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How To Use Charts To Research Your Novel

While working on a novel about a chart artist, novelist and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman created his own charts. The work ended up collected in the Museum of Silly Charts at Jason Oberholtzer and Cody Westphal‘s I Love Charts blog.

Above, we’ve embedded one of Greenman’s chart-experiments. Very Short List recently interviewed the novelist about his charts. Greenman’s regular graphing actually helped him explore the mind of an imaginary character. What’s the craziest thing you ever did to research a novel?

Check it out: “Greenman told us that a character in his next novel is a chart artist. Making these charts was a way for the writer to get into his character’s head. And judging by the results, it’s a very strange head to be in … There are a dozen charts in all, andtheir cumulative effect is oddly satisfying, in an Idiocracy-meets-The Office kind of way.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post misidentified the origins of the I Love Charts blog.

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