June 25, 2010

Clouds and Wordles For Editing

I have a confession. I love words and I have an obsession with word clouds. I love the different sizes, the different fonts, the varying thickness of words mixed in. I love the glorious display of color and the creative picture it delivers.

What really fascinates me about word clouds is the way important words are exaggerated. The more a word is used in a document, the bigger it shows in the cloud. You are able to "see" what value an author places on a word.

As I am editing my book, I wondered if a word cloud would show me what words I use the most. What if my most used word is an adverb....like (gasp) an 'ly' word? What if the word 'said' showed up? That would mean I need more action tags instead of dialogue tags. This could be a useful tool, don't you think?

So, here is my Wordle of the current book I am editing. You can make your own Wordle HERE.


Well, you can see my main characters' names, for sure, which is okay, but there are words such as FELT, ASKED, JUST, KNEW, JUST, BEGAN, NEED, and SAW. Those words may not be bad, per se, but for it to show up in a Wordle means they were used a lot. I can see I need to do a 'search" in Word for these particular words and see if I can use stronger  and more meaningful words. Isn't that a cool tool?

Just for fun, I made a Tweet Cloud. I found this fun ap through CJ's blog. You can certainly see what I like to tweet about.


Fun, huh? I thought it really interesting that the words Kids, Hate, and Love were all close together at the end.    No, I do not hate my kids. I love, love, love them to pieces. What surprises me most about this cloud is that the term Cranky Pants isn't in it. ;)

What do you think your CLOUDS would say?

21 comments:

  1. The Tweet Cloud is a fun app. If I go back far enough Sun room is the big winner (-:

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  2. Oh, I've GOT to try this. Thanks so much. It looks like fun.

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  3. This is the coolest thing I've seen lately.
    Wow.

    You are not only a writer artist but a visual artist.

    Hmmm.

    strong. Kai. angst. Gloria. teenaged wasteland. God. Fate. China. America. kang. betrayal.

    A snippet of "Reclaiming Lily." Wish I could arrange the words cool like you did but can't figure that one out. TOO EARLY!!

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  4. So awesome! I think a word cloud is crucial, for a quick look can tell us if we're overusing a no-no. And it's just plain neat.

    That said, I've never done one. Off to it!

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  5. Thanks CJ, for pointing me to the Tweet Cloud. It was fun!

    Linda, have fun with that! Come back and share what your top words are!

    Patti, isn't it fun!?! And yes, I love art! My dad is an artist and taught me calligraphy. I love to dabble with words. Soooo much fun!

    Now what in the world is Kai and Kang? Chinese? Did you know that my youngest took Chinese at middle school this past year? It was the first year it was offered and he enjoyed it, but it sure became difficult toward the end of the year! Who knows what God is preparing him for, huh?

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  6. Hi Janna, you slipped in, girl! I'd love to hear what words stood out in your cloud. :)

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  7. Oh my goodness - that is SO cool! I'm going to totally do a wordle for my wip. I bet you anything I have just as a word too. I use that SO much in my rough drafts. It always sorta makes me gag when I'm revising.

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  8. What a great editing tool! Here's mine for the first seven chapters of Ransome's Quest:
    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1353/4733237391_200510ba56_b.jpg

    I knew I was obsessed with doors in this manuscript, but didn't realize I'd used the word THAT much! And "back" is another one I'm going to have to highlight throughout!

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  9. Thought I'd pay you a visit as well, and so glad I did! This is such a fun tool!! :-D I've bookmarked that link so I can go back and use it when I have many more words for it to draw from.

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  10. I haven't played with the word clouds, but I love Wordle. I've taken some of my favorite scriptures, printed them off, and framed them.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. By the way, I love medieval history, it's one of my favorites, especially in the Highlands.

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  11. Oh, I also blog here http://christinarich.wordpress.com/ where I blog mostly about my Biblical research and write reviews for Booksneeze too.

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  12. Katie, I didn't know anyone else gagged while editing! lol You are so funny!

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  13. Kaye! Thank you for sharing yours! I loved it! I also have BACK as a big one in mine. And JUST and KNEW and...oh goodness, there are lots of big words in my wordle! lol

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  14. Corey, I would love to see your Wordle when you do one! It is such a cool toy to have!

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  15. Renee, I LOVE the Highlands! Especially in medieval times. I am reading Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor and it is so incredibly good! It is the kind of book I would love to write. Thanks for sharing your other blog. I will definitely take a look!

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  16. Hi Sherrinda -

    Maybe I'm a little dense (okay maybe a LOT), but how do you construct a wordle? Do you go through your entire manuscript and pick out words?

    I love this idea.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  17. Susan, I copied and pasted the whole MS into it and it uses the most used words to make the wordle. :)

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  18. Hi, if you thought Wordle was fun (and it is!) then you should check out the AutoCrit Editing Wizard.

    The AutoCrit Wizard actually provides over a dozen different reports on your manuscript showing you words you have overused, words and phrases you have repeated too quickly, areas of slow pacing, etc.

    It gives me HUGE insights into my manuscript and shows me which areas need editing. I couldn't edit without it :-)

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  19. I love it Sherrinda. I've done a wordle for an old MS. I think my biggest word was "smiled." It's a great tool.

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  20. Oh, my WORD! I love this!!!

    I'll bet mine would have God, Lord, grace, fun, and kids.

    I like yours! I'm eager to read it now!

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  21. That's so cool! I'll have to give that a go for my own W.I.P.

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