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NaNoWriMo word cloud

December 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments

I participated in National Novel Writing Month this (just past) November. It was mainly an excuse to spend time generating piles of text that, if I get the time to edit and re-work it in the future, will become a jumble of words completely unrecognizable from its source. I enjoyed doing it. It was the second time I had taken part in the event, and the first time I reached the 50,000 word goal. This makes me a “Winner,” using the NaNoWriMo parlance (and I’d say that it’s applied pretty loosely, but the virtual cheerleading is welcome).

Anyway, the NaNoWriMo website displayed some word clouds that a few writers had generated from their NaNoWriMo drafts at the Wordle site. Wordle takes the hundred or so most used words in a document and arranges them randomly, allowing you to determine visual features such as font, color and vertical/horizontal orientation. I tried it, and the result is below (rotated 90º to the right from its original layout).

NaNoWriMo word cloud 2010

My draft is above 67,000 words at this point, so most of the words in this cloud are “connective tissue.” Nonetheless, a few colorful words do make an appearance, but not a lot of “action” words. I think this could be a useful tool for writers looking to spice up their texts, but it doesn’t account for imaginative prose styles, sentence structures, or encyclopedic vocabularies (not that I feel I have any of these).

Can you get an idea about what is happening in this work-in-progress by reading its word cloud?

Tags: fiction · history · ideas · language · writing

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Blair Cox // Dec 1, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Judging from the word cloud your novel could be based on correspondence between a serviceman and his sweetie. Maybe something similar to the letters that appear in your blog.

  • 2 spitballarmy // Dec 1, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    That was tough, wasn’t it, Blair?

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