Taking a break from writing and editing my sci-fi novel, I discovered the wonderful Pulp-o-mizer over on the Thrilling Tales website. The whole website is pretty marvelous, at least to those of us who enjoy retro takes on pulp science fiction. You can try your hand, too, at creating silly covers using this gadget.
I recently found one other fun way to mix pleasure with writing tasks, when I tried out a number of word cloud generators, plugging in whole chapters of my work-in-progress. I found it an interesting way to see which terms get high use — some surprising results there! Why were there so many body parts prominently displayed (eyes, hands, arms, heads, lips) in the word cloud for chapter three? Below is one I did for the prologue (hardly any body parts at all, but plenty of house parts!), using Tagxedo.
Next is another, also of the Prologue, done with Wordle. I like how the Tagxedo one captures the fire that is prominently featured in this beginning section of the novel, while the Wordle one suggests the blackened chaos that is the aftermath of the fire — sort of looks like a pile of blackened rubble, doesn’t it?
There you go, some visual hints of what’s going on in my novel! And don’t think I’ve just been goofing off — these have actually stimulated some useful ideas for the revision process. Sometimes it pays to wake up the other side of the brain.