I turned in a new draft of Aven Cycle Book Two to my editor last week! And, as is traditional, I made a word cloud for it. The five most-often-used words in this draft (apart from articles and pronouns and such) are: Latona, Sempronius, Vibia, magic, more.
I’m glad to have this draft turned in, and I’m eager to hear what my editor thinks. The changes in this draft feel solid. The sequence of events is better paced, and the ending is a lot more emotionally-driven. It still needs some work, to be sure, but it feels like now that work can be polishing and smoothing, not full-on chiseling.
I love word clouds. There’s just something mesmerizing about them, and they can be so weirdly artistic, too. I got sort of addicted to them at work, actually, because we use them for various teaching purposes. I’ve done them for Aven three times now: once right after I finished the first draft, once after I’d done quite a lot of revisions, before I started querying, and now a third time, with the new round of additions and adjustments. It doesn’t change a lot — but I do like seeing what subtle shifts there are. Some characters come into greater prominence. Some ideas grow larger or smaller. Like I said: mesmerizing.