Wednesday, September 25

A Different Way To Look At Books

a wordle created from the WATGD synopsis
I have a certain way I like to look at my books as I'm writing them. Actually two ways: visually and auditory. 

Visually because I've found that pinboards help me keep the little details - the way a character 'looks' as she laughs or how a man can smile without moving his mouth at all - in tact throughout an entire book. I started using Pinterest for that reason because it kept all the images for books on the same board. I've also been known to print out my boards as I'm writing or editing. 

My pinboard for What a Texas Girl Dreams, for example, is filled with horses and cowboy type images but there is one picture that tells Monica's story for me - it is a woman standing next to her horse and staring into the distance. That picture is Monica for me...even after she learns how to open her heart and let other people in.

And then auditory because as I'm writing, certain songs - old new, pop, country, classical, jazz - come to me. A jazz piece might have the atmosphere of a scene or a pop song might sound like my heroine or a country standard might be the perfect sound for my hero. I make notes and then as I begin editing the piece, I listen to the playlist. 
a wordle based on words I use to describe the book

I found a new way to look at my books recently, too. It's called Wordle and it's a kind of visual way to look at a synopsis or a chapter or just a single scene. You cut-and-paste the section into the wordle-engine and it returns a word picture - the words used the most are bigger, less-used words are smaller. Words are in different colors or going in different directions. It helps me 'see' what is going on. I don't base my edits on the Wordle's I make...but seeing those important words arranged out of sequence and turned different directions does, somehow, give me insight into what I'm writing. And what I want to write.

Do you have a writing tool that you swear by?


  1. I haven't quite figured out Pinterest. I signed up for an account but haven't really checked it out.

    I basically write with my trusted outline. Sometimes I have the entire story outlined and can write from that, and other times I get more detailed and outline chapter by chapter. It depends on the story for me.

    Checking out what you have makes me want to have something fun too....I'm going to check out the Wordle...I like it.

  2. These ideas sound intriguing (but Wordle baffles me.) I have a photo of a hero, perhaps heroine, but otherwise, I write from a loosely constructed prelim synopsis, a list of notes, and the pictures in my mind.

  3. I've usually got an outline at hand, too, Christine and Barbara. Love my outlines, even when the actual story doesn't stick to the script!

  4. This is cool, Kristina! I'm going to try it. Thanks for sharing your picture board too. I love the pictures you picked for WaTGD.

  5. Hi Kristina, I gave it a go! Cool idea. Although it was very good to point out all my filler words LOL

  6. Love this, Kristi. I'm going to try it!

  7. I love Worldle! It's been a while since I've visited, but maybe I will wander back over there soon and put something in. Love the creations that come up with it--seeing my words in a different context :) THANKS for the reminder.

  8. Well, I'm impressed, but in the dark. I've never heard of Wordle. Where do I find it? Is this a Pinterest thing? I'm a little afraid of that (because I know me - I'll get sucked in and never get anything else done).

  9. Wordle looks cool! I I don't have anything but my imagination! LOL

  10. I've never heard of Wordle either. I usually have a poster board with pictures of my idea of h/h, their likes and GMC. Then, I let my imagination run wild.

  11. Thanks, Calisa, I worked hard on those pictures! :D

    Gemma, I get it totally...I was reluctant with Pinterest, too, but I'm addicted now. lol! You can find Wordle at

    I used poster boards before I started with Pinterest,, just Pinterest.

    D'Ann, as much as I love Pinterest, it *is* a timesuck.

    Cd, that is one of the things I love about Wordle - the words you don't think you're overusing but that show up any way!

    Thanks for visiting, Liz!

  12. Can't wait to try Wordle!! Thanks, Kristina!!

  13. Excellent way to engage your senses. I used to find the perfect music for my story and play it constantly. But then my stereo died, and radio distracts me with wrong songs. However, I paint pictures of my characters using MS paint and then put them on pininterest too. However, one day I noticed someone had pinned a gun I painted to their wall of assault rifles and it creeped me out. So I removed my gun picture from my site.

    I haven't tried Wordle. Can't wait to see what it will make out my disaster romance. Hope I don't break it.