Tag Archives: Collaborative authorship

What makes an author?

A colleague and I applied stylometric methods to the work of the world’s best-selling author, James Patterson, in order to form an impression of how much he contributes to the writing of his co-authored books. The results of the study show that, in each of the collaborative novels (we checked all where there was a relevant sample to test against – where the co-author had written individual texts), the dominant style is that of Patterson’s co-authors. This is quantitative evidence that, when collaborating with a junior party, Patterson’s contributions to the literary process are more concerned with plot than style. This isn’t a “gotcha!” moment: Patterson has always given the impression that he’s more about the plot. But it is confirmation that the world’s bestselling author may not principally be a writer. Read more in The Conversation.