Writing in a Cloud

I found a new time suck!

This word-cloud generator called Wordle was mentioned on a blog that was mentioned on a blog that I follow—maybe Janet Reid’s?

And now, say it with me:  I’m addicted.

It started out innocently enough—I wanted something to throw in the hopper, and the only passage I had to hand was the first page of Chapter Twelve, wherein a minor-but-climbing character named Cassie* goes to a bar to wait for a man she’s about to con.

I plugged it in, and came up with something that was too cool—and then discovered that I could change the word orientation and the font and the colors, too. . .

It’s so pretty—and if I stare at it long enough, without fiddling with the pretty colors or hitting the Randomize button, I can actually see the essence of that passage and maybe just a little bit of Cassie’s attitude:

Wordle: Bohemia ObscuraClick for a larger version

So far, I’m restraining myself from tossing in the rest of the manuscript–though I’ll probably do it eventually, just to see how massive my habit words** are.

Isn’t it fascinating?  Wouldn’t you like to make one of your own and add it to the comments?


*Who was supposed to die in Chapter Three, but saved her own life—so far—by being herself as hard as she can.

**You know, the ones we repeat over and over without thinking about it and then have to cull in subsequent drafts:  just, always, smiled, might, walked, probably, maybe, shrugged, blinked, etc.   My adverb count isn’t so bad, really (stop laughing), but if you could fast-forward through my first drafts, the alternate dialogue tags would have my characters jittering off the page.