Tag Archives: fun

Helpful Sites November 2010 edition + NaNoWriMo Results!

I have to start this post by yelling very loudly “I DID IT!” I reached 50,000 words on the 30th November (today) at 4.10pm Australian time. I’d actually fallen behind my word goal the last few days, meaning I had to write around 2,100 words today to hit 50k. It was very exciting putting my 50,000 words into the NaNoWriMo word count evaluator and receiving my winner’s certificate. Thank-you so much to everyone who cheered me on and supported me throughout the month of November. And in case you don’t believe me, here’s my NaNoWriMo page (complete with my final word count).

Now onto the helpful websites and blog posts for the month of November. There aren’t quite as many as usual, since I’ve been writing more than scouting for sites, but there were a few good ones. I’ve even included a few at the end for those finishing up NaNoWriMo and in need of a laugh.

Resource Roundup – NaNoWriMo Edition

The bluestocking blog did a great round up of helpful and insightful posts relating to NaNoWriMo earlier in the month, but there are quite a few helpful writing links in there worth checking out even though NaNo is now over.

Plotting Your Story

Brooke Johnson, self-proclaimed panster, outlines how she still does some plotting when she writes.

7 Things Your Characters Do Too Much

I know I’m guilty of a couple of these!

The Five Elements of a Novel Query

The first post in a blog series on writing novel queries, this post outlines the five elements that should be included in your query, and follows up with some examples.

5 Ways to Make Your Novel Helplessly Addictive

Five things you should be including on every page of your book to ensure your reader keeps on reading.

6 and 1/2 Ways to Impress an Agent

Literary agent Tina Wexler outlines six and a half ways to impress an agent.

And now for the fun stuff (because I know after writing 50k words in a month I need some relief)…

Lemony Snicket’s Pep Talk

Anyone who is an official NaNoWriMo participant would have got this in their inbox during November, but if you’re not an official participant or you never got around to opening the e-mail you should read this. Quite funny.

So You’ve Discovered That You’re A Fictional Character

Humourously outlines all those amateur mistakes we writers make when we first start writing by speaking with a fictional character who is the result of bad writing. (I’m sure a few of our NaNoWriMo characters are still in this stage until we go back and start editing.)

So You Want To Write A Novel

Weren’t we all that naive when we first started out, before we started reading agent blogs and realising there is more to writing than just slapping words on a page? I got a good giggle from this video.

A big congratulations to everyone who particpated in NaNoWriMo this month, whether you reached 50,000 words or not.

Something Fun That Can Also Help Your Writing Revision

Since it is my birthday this weekend I thought I would do a post on something fun.

Wordle is a great little website that allows you to create word clouds with any text. All you have to do is copy and paste the text you want and Wordle automates a word cloud for you. The more frequent words show up as bigger text. You can then play around choosing a colour scheme and font. Just for fun copy paste your current writing into Wordle and see what you get. Here is what the first draft of my current wip looks like as a Wordle:

Katie, my main character, shows up as the most frequent word.

Wordle automatically takes out common English words like ‘the’ and ‘and’, although if you go to ‘language’ you can add those words back in (I tried it and ended up with ‘the’ and ‘and’ taking up nearly the whole Wordle). You can also remove individual words from the Wordle yourself if you want by right-clicking on them. I took out all the character names from mine to see what it would look like without them. Here is what it looked like:

‘Asked’ and ‘one’ now stand out the most.

While it is fun to make Wordles for your wip (or any other text for that matter), they are also a neat little way to see if there are any words you are overusing in your writing. For example, when I look at the Wordle of my first draft (the one without the character names) I can see the word ‘just’ stands out far more than it should, so now as I edit I am looking for instances where I’ve used ‘just’ so I can cut down on its use in my novel. Wordle also has an option where you can look at exactly how many times each word in your text is used. My highest frequency word was ‘the’, which I used over 6000 times.

Just a little note: The word ‘that’ is often overused and unnecessarily included in writing so watch out for it. It happens to be one of the words counted as a commonly used English word, so if you want to check for overuse using Wordle you will either need to include commonly used English words or check the list showing how many times each word was used.

I hope you all have a bit of fun with Wordle. I would love for everyone to leave a comment on which word stands out the most in your Wordle 🙂