So I tried out the I Write Like site using the first couple of paragraphs from my last novel:
Robert Davies tried to log onto FuckedCompany.com, and he could not, and he knew he was fucked.
The chair squeaked as he leaned back. He double-checked the URL in the browser’s address bar; it was correct. He pursed his lips and typed the URL again. Again, Microsoft Internet Explorer showed him its regular, unhelpful, the-page-cannot-be-displayed screen. It suggested he might want to check his browser settings.
Robert typed in www.nTropics.com, the address of the Web servers sitting in the large, bomb-shelter safe room in the basement. His company’s site popped up, with its neo-Aztec cursive logo and gold bar icon. He typed Instapundit.com, and the popular blog loaded. His Internet connection was indeed active. But when he tried to get to FuckedCompany.com again, the same.
The first time was an accident, the second time coincidence, and the third time, one of his college professors said, was a pattern. This was the other shoe, and the axe was going to fall. He wanted to be sure, so he went looking for Daryl.
Daryl was the company guru. Whenever a new employee at nTropics.com needed some help with his or her workstation, that person went to the two network administrators in the unlit office that probably was a supply closet before nTropics took over the building. Those who had more than six months’ experience, few as they seemed to be, would go to the same guy the certs-from-a-book weenies did: Daryl Simon. So Robert made his way up a half flight of stairs into the Customer Support Room.
I Write Like said:
I didn’t like that answer, so I tried with the next block of text:
Daryl studied his computer screen. His visibility, and the high level of background noise imposed by fourteen other technical service reps all in open cubes, didn’t bother him. When Robert got close enough, he saw Daryl was reading some system board review, dazzled and probably slightly intoxicated by the speed of the front side bus and the RAID capabilities.
“Ahem,” Robert mentioned after standing for a moment at the edge of the half wall, just over Daryl’s shoulder and conveniently noticeable for anyone, probably, but Daryl.
“What’s up, Robert?” Daryl said.
Robert dropped his voice. “I can’t get to F Company.”
Robert hated to say it, so he hissed, instead. “I can’t get to FuckedCompany.com!”
“You kick your Cat5 out?”
“No, I haven’t lost connectivity, I just can’t get to the site. That means they’re blocking us, and that means we’re going out of business.”
“What’s up, guys?” Kevin Horton appeared and asked.
“Robert can’t get to Fucked Company, so we’re all fired.” Daryl tapped on his keyword.
“What’s Fucked Company?” Kevin said.
“The Dot-Com Deadpool,” Robert said.
“It’s a rumors site,” Daryl said. “When a company’s thinking about layoffs, someone drops Fucked Company an e-mail and the guy puts it up on the Web. A lot of times he’s got actual e-mails and whatnot. Mildly amusing.”
“As long as you’re not on it,” Robert said.
“If you can’t get to the Web site, why don’t you just can the net admins, Robert? Why do we all have to pay for their incompetence?” Kevin rubbed his cheek with the arm he was leaning on. Elbow up, he looked foolish instead of nonchalant, Robert thought, but Robert’s idea of nonchalance tended to parade rest. Hands behind the back in a non-threatening way. Kevin liked to repose like that, in his Dockers and collared shirts, dressed in business casual to rank him somewhere above the casual information technology rabble. He probably stuffed a sock down his trousers, too.
I Write Like said:
I don’t like that answer, either.
I’m giving up. There’s no telling how long it would take me to find a snippet that I Write Like would tell me the answer I am looking for (Ernest Hemingway).
But if my writing style varies that widely from one page to the next, I don’t question myself: I question I Write Like.