Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Fun Courtesy of Wordle

Since I'm trying to spend my time NaNoRevisMo-ing (don't you love how that word gets weirder and weirder the more letters I add to it?) I thought I'd use this post to share some of the other wordles I created when I was playing around them. (Did I mention I had WAY too much fun with them over the weekend?)

In addition to making a billion wordles for my drafts, I went to my favorite writer's websites and stole--er--USED the text they posted of their first chapters to create word clouds and see how they turned out. Then I compared them to the clouds I made for my draft to see how they stacked up (see, it wasn't just fun--there was revising going on, sort of). Oh, and I'll end your suspense now--theirs were better. *Grumbles about talented professionals*

To the writers, I promise, you get ALL the credit for creating these beautiful clouds--they're your words, I'm just playing with them--and I really hope I'm not violating any copyright laws. (Don't you love how I pretend these writers actually read my blog?)

Anyway, the first one is really easy to guess, but I'll still let you take a look before I tell you:
Yep, it's New Moon. (Okay, but how many of you guessed Twilight first? Silly rabbits, Edward has a MUCH smaller role in the first chapter of Twilight, as you can see in the Twilight Wordle below.)
What I love about the New Moon cloud is that Bella's obsession with Edward is SO obvious (as it should be) and it even hints at the bigger role Alice plays in the story. The Twilight cloud has a lot more details about Bella--which is good--that's what we need. (It is funny to see how tiny "Edward" is though, isn't it?) But, Bella's the main character, we need to get to know her, and her new surroundings, so it makes sense that the first chapter is more about her--less about hunky vampires, right? So well done Stephenie Meyer. Maybe that's why you've sold a bajillion books. :)

Okay, the next two are really easy too, but I'll still let you guess:
Yep, the top one is the first chapter of The Hunger Games and the bottom one is the first chapter of Catching Fire, both of which are by Suzanne Collins (who Frankie is meeting today--I swear I'm so jealous I may not be speaking to--er, cyberstalking--her anymore). Anyway, I'm sure they both make those of you on "Team Gale" very happy since Peeta's not even in the top one and Gale is still bigger in the bottom one--but I refuse to read anything into that. Team Peeta rules! It's also cool to see how consistent her writing is when you compare the two--the clouds have a lot of similarities.

The next one is a little harder, but I'm sure at least one of you will get it (*cough* Heather *cough*):
This cloud comes from the wonderful, incredibly eloquent first chapter of the Newberry Honor winning Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I love that all her big words are names of characters or locations (as opposed to words like "but" and "like" and "just"--like my clouds were riddled with). Maybe after a few more rounds of revisions my clouds will look more like this. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed them (I know I did) and if you are a writer and you haven't tried turning your draft into wordles I highly recommend giving it a try. You can really learn a lot--I know I did, at least.

Hope everyone has a good day!


  1. Awesome word clouds! I just finished an outline for my NaNo. I'm cruising but I wish my brain and fingers would work in concert, I've gotten brain freeze more times than I can count yet my fingers want to keep shooting across the keyboard. Go figure.

  2. LOL, my clouds are riddled with "Like", too, and huge ones! Thanks for a fun and educational post!

    I'm totally inspired by Suzanne Collins' lack of like. ;) She's great!

  3. T. Anne- WOW. You outlined your NaNo? I'm so impressed. I couldn't even outline my current draft all the way through. I loathe outlining. Can't wait to read it someday.

    Tere- Glad you enjoyed it. I was impressed with Suzanne Collin's clouds too. I guess they're pros/bestsellers for a reason.

  4. I love your comment about the wordle with mainly character names and places. I'm sort of scared to try this with our manuscripts...

  5. Lisa and Laura- I was scared too, but it actually wasn't painful. Even if there's a few words you don't like, there's plenty of good stuff too--and they're so pretty and colorful. :) Give it a chance-you can do it!

  6. Oh my goodness, that was so much fun! At first I thought you HAND-TYPED ALL of Twilight to get that word cloud (see what I get for skimming before actually reading?) And thank you for the linky love! I totally got that one by the way. I got all of them except the last one. That one does sound fun too. Have you done this for your entire novel yet?

  7. Heather- LOL. Yes, I have done it for the whole novel, as well as each chapter, as well as certain key sections, and some really early drafts and--oh, all right let's just leave it at that. I was very surprised by the one for the whole novel. Definitely some things I need to address there. That's what revision is for, I guess.

  8. I need to try this with my novel. I love the cloud for "Princess Academy." And the big old "birthday" gave away the first one as "New Moon;" Bella was almost as obsessed with her birthday as she was with Edward.

  9. Myrna- You're right-I thought the New Moon part was pretty obvious too. But yes, try this with your drafts, it was surprisingly useful (and way too much fun).

  10. Okay. I wordled my NaNo draft, and the results were reassuring. The words I thought I was using too often weren't very big. The hot guy's name was huge though. HUGE. It made me laugh. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Myrna-LOL. That is hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad it helped. :)

  12. Frankie- Okay, you complimented me so I GUESS I'll keep speaking to you. :) But you have to tell me all about your event (preferably with pictures) or I'm going to hunt you down!

  13. (I thought I commented already, and then I came back to get the link to wordle and I see that my comment isn't here. So you either deleted it because I'm stupid, or I the comment-leaving was all part of the crazy dreams I had last night while falling asleep over my NaNo. Hopefully the latter.)

    I love this idea! I think they look very cool and could teach you so much about your characters. What a neat tool; thanks for sharing!

  14. Those are awesome. I've been having a lot of fun on Wordle recently too.

  15. Heather-Nope, didn't delete it. Would never do such a thing--especially with how wonderful I'm sure the comment was. Must be NaNo brain fry--I'm experiencing the same problem with NaNoRevisMo. And thanks for the compliment and the link on your blog.

    Wendy-Thanks. They're so much fun--and so, so, pretty. :)


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