tool or toy? A great *thing* for writers

My apologies to everyone out there who is one step ahead of me and has been playing with this for weeks, but I just discovered Wordle.

If you write at all, go there now and plug one of your pieces into the big window.  Play around with it a bit, then come back here. 

There.  Wasn’t that about the coolest damn thing you’ve seen in a month?  Anyone who reads this blog already knows my fondness for “clouds” as a method for navigating your way around a bunch of data– I have a tag cloud as my only real gadget on NSC.   But this is a whole step more.

I can’t decide if Wordle is a tool or a toy, but I’m leaning toward tool.  I’ve played with it using a selection of my fiction and my non fiction prose, and frankly, the nonfiction is on the crummy side.  The fiction has a larger vocabulary and a wider selection of words, including verbs and vivid adjectives, while the non fiction is full of yucky adverbs and weak and weaselly words like “may” and “can”.  I’m very glad the long sample I used is in line to be rewritten.  I intend to Wordle it at several stages during that rewrite and see if I can make it a little flashier.

So if anyone is still here, get back to making Wordles and sticking them up around the house.  Your prose has never looked so good.


Published in: on July 6, 2008 at 5:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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