If, Literature

Dendritic fiction: the structure of If

if graphviz kindle loc PNG

At long last, by popular demand, the graph above shows the structure of the chapters in If — using the “loc” (location) numbers from the Kindle edition, rather than the page numbers from the print edition. Click on the graph for a higher resolution, printable version.

A similar graph already appears at the beginning of the print edition, but with page numbers instead of loc numbers.

As mentioned in earlier posts, there’s been an issue about how to refer to a book like If — a literary novel that includes a choice at the end of each chapter. Partly because “Choose Your Own Adventure” is trademarked, some people call this category of fiction “gamebooks,” others “choicefic.”

I’d now like to propose an alternative: dendritic fiction, from dendron, the Greek word for tree.

(Also: if anyone finds any errors in the graph above, please email me through the comment form.)


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