Thursday, December 27, 2012

Awesome Present for a Writer + An Editing Lesson

I hadn't planned on posting this week, but I just had to share an awesome Christmas present (that only writers can appreciate) which turned out to also be a head-scratching editorial moment.

My 12 year old daughter Gina, all on her own, conceived of this present.  She took my current manuscript for THE EIGHTH DAY, made it into a Wordle, and turned it into a framed poster via Staples.

Wow. My first thought was: I love it.



My second thought was: Why the heck is the word BACK so big? Can that really be the fourth most common word in my manuscript? The most used word after the names of the principal characters? (In the words of 30 Rock's Liz Lemon, "What the what?!?")

So, two lessons here:

1. A Wordle of a manuscript makes a good present for a writer.
2. Wordle is a useful tool to use after completing a manuscript to make sure you haven't over-used some lame word like BACK!

And, I just want to mention that Marcy and I still have one spot open for a First Impression in January (and three spots open in February). We started this monthly feature almost two years ago, and we've yet to have an opening go unfilled. Is there anybody out there getting ready to query who wants feedback on their first page? Ahem, can I mention that First Impressions participants PK Hrezo and Robin Hall both found agents?  Of course, I'm sure their own talent had something to do with it (obviously!), but both PK and Robin shared their first pages for feedback, then shared their REVISED first pages for more feedback, and then went on to successfully woo agents.  Just sayin'. :D

Directions on submitting can be found on the sidebar.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Cheers from the Salerni household ... and Happy 2013!

16 comments:

  1. Ha!

    I shall really have to check that Wordle thing out next week, really. I'm not really sure what word I use a lot in my ms, but I'm really excited to find out.

    (No, really I am :)

    PS... to anyone out there on the fence... I submitted my first page a few months back and I got some honest and valuable feedback. (Put it to you this way... if I could submit my *second* page, I would :)

    Really :)

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  2. Hi Dianne .. what a clever and thoughtful present from a daughter to a Mum - how very inventive ..

    Isn't that amazing - but as you say .. something that can be corrected once you've realised the 'errors of your ways'?!?!?

    Cheers - one very intuitive little lady is that daughter of yours ..

    Happy rest of the festive season .. Hilary

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  3. What an amazing gift for a writer! Gina rocks. :)

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  4. That's such a cool present. I love it! You've got an awesome daughter!

    I'd love to submit my first page, but I'm having a little bit of a wobble about it at the moment, so I'll look out for your next plea!

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  5. On a similar note, my husband took the cover of Touch of Death and had a giant poster made. I love it!

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  6. I decided to play with this, ran Wordle for four of my novels and guess what..."back" was prominent in all of them! Weird!

    Lauren

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  7. This is a wonderful gift! What a creative and tuned in child you have!

    This is wonderful.

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  8. Also, when I actually have a finished fiction manuscript, I will totally want to do this!! What a great idea that is.

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  9. Cool poster. What a neat Christmas gift. : )

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  10. That is so cool! And even better your daughter though of it..I'm impressed! Merry Christmas and almost happy new year..

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  11. And that's you're ENTIRE manuscript brought down to only those words? Wow. And interesting about the overused word thing . . . I'm going to have to do that.

    Fun gift!

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  12. Seems like a beautiful present.

    Wish you a very happy and prospering New Year this 2013.

    Take Care :)

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  13. What a creative and thoughtful gift. Your daughter is very special, Dianne.

    I would LOVE to submit a rewrite of my first page for BLINDED Gardener. If you do rewrites. I also have my first novel that I am tweaking... I could use your "Eyes" on that too...

    Maybe in February. This week I am TOTALLY submerging myself in my writing.

    Wishing you all the best for 2013...

    Thanks for all your insight and help this year....

    Michael

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  14. I love the wordle and I love your comments on it!

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  15. Okay...I just did a wordle on my ms and you'll be happy to know "back" is just as big on mine!
    As is "just" which is always one of my evil words.
    But I love it anyway, b/c I am revising and can (insert "need") to fix that stuff anyway, and I love how all the characters names are so big and things like "diary" and "whaling" are so big too.
    Thank you so much for sharing this great idea!
    I'm going to post it on my blog soon, and will give you full credit. And Gina too.
    Happy new year!

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