Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Proof that I steal ideas from other people (but at least it's pretty!)

Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe wrote this awesome post yesterday, and I decided to totally rip off the idea (at least I am admitting it, giving her credit, and providing generous links to her blog. I think that's fair, right?). Basically, it's all about this great tool for creating beautiful word clouds, which you can then use to analyze which words you are using too often, whether or not your major characters are getting enough play, etc. She posted some of the wordles she created from popular books, and one from her own book. I decided to see what my first chapter, which is partially edited thanks to the awesome comments I've gotten, looked like in wordle form. When I saw it didn't give too much away (since I've already posted some excerpts anyway), I thought I would post the wordle to give you something pretty to look at. So here it is!

Some things I learned/noticed:
1. Obviously, death is a major theme of my novel. But I was very surprised to see that it took the No. 1 spot. Now I'm concerned that I should be using other words. But then, maybe this is right, since that's kind of what my book is about. Hm...
2. When your main character is also the narrator, her name isn't said very often.
3. There are a few evil adverbs in this wordle! I must remove them from my draft before they devour my soul!!
4. My first chapter has only seen two or three revisions, and it's already infinitely better than the rest of my novel. The wordle for my whole draft was too embarrassing to post, but I will admit that the biggest word was JUST (which actually makes a pretty decent appearance here, too). That is shameful, and I never would have known how much I overuse that word! Amazing. But now I know, and already I have tried to avoid using the word in this entry. See? I'm learning. Another issue in the wordle for my whole draft was that a lot of unimportant words had a huge placement, while characters and places were smaller. I think it's fixable; I need to get some more character into my plot, which is fine because I love my characters. Mostly.

To see some gorgeous wordles from the first chapters of Twilight, New Moon, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and a few other books, head over to Shannon's post!


  1. LOL, thanks for all the linky love with this. And I'm so glad you tried it. You wouldn't think you could learn so much from them, but boy do you. I was too embarrassed to share the word cloud for my entire draft (which had huge "just" and 'like" and--amazingly enough--didn't have the name of the creatures the entire book is about. It would be like if a Twilight wordle--for the whole book--didn't have Vampire in it. *sighs*)

    Anyway, thanks for the post and the shout out. It's nice to know someone is reading my blog. :)

  2. Don't feel bad - "just" was HUGE in my cloud from my entire draft, too. Now I've been attempting to avoid it, but it's tough! I used it last night knowing I'd have to take it out later. Oh, well.

    I like your blog! You've got a great voice and lots of fun tips. Plus ninjadillo cracks me up.

  3. Thanks Heather! You just made my day (and I needed it. Just got my next round of critiques on my draft and well,....ugh).
    BTW-I didn't delete your comment. Don't know what happened, but it wasn't me. :)


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