Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Which We Discuss Wordle

I mentioned last week about how I ran my short story "Hole Ridden" through Wordle to find any over-used words I was unaware of (apparently, I used "back" much more than anticipated.)

A couple of blog pals mentioned that they had never used Wordle before or didn't know what it was.

Wordle is a website that lets you paste a chunk of text that is then turned into a word cloud. The word cloud will show you the most used words and it will also let you remove words you don't want counted (typically character names if you're using it as revision assistance)

There are also other websites, so if Wordle doesn't work for you, you can also google "word clouds" and find other options.

Wordle also lets you choose colors, fonts, languages and how the words are displayed to make your word cloud as much a work of art as you want.

When I ran Hole Ridden through Wordle (and I left in the character names) this is what my word cloud ended up looking like:





I giggled like a school girl when I saw this because it seemed so ominous with the giant "Hole" front and center.

Anyone else throw their work in Wordle? Either as a revision assitant or just for fun?

36 comments:

Palindrome said...

I've never used it but that looks ever so pretty and now I want one. Wouldn't that be great to do as a large poster?
I would do that for my first novel published and frame it!

Suzi McGowen said...

I agree with Palindrome, that's a great idea! Or I'd love to see a wordle cloud as a cover for a suspense or thriller.

But no, I don't use it. I just use a normal word counter to let me find words that I use as crutches.

"But" and "just" are two of my biggest crutches.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I've used it in the past - but mostly for play. Once I get further into this manuscript, I'll definitely have to put it through there and see what comes up.

I love how the word "hole" stands out so prominently in your wordle...so fitting!

Christi Goddard said...

I posted my wordle a few weeks ago. I love the thing. My biggest word was my MC's name.

JustineDell said...

Love your word cloud! HOLE is staring at me ;-)

I've only used wordle twice, but for completed books, just to see what it looked like. Loved it, of course.

~JD

Falen said...

Palindrome - GENIUS!!! I'ma totes do that! applause for your genius idea!

Suzi - it WOULD be a great cover for a mystery book!

Jaydee - thanks! Wordle is one of those tools i use after i've done a few line edits

Christi - they're so pretty as visual representations of our work

Justine - yeah i tend to hold off until the WIP is completed. unless i'm just bored and looking for something to do

j.leigh.bailey said...

I totally have to try that out. I can't wait to see what my werewolf short story ends up like! What fun!

Joan Crawford said...

Heeehehehee! Hole and chain are quite prominent.

This is a very cool application!

Falen said...

J Leigh - i hope it turns out awesome!

Joan - they are indeed. creeeeeeepy

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

I haven't yet but plan to run it through there to find my pesky repitions. OMGGGGGG that picture is creepy perfect for Hole Ridden, it should be like...the cover for that story I love it!

Teebore said...

I haven't used it, but I'm totally going to now. That's crazy cool.

If this was a book, that word cloud should be its cover.

Lola Sharp said...

Yeah, I've done it. Mostly for fun. :)

I like your BIG GAPING HOLE! ;)

Falen said...

Erica - i know! I was super excited when i saw it

Teebore - YEAH it should! But alas, just a short story. Though i should try it with foxfire

Falen said...

Lola - Ha! and yeah, in the past it's mostly been just for fun for me too

Heather said...

I've used it before, but not for awhile. I did it when I first started writing, and I plan to try again when I'm finished. I think it's helpful to leave character names in too because it lets you see how big of a role the characters are playing in the book (and how big a role the characters are playing in relation to each other). I definitely learned things about my writing last time, so much so that I was willing to post the one for my first chapter on my blog but not the one for the whole MS because I felt it showed my bad writing (lots of weak words, etc.) Hopefully in the final it will be different!

Janel said...

I threw the first piece of micro fiction I had published into Wordle to make a 3-ring binder cover for a writing workshop. I did it for the look and didn't realize the word size was based on count.

Summer said...

I love Wordle! Besides my character names, one of the biggest is the f-word. Hehe...

I like that your big ones are HOLE, CHAIN, and GROUND. Scary!!

And I'm with Hannah--this would make an AWESOME poster.

Falen said...

Heather - i love that idea of seeing how they characters play in relation to each other

Janel - ooh binder cover is genius!

Summer - Ha! and yes, if i get this story published (and i'm gonna try my hardest) i'm totes framing it

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I keep forgetting about Wordle!

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

My Liquid Story Binder has a similar feature, but this is cooler. And I like Palindrome's idea of making it into a poster, I think I may try it down the road!

Christine Danek said...

I've heard of this but never used it. I must try it. It looks really neat. Definately, make it into a poster.

Anne said...

If you get this story published, i will get it printed poster-sized and frame it for you

Kerrin said...

Hi Falen.
it looks really neat.
Do you think that as writers we get fixated on our words too much? isn't that was the editors are for?
Just a thought LOL!
I've never heard of wordle but i'm going to take a look, thanks!

Falen said...

Alex - you should stick Cassa in and see what comes out!

MRJ - yeah i think Hannah should win an award for most genius idea

Christine - give it a try! It only takes like 30 seconds

Anne - Yay! but it doesn't have to be poster size. 8x11 would be fine for my limited wall space in me room

Kerrin - i would agree. But since most of us don't (yet) have editors i think it's our job to make our writing as perfect as we possibly can until we send it away

Southpaw said...

I have jsut for fun, but I can see that itwould make a useful tool as you've suggested.

Angie said...

Very cool. I think I'll try it once I get the MS all typed in.

DL Hammons said...

How much text will it take? An entire manuscript (100K words)? That would be interesting to see and an awesome poster if it was ever published.

roxy said...

Wordle, where have you been, and why didn't I know about you? Awesome. Thanks for the fun, informative post, Sarah.

Medeia Sharif said...

I bookmarked the Wordle site. I'm going to use it. Not only is a Wordle attractive, but when I'm editing I know I overuse some words. So in that case, it'll be helpful to know which words to alter or cut out.

Watery Tart said...

I haven't used wordle... am considering it though... but I HAVE fallen in love with your Friday Word posts, so there is an award for you at my blog...

Falen said...

Southpaw - it's fun and handy!

Angie - it's something that i look forward to once a few sets of line edits are complete

DL - as far as i know there aren't any limits. At least there are none listed by the text box or in the FAQ...

Roxy - any time! But be careful, it can be a time suck

Medeia - if only all revisions could be so pretty

Watery - aww thanks!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, I luurve using Wordle :D Apparently, I use "back" wayyyy to much, too. Who knew?

Anne said...

8.5x11
got it
it would be cool if you got that done for all of the myriad of books you'll eventually have published

Kelly Dexter said...

This definitely looks like something I want to try. By the way, I've got an award for you over at my blog if you'd like to swing by and pick it up.

Falen said...

Zoe - it's werid, right? And a few of mine i was using as a noun, so i couldn't get rid of them...

Anne - yes it would

Kelly - thanks! I'll swing by

Vatche said...

Hey, Falen, I was wondering if you got my thoughts of Hole Ridden emailed to you? Also, thank you for explaining to me what Wordle was.

Write on!

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