Thursday, 6 December 2012

Word Maps

Wordle is a website that allows you to make word maps from a given chunk of text or URL. Curious, I wondered how my book The Weekend Fix (which is also available as a *cough* Amazon Kindle e-book and would make an ideal Christmas present) looks through Wordle's prism?

The Weekend Fix:

As would be expected, 'hill' and 'summit' take prominence, but so does OS and NN - there is an OS grid reference given at the start of each little story. As it is a personal story, names such as Brian, Alastair appear, and tellingly, 'car' is a bigger word than 'Munro'. Intrigued, I ran the text of a history book I am in the process of writing through Wordle. The results were interesting, for a couple of reasons.

History book:

If things were being given their due weight, 'church' would be a far more prominent word, and the word map highlights a deficiency in important historical words such as pope, presbyterian, industry, and empire. What also comes out most clearly from this book - a history of Britain, that is really a history of Scotland with the other parts of Britain considered - is the pivotal part England has played in Scottish history. Perhaps I have collected too much material on this relationship to the detriment of other areas?

What about my songs and poems? I ran a list of songs up to around 2004 through Wordle. 'Love' is by far the most prominent word. How hackneyed.


My poems are a bit more fey - words such as dream, moon, heart - but also death, fuck, and, for some reason, gudgie...


I had a bit of fun on Wordle - run some of your own text through it and see what it comes up with!


Lindsay said...

I really love this!
There is something beautiful about the way they turn out and interesting that it has made you think about your writing in a different way.
I'm going to go and have a go myself!
Thanks for this.

Robert Craig said...

Thanks Lindsay - spread the word!