Revising Fun with Wordles

Some people hate revising, but I love it. I get excited when I’m able to make a character more interesting, tighten up a plot, get rid of unnecessary scenes, characters or details, and really make the words say what I want them to say. I also like to get a little “artsy,” and there are some fun ways to add a little creative time to your revising. Don’t believe me? Let me explain!

I was able to hear Harold Underdown, a well-known children’s book editor, speak at a past SCBWI conference in Idaho. I took copious notes on his editing and revising tips. One of my favorites tips turned into quite an obsession: creating “wordles” to take a more objective look at the specific words I use when writing. Say, for example, I want to check for repetitive words. I can easily use the “find” and “replace” options in Microsoft Word, which I often do, but if I want to have a little more fun, I make a wordle.

I go to www.wordle.net, simply paste my text into the box, and click “create.” My wordle then appears, which is basically a graphic that is made up of the words I happened to use most often in that particular section of text. The most-often used word is the biggest, with other repeated words also appearing in gradually-decreasing sizes. The words are displayed in a variety of colors and fonts, and each time I click “randomize,” the design and the colors change. I loved this wordle, which I got by pasting the first chapter of my historical novel, “The Digger,” into the box on the wordle.net website:

 

 

Fun! The font was kind of old-fashioned and eerie, and to me if perfectly captured the mood of the book.  And, best of all, I could see that the main character’s name, Cap, was the largest word in the graphic, which made sense to me. However, this also made me realize that I might want to check and see exactly how many times I had used his name and reduce that number if I felt like it got to be too much repetition for the reader. Making a wordle is great revising tool and it’s fun to use at the same time. So if you feel a bit bogged down when revising, take a break and make a wordle. You can save and print as many as you like. Have fun and keep writing (and revising)!

 

 

Sharing is caring!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *