Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back Wordled

I was up kind of early this morning. (Thanks Sophie.)

So I decided to do something I've wanted to do for awhile. I put my entire WiP in Wordle.

Wordle: BACK

I know it's pretty small. If you click on it, it should take you to the big version on the Wordle website.

I'm glad I did this because it shows me a few things about my book. By pulling out the most commonly used words, it shows what you've really been writing about, regardless of what you *think* you've been writing about.


My MC's sister's name, Courtney, is mentioned more often than her love interest's, Isaac. I didn't set out to write a romance novel, so this doesn't necessarily bother me. What it does show me is that I have to think about how I'm pitching this book, because it's probably a story just as much about a relationship between sisters as it is a love story.

Any thoughts on this? Does that strike you as being too crowded a plot line? (Be honest.) Do I need to tone down one or the other and focus on one, or do you think having two layers of equal prominence in a plot is okay?


I also noticed that the words "Like" and  "Just" are huge (which is not a good sign).
Yes, my old friends "Like" and "Just."
Even "Really" is too big for comfort.
I'll be using the Find tool in Word to locate all my "Likes," "Justs" and "Reallys."
So, potential Beta Readers, don't freak out. I will take care of this problem before any of you are forced to read this crazy thing.

Any other thoughts on my Wordle?
Have you tried putting your entire manuscript in Wordle?
It's quick, it's fun, it's enlightening.
What are you waiting for?


  1. So interesting! Maybe I will try it. Thanks for sharing. Such a fun exercise, and I'd have never thought of it.

  2. This is kinda fascinating--using technology (and art, I suppose) tells us about our work by transporting it to a different medium altogether. I'm intrigued by the discoveries that you made about your manuscript, and now I want to Wordle myself a little (is that what it's called?). Great post! So glad I found your blog.

  3. Your novel seems to be a dual love story : love between siblings and love between man and woman.

    You could draw parallels between the two kinds of loves, making your novel have more depth and a greater sense of reality.

    It's not a problem. It is actually a strength if you use it well. Roland

  4. I've done this before, but it was with a really rough first draft of my novel, so I didn't read into it too much.

    But just looking at yours makes be realise how useful this can be if done with a more polished manuscript. Interesting, I don't know much about your WIP, but this makes me wonder who Heather is, and why Grandma is such a big deal and what does back have to do with it all?!

    Will definately use wordle again now! Great post!

  5. I did a Wordle of last November's NaNo attempt, and cracked up when THE BOY'S name jumped out at me.

    I've never seen one with a black background before. It's striking. And yeah, I like how they show you what your problem words are. Thanks for sharing yours, Amy!

  6. Esther VanderlaanJune 21, 2010 at 7:40 AM

    This really rocked! I LOVE IT!! Thanks a lot for showing me!

  7. I keep forgetting to do this! (Thanks for the reminder.)

    And Amy, you're not the only one with a "like," "just," and "really" problem... :)

  8. As for the plot, I think the prominence of the sisterly relationship is great - and should make for a unique pitch. You might try writing a query that highlights both relationships equally, one that focuses on the sisters, and one that focuses on the love story. You'll probably like one of them best, or at least be able to tell which one is the truest summary of the book.

  9. I just did this a couple days ago. I was surprised at what words came up the biggest! Apparently I use the word eyes a lot. haha.

    When my manuscript is totally done/revised/perfectly polished--if that ever actually happens--I'm going to put it into Wordle and get it turned into a poster I can frame to hang in my bedroom. :) I thought that would be really cool.

    Anyway, I'm writing to let you know that I gave you an award on my site.

    I've been following you for months and have always been entertained so I figured you definitely deserve one!:)

    To pick it up just come to my site and click on the blog link. See you there! Have a happy Monday. :)

  10. I've seen this but I confess I'm kind of scared to face the words I overuse!
    Nice blog, and thanks for visiting mine too!

  11. What a wonderful analytical tool! I hadn't heard of it; I'll give it a shot with my latest WIP.

  12. This was really interesting Amy, I need to try it myself. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following!