June 22nd, 2008


A new kind of tool?

Rcently, scottedelman posted an entry that illustrated the content of one his stories using Wordle. It was neat! Wordle makes a word cloud from whatever text you paste in, which shows you graphically which words occur most often (by default, it ignores "of," "the," "and," etc.).

It looked like a fun thing to try, so I pasted in one of my stories (click on it to get the image larger):

This story was about a little girl named (your guessed it!) Aveline.

Next I pasted in a 65,000 word YA urban fantasy about a 16-year-old named Jason. I was impressed Wordle didn't choke on that amount of text! Here's what I got from that one:

If you look, you'll see that Jason's name appears only in small type near the top right hand corner. The difference was that the novel was in first person and the short story was in third. I had not realized how important the Marjani and Esi subplot was to Jason's story until I saw the size of their names.

What a neat tool!

[note: the full text of Aveline's Price is posted on my website if you want to read it.]