Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tag Crowd - A Useful Editing Tool For Writers

What are your written tics?

Do you have characters looking at each other a lot, in different meaningful ways?

Or is everyone smiling at each other, every two pages?

Tag Crowd is a neat quantitative and visual way to figure out if you're over-using a word, and if the balance of your manuscript is, well, balanced.

Here's an example from a picture book manuscript I'm working on:

I just copied the text, pasted it in the Tag Crowd box, and hit "visualize."

When I check out the results, what pops are the character names. That's good.

Then I look at my verbs, to see if I've made the language varied and dynamic. "Took" is in there four times. Back to my manuscript, searching for "took." Checking each use. Is it just the right word?

One of the biggest words in the results is "perfect" – snd, since that's the theme, I'm okay with its prominence.

Similar to Wordle, which does a "word art" cloud, this seems like a really useful tool when you're in that final editing stage of any project.

Illustrate and Write On,

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