I discovered the coolest thing ever on Nathan Bransford's blog. Word Clouds! Wordle.net is the site. You simply paste in a block of text or a website url and voila! You have a word cloud. A block of words in itself is just generally awesome, and you can play with the font, the color, and the layout until you get an aesthetically pleasing cloud, but for my fellow writers out there, the cloud has an added benefit. The cloud is created out of the 150 (a default number which can be changed) most used words in the block of text. The most used words are the biggest words in the cloud.
I've posted two clouds. The first is made up of words from the most recent entries in my blog. The second is from my novel, Sapphire Sins. I pasted all 107,000 words. Can you guess the names of my main characters? I've been working on yet another edit of the book, and I knew I was using the word "look" too often. Could a word be more lackluster and boring? Obviously, I still have some editing to do.
This will be fun to use with my students. They can see the words they've used the most in their writing. I visualize printed word clouds all over my classroom.
Yes, my geek is showing, but come on people...Word Clouds! 'Nuff said.