Word Clouds!

I recently discovered this great site that creates beautiful word clouds from texts that users can submit.  (Thanks to Emily St. John Mandel for the idea – she has a cloud of her most recent novel on her site.)  It’s pretty cool.  The size of the various words depends on the frequency with which they appear.

Here’s a cloud  I generated a while ago, from the first part of my book.  I did this before I embarked on my mammoth rewrite – it will be interesting to see whether the cloud changes much with all the recent revisions.


I really like the synthesis of aesthetics and unblinking number-crunching.  The software offers, quite literally, a whole new perspective on what I’ve written.  I may think I know what my book is about, but you can’t argue with computer analytics.  It threw up a few surprises.  For example (if you look to the far right of the cloud) I had no idea there was so much nodding going on.  This may come in handy next time I swoop down on the text, red pen in hand.  Nodders, beware!

By the way, I’ve recently added a new excerpt from the book to the site.  It’s about a young Midwesterner discovering the delights of P.G. Wodehouse.  Read it here.

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