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Mathematics and Literature

The assignment is to write a response about the relationship between mathematics and writing a novel (creative writing/literature) using TOK.

Any ideas?


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What are your thoughts? Do you think there's a relationship?

Is there a "formula" in writing? Are there techniques to solving problems that writers use? Is there a right or wrong answer? and to flip it over,

Are there different ways to say the same thing? Can things be subjective? Is there always an answer? Do you sometimes need inspiration to work a problem out?

The key to getting somewhere is asking questions :P

& trying to be open-minded when you think about them.

What say you?

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I think that there must be a relationship - my teacher wouldn't give a assignment like this in which the answer is no. That would be too easy.

On the other hand, there isn't necessarily a formula in writing. There are obviously various guides that writers follow, but I do not think that they impact the writer and his style substantially. There must be an answer for this question. Although it had a TOK context, it was assigned in English class and slightly connected to a book that we recently read.

I'm still not sure of what I should write. Maybe I'll just write about my confused-ness.

Thanks for the response Sweetnsimple786!

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Okay. How about this.

I'm working on an IA about modelling. The function has the form y=Ae-kt + B. How am I going to find A, k, and B? I could guess and check repeatedly. I could run a regression on my calculator with some data. There is more than one way to do things.

I'm working on writing fanfiction. I know what I want. I know the end result. But how do I get there? I can make one character die. I could make another character commit suicide. I could create a typhoon that destroys everything. [Yeah these are morbid. We're in IB. It's all we read! :P] The problem might be that I don't know what to write. The solution might be that I just stop thinking and write or make a list of things that I want to happen or I could start writing the ending first and work my way backwards [kinda like working a math problem backwards, eh?].

I don't want to give you what I think, but I hope my kinda-vague words help you.

Once I started thinking about it, I thought math and writing could be related quite easily.

About inspiration. I took an exam today. I skipped problems I couldn't do immediately and came back to them at the end. I could argue that I got inspiration from a problem at the end, and I had a new idea on how to solve the problem I just skipped.

Once again, I urge you to try to be creative with your answer. Think about exceptions if you must. Just how is the process of doing math related to the process of writing is what I wanted to know.

But it doesn't have to be about doing math and writing fiction. There are other parts of math and writing, maybe. You could talk about reason and emotion and how they're used in writing and math. Think about plot holes and literary devices. Good writers think about what they're doing. They're provoking people ;)

And you certainly use some reason in doing a math problem. Do you use emotion? Again, be open minded. Does emotion every guide you? Do you get a problem wrong even though you're sure it's right? And do you ever have 'intuition' about the right answer?

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