yeah, I Write Like is not even remotely legitimate. Interesting reading:

  • kaellinn18

    For those who don’t want to read a bunch of stuff about it, the short version is that it’s a “scam” (for lack of a better word) to get people to use a vanity publishing company.

  • Raymond Finn

    I suspected as much, but didn’t want to say unless I was sure.

  • Jim Stitzel

    Ah, that figures. Good catch, kaellinn18!

  • I Am Not Number!

    I write like an occasionally functioning underachiever, socially handicapped by near certifiable hatreds of queues, developing an itchy erse whilst wearing gloves and b.s online ‘test your strength’ exercises (for a comprehensive, fully illustrated list of my apoplexy inducing prejudices simply stub your toe and apply liberally). Any similarities detected between my mental effluvia and other stuff that got somebody famous and paid are entirely delusional and probably means you should ramp up the font size a smidgin and stop swiping your granny’’s meds. I’m so far gone any deliberate attempt at emulation would reduce the near constant Mother Shipton-esque inner monologue, that supplies the wandering narrative to my modest existence, to speaking in tongues, and I don’t wanna sound crazy…

  • code dreamboat

    thanks for the link kaellinn18, it was definitely a long read, but it seems like the main argument of linking to some scam from the is now removed (after much berating). I’m certainly not suggesting the results are legitimate, but I don’t think this little google ext is doing any harm, regardless of the intended link click through of I haven’t seen the google ext link go anything weird, has anyone else?

  • THX 0477

    Fun little tool. Apparently Stephen King was very influential to my writing without me really realizing. It makes sense, as I read a lot of his stuff when I was younger.

    My two favorite things to see were that most of my series maintained a consistent voice, especially that the one set in the South got pegged as written by the author of Gone With the Wind. The other neat thing that two of my sequels that were built off of female ficleteers got compared to female authors—just something neat about that.

  • Kevin Lawver

    I played with building something similar (not a scam, a “who is this written like?” thing) and it wasn’t easy to build a bayesian filter out of authors’ works and then run text through it. You have to evenly balance the amount of text, but then it’s not entirely representative of the entire works. You could only really pit authors with equal catalogs against each other. For example, Stephen King would dwarf Cory Doctorow in sheer word count and would usually win, just because King has a couple decades of work and easily a couple million words on him. It was a fun experiment, but I didn’t trust the results.

    I still think it’s cool that someone in the community took the time to build a Chrome extension for the site. I’m sure they didn’t know that I Write Like is a “scam”.

  • Matthew Entecott

    Interesting tool. Four of my stories were like Stephen King(Limelight: The Puppet, Slave, Limelight: Fillian, Serpent Tongue’s Victim), one like J.K Rowling(Golden Death), one like James Joyce(Limelight: The Hanging Women), one like Harry Harrison(Limelight: The Spider’s Walk), and one like Raymond Chandler(Pacts better left unmade).

  • Mr.Gabriel

    Hm. I like this Extension. Great job Raymond.

  • Scrawler's Secret

    I used this on 24 stories and got 13 different authors (yes i was bored at the time)

  • StudMuffin (LoA)

    I got Pahlaniuk every time except for once where I got King and once where I got Koontz.
    Crazy Stuff

  • StudMuffin (LoA)

    Oh and I just got Bram Stoker hahaha

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Not to detract from the fun, which I am not participating in (in an act of rebellion), I wanted to also jot down the same note here about our fundraiser book. This is the softcover version. Raymond Finn is working on a hardcover version.

    At 7.50, ficly gets 2.34, and standard US shipping is 3.61. so for 11.11 (ha!) you can get your softcover copy.

    For pictures of the book:

  • August Rode

    The funniest one that I had was for my story “Just Desserts” which is an imagined scene between Alice (Wonderland) and Dorothy (Oz) some years after their adventures. Dorothy speaks almost not at all while there is an extensive monologue by Alice, and yet the “Written like” author is identified as L. Frank Baum.

  • H.S. Wift

    I have analysed all 115 stories, and here are the results:

    1st: Stephen King – 32
    2nd: Cory Doctorow – 13
    3rd: James Joyce – 11
    4th: Dan Brown – 9
    = 5th: Raymond Chandler and Stephenie Meyer (Please kill me) – 5
    = 6th: Harry Harrison, JD Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk, Lewis Carroll, David Foster Wallace and Kurt Vonneyut – 3
    = 7th: Ian Fleming, Margaret Atwood, HP Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling – 2
    = 8th: Margaret Mitchell, Robert Louis Stephenson, Ursula K Le Guin, Charles Dickens, Arthur Clarke, PG Wodehouse, Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Mark Twain, Douglas Adams – 1


    My story Alice in Ponderland, was Carroll style.
    My story where I crossed over several detective characters of different authors, came out Conan Doyle.
    Stephen King wrote stories about babies getting syphilis.