Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Picture's Worth a Thousand You-Know-Whats

This is from

I've used Wordle before to help me create character sketches. I'd plug in words describing traits of my characters to create a word collage which -- don't ask me how -- helped me see those characters more fully. Plus it's fun.

Thanks to Martha Brockenbrough (who passed the idea on from Greenwillow editor Martha Mihalik ), I have a new use for this word toy. Martha Bee used it to analyze her word choices (pet words/flabby words), but I had a slightly different goal. I pasted in the first few pages of my WIP and, voila, I could see whether the right details popped out at me.

I was pleased that they did indeed, even though they'd been randomly enlarged/arranged by the program. Kind of spooky, really. But it was also nice affirmation that I may finally have nailed the opening of this book.

Being a hopeless techno-dweeb I couldn't figure out how to share my wordle with you but you'll have more fun, anyway, going to the site yourself and giving it a whirl.

Warning: set the timer otherwise you'll play there all afternoon.


  1. Thanks for reminding me about Wordle. It let me know in a hurry that I have an overfondness for one of the character's names. I could use a pronoun once in a while. LOL

  2. Kirby,

    To embed your Wordle, you need to click "save as public." You can do it anonymously. That renders a page with code you can embed into your blog. Or you can do a screenshot, but I think this might violate their usage policy (they want a credit, which seems fair to me).


  3. Can something helpful be this much fun? Thanks:)

  4. I love wordle!! I've printed about a zillion of them because I couldn't figure out how to embed them.