And no, I'm not talking about the My Little Pony creator--though THAT is an awesome waste of time too. I'm talking about wordle! Check out the word clouds I made for my books:
This is from the text of KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES:
And this is from the text of LET THE SKY FALL:
So if you can't tell, wordle takes the most commonly used words in any text you want and makes them into a cloud. Which can actually be a very useful writing tool.
It's not all that helpful when you're doing an ENTIRE BOOK like I did for these, since the only words that repeat on that level (especially with how freakishly long my books are) are usually the character names, "like" (I love me my similies--plus my characters are Californians) and a few other key elements of the book. (for instance, "wind" is in LTSF's since, well... they control the wind).
But it can be VERY useful to make word clouds for your individual chapters--especially when you're in the early drafting stages. Not only will it help you spot writing tics like excess sighs (one time I discovered that a character liked to "chuckle" too much) but it can also help you figure out if your themes are reading through. If none of the words connected to the theme are showing up in the wordles, odds are you aren't bringing it out enough.
I could keep rambling about their usefulness but I have a feeling most of you have already clicked away to start making wordles of your own--and I can't say I blame you. They're ridiculously addictive (I will NOT be confessing how many I've made). And if you haven't hopped over there yet--what are you waiting for? Play away!
And if you discover something cool, come back and share in the comments. WE CAN HAVE A WORDLE PARTY!!!!*
*arguably the nerdiest party that could ever exist.