While you’re waiting for me to finish reading the entries and decide on the finalists, I thought you might enjoy this word cloud of all the entries. I pasted all 2,651 comments/entries (which translated to about 247,000 words) into the word cloud generator on wordle.net.
Here’s the result:
The prominence of “like” is a reflection of how many similes there were in the first paragraphs.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the finalists!
Argh. Not another one.
I was up until 4am playing with wordle. 😀
It's such a fun tool. Great for figuring out which character is truly my main character (most mentioned) in my story, and good for identifying themes I didn't know were there.
There were quite a few entries removed by the author. Not surprising, though. I can think of a few contests I've entered and later wished I could yank that piece of writing back. (Sometimes immediately after I hit 'submit')
Cat Woods says
And here I thought like was a result of tween's talking quasi-valley girl…
Andrew the author says
Has anyone called dibs on compiling all those first paragraphs into one story made of nothing but hooks?… Albeit a long, confusing story.
Wow. That's so cool!
I saw this site on another blog some months ago but lost the link. Now I have it again! Thanks so much for posting it.
P.S. Just checked…not a single "like" in my paragraph.
Wordle = new toy for me to play with instead of working. Incredible!
I just pasted all of the comments onto wordle. Very beautiful.
What an interesting way to discover what words are most prominent in a manuscript. If "like" or "know" or "realized" or "but" stick out, bad news.
Bill Mabe says
Since "vampire" was conspicuously absent, I'll be sending you a query any day for my novel, "Way Better than Twilight."
Amber Lough says
Lucy Woodhull says
I enjoy the fact that "dead" and "body" are in that cloud. Ya'll are a bloodthirsty bunch! Makes me think I need to kill off more characters… maybe the one who uses "like" too much.
Chuck H. says
Veronica Barton-Dean said "We could be given the same sentence to start with and each of us would come up with something different." Does anyone else smell a contest in that?
Word Ver: protork – well, I've never actually been against torks.
Mind you, I also like MS Word's Auto Summarize feature. No, it doesn't work as intended – but it's always good for a chuckle.
Try taking your latest manuscript and ask Word to summarize it in 500 words.
The results are usually nonsensical – but funny when read out loud.
Hmh, I'm surprised that only one of those words is in my first paragraph.
But "know" is a fairly big one…and it's in there twice.
Maybe that's what I get for writing fantasy.
I'd never used that Auto Summarize feature before. It was bizarre and hilarious, and hopefully not an accurate summary of my manuscript!
Interesting! I can't find a single word on your puzzle that came from my submitted paragraph. I don't know if I should be depressed because I’m so different or elated because I may be unique.
I'd never used AutoSummarize before now.
It saddens me.
Sam Hranac says
A quick check, I think I only used the word day from that blob. Not sure what that means.
Laura Martone says
I agree with Orange Slushie (great name, BTW!) – that would look awesome on a wall. But I repeat my statement from a couple posts ago. I don't envy you, Nathan. 247,000 words?!! Sheesh. How can you possibly read these paragraphs in a couple days – even if you skim?
Sam Hranac says
Okay. Just did this wordle thing on my current ms. It was delightful to see the flavor of the ms come through! Fun stuff.
This is extremely cool.
"Like" is incredibly prominent. According to Wikipedia's word frequency lists, "like" ranks 76th in all Gutenberg project texts. In contemporary fiction, it's more frequent: rank 36.
Here's the link: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists#Top_English_words_lists
Andrew the author says
I wish I could still submit a different paragraph that includes those and ONLY those words. The first sentence might be:
One body was just like back around the time you felt your first black eye.
Wordle is cute, but the AutoCrit Editing Wizard is REALLY useful.
It's great at finding the weaknesses in my manuscript.
Bill Baynes says
Thanks for choosing me as a finalist, but how come you didn't include my paragraph on your blog?
Lily G says
I put the finalists' paragraphs through Wordle for a lark. It came back with "back". Hmm…
I have teenagers, Nathan. They use "like" in every freaking sentence. So I went to Wordle, tossed in my latest MS and bada-boom, bada-bing apparently I use the word LIKE a bit too much, too.
So, thank you. I'm going to use this to help me identify the overusage. The site has a lot of nifty, useful tools there so I have a great new obsession.
And damn you, Nathan! Now I have something else to obsess over. /tease
PS: It sucks that I have to use my Google identity and can't use my website and email address.
Wow… I should really watch how many times I say like…
Wow, this would be a greatHallmark card.
I'm a little late to this, but I see the words "just" and "even" are also prominent. Not surprising, I see submissions filled with those two words. They are rather overused, in my opinion.
Cool site. Thanks for the link. I might run a few submissions through it to see what I come up with.
Unfortunately, Wordle comes with an unsigned ActiveX control and Windows 7 won't allow it to download to my computer. I used it on my older XP computer and it was a lot of fun and was a nice tool to see which words I needed to pare down.