The First 15 Pages

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If you’re writing a novel or a memoir, the following exercise might be helpful. It came up recently while I was working with a Fresh Pond writer on his memoir. This writer was really trying to nail the opening chapter, and so I suggested that he select five of his favorite memoirs (published by others) and analyze the first 15 pages.

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Joyce, Wallace, Woolf and More Wrote in Fractals

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For writers who never did well in math, you might be surprised to learn that literature contains fractals.

Fractals are geometric figures made of small components that have statistical characteristics identical to the whole. If you zoom in on a fractal, you see the same shapes again and again no matter how far you zoom in.

In the world of math, fractals are used to analyze and describe snowflakes, crystal growth, galaxies and coastlines.

It seems they can describe language as well. Continue reading