What’s wrong with the Writer’s Diet?

People sometimes write to tell me what’s wrong with the WritersDiet Test. Good writing cannot possibly be reduced to a numerical formula, they protest. Nor can an electronic tool be trusted to make judgments about a matter as complex and subjective as style. I...

When famous authors write flabby prose

From time to time I get emails like this one from an outraged visitor to the Writer’s Diet website: As a test of the ‘Academic validity’ of this tool, I decided to test the following: 800 words of Nietzsche’s first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil, came back as:...

How the WritersDiet Test works

It’s pretty simple, actually – so simple, in fact, that you can perform the test manually if you prefer to go low-tech.  Just gather together five colored highlighters (preferably orange, blue, green, yellow, and pink) and use the scoring charts at the back of the...