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October 15, 2010

Wordle, the ultimate bad habit killer for writers

The power of Wordle has been discussed  all over the place, but I just don't think it can be mentioned enough, because every time a writer discovers it, they gain a new and powerful tool.

Copy all the text from your manuscript and paste it into wordle. Out comes a picture like this:

Of course this isn't what you would see exactly unless you were Edgar Allen Poe and you pasted The Raven in there, but anywhoo, you're looking at a graphical representation of word frequency in your doc.

The importance of this can't be understated. By analyzing the results of your Wordle image, you can see what words you are using too much--most likely because theyre 'go-to' words. Some of my bad habit words are:

  • turned
  • thought
  • even
  • around
  • know
  • just
  • something
  • see
  • like
  • seemed

....and my worst habit word of all: LOOK/LOOKED

When I went back and highlighted each of these words, one by one, I was horrified to see that some of them came up on almost every page.

My advice? Print out your wordle and paste it over your monitor. You'll think twice about using them from now on, and hopefully break a bad habit.

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