Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Visual Editing

You still have time to enter your name in the drawing for a signed copy of Once Bitten! Click here for more information.

On a google chat yesterday, fellow Tri Mu NL Berger was talking about Tag_clouds, which, for lack of a better description, are computer generated word art. Anyone can create one with Wordle by uploading a block of text. Wordle applies different sizes to words depending on the frequency the word is used in the document. The most common words are the largest. This, I'm sure can lead to cute and interesting images, but the reason Tag_clouds were being discussed yesterday was for their potential as a writer aid.

Looking for overused words in a manuscript? Just find the largest words on the tag_cloud.

With that in mind, I made a tag_cloud of the first two chapters of my current WIP. During critique this weekend, the Tri Mu's noted a couple words I was using far too often. Ironically, none of the largest words on my cloud were on the list. That said, the more unique a word, the less you can use it without it standing out--and a word counter really can't deduce such a thing. So, not a perfect tool, but still useful. You can believe I'll be watching out for the word 'back' in my manuscript. ^_^

Have a great Hump Day everyone!

No comments: