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Fun Friday–What Gender Is Your Writing?

Friday, June 29, 2007

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How well do you write in the male and female viewpoints?

“Inspired by an article and a test in The New York Times Magazine, the Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm developed by Moshe Koppel, Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and Shlomo Argamon, Illinois Institute of Technology, to predict the gender of an author.”

The Gender Genie will test a 500+ word sample of your prose (longer is better) and tell you whether it has been written by a male or female.

So I entered the first three pages of William’s opening scene in Ransome’s Honor:

Words: 632
Female Score: 563
Male Score: 647
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!

Yay! The voice of William’s viewpoint is masculine!

Let’s try the first three pages of Julia’s opening scene:

Words: 636
Female Score: 963
Male Score: 714
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

Apparently in Julia’s viewpoint, I’ve used both masculine and feminine words with higer points values, as the total scores are higher, but I’m pretty proud of the fact that a computer has confirmed that I’m on track with really getting inside my characters’ heads in this story. It’s also good to see that my word choice apparently changes when I switch viewpoints, resulting in the difference in total scores.

How does your writing come out? Are your hero’s scenes too feminine? Read over the list of “Masculine Keywords” the Gender Genie gives along with your score. Can you incorporate more of those words and fewer of the “Feminine Keywords”? If you’ve written different genres, try comparing scenes from each. What do you learn about your writing?

I’ve got a bunch of stuff at home to try out on this thing this weekend!

5 Comments
  1. Friday, June 29, 2007 9:16 am

    This looks like fun! Maybe I can give it a try when the babies go down for naptime. Glad to see you’re writing in the proper gender! I’m going to look at the keywords now.

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  2. Friday, June 29, 2007 10:29 am

    I tested my piece I submitted for residency – my roles came back reversed…should I worry?

    I found the site fun and interesting. I’m going to try a few other pieces I have too.

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  3. Friday, June 29, 2007 4:09 pm

    Well my first three chapters all came back female, so I tried some blog posts (one of the options) and it got really interesting.

    The story/relational ones (My last morning with Grandma, “Helping my husband help me”) came back female, but my analytical/practical advice stuff (“Is Homemaking enough or isn’t it?” pts 1 and 4, and wedding-night advice– sorry to be “graphic,” I thought that was too funny) all came back *solidly* “male.”

    Interesting to me…

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  4. Saturday, June 30, 2007 5:32 pm

    My first chapter, all in the male POV came back almost a dead tie M/F leaning a teensy bit toward M. My second chapter in the female POV came back overwhelmingly female.

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  5. Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:10 pm

    The first chapter of A Time of War, which is in a male POV, came back female. I think the results are just a bit skewed because he is thinking about his girl and that’s why a lot of the female keywords showed up I think.

    And my sample from The Master’s Hand came out just right! It’s a guy POV and that’s what I got. So my theory about the hero thinking about his girl skewing the results seems to be valid. This is a really nifty thing!

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