Word Cloud your Writing

I have just done an interesting exercise. 

I have used a word cloud to analyse my writing.

The first one I did was using the words from my recently published poetry book - Blood Kisses (Available at Amazon now) Click on the book in the side bar or here ).

This told me a number of things. The first thing I thought it told me was I missed an edit, but no. When I checked my book it turned out that the word cloud had just added random S's to Hundred Acre Wood. I nearly had a heart attack. Phew!

Secondly, the word cloud is a great summary of the content of the book.

Thirdly, I am interested that 'hand' was the largest word. I know there is a poem in there called My Mothers' Hands but I must mention hands more than I thought. 

I also enjoy seeing the groupings of three words. They are like minute flash fiction describing some of the poems, which is quite surreal.

After I did this one, I thought I would try it on the novel I am currently editing. The word cloud programme, like most online, wouldn't let me put the whole thing in but instead just the first few thousand words. 

This is what I got. 


It is good that the four main characters stick out, Alex, Ben, Jeff and Lizzie. But I am worried that it is very name focussed, proving (as I already knew) that there is probably too much dialogue. Although it may simply be that the algorithm focuses on names more than other words. Interesting, none the less.

Everything, Anything and Nothing are all quite large as well, which suggests an overuse of all three words and something else I need to edit out.

To check my name theory, I entered the beginning of another novel I'm writing. This one is a historical novel and has a number of medical procedures described.

So yes, a lot of names again, so feeling more confident it is the algorithm rather than me. I can also get a feel from the word cloud that this is a different type of novel to the one above. Although I would be curious to see what everyone else sees. 

It feels like it is set in a different time, maybe because of the Cream Tea and Chap reference.

Then I tried a different word cloud generator for the novel I'm currently editing - this one had more words.

Ben still remained large, as did Said - so still too much dialogue - but then there are so many words in this one that I can't really make much sense of it - there is such a thing as too much information.

Ultimately, I have got what I needed from this, a quick overview of the common words within my stories and poems. What have I learned?  I may overuse a couple of words, and I can always improve? And some word cloud generators are better than others depending on what you need. 

If you liked this, please like and share - Oh and I have a competition running on Twitter for a giveaway of one of my books - please feel free to participate. Thanks.









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