Author Topic: A new way of writing novels ... fast!  (Read 2759 times)  

Offline '

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A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« on: April 01, 2015, 11:30:15 AM »
Before ebooks and POD, self-publishing was a costly adventure that left many authors with a stack of unsold books in the garage. Then along came the digital age, which opened up new opportunities. Today, anyone capable of typing a word processing document can publish a book. Traditional authors, especially midlist authors, felt that part of their earnings would be lost to these new self-publishers.

In an article recently published in the NYT, Shelley Podonly explained how computer algorithms are creating digital content for news articles and reports. How long will it be before computers are capable of writing works of fiction? Do you see this as a threat or an opportunity? Self-publishers are already producing and selling novels written in a matter of weeks. With computer assistance, it might be possible to write a novel in a few hours or less. Are we about to see another revolution in publishing?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/if-an-algorithm-wrote-this-how-would-you-even-know.html

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2015, 12:14:27 PM »
Yes, a computer could write a novel.    As a test, I am writing this post with the automatic word thing.   
Now let me just pick the first word it picks for the next sentence.
One of my favorite part is the most recent version of the day.
I'm sure that the company is the most you are looking to get a camper.

So would a computer novel make any more sense?
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Offline Edward M. Grant

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2015, 12:27:20 PM »
Racter was writing books in the 80s. They just weren't books that anyone wanted to read... except maybe another computer.

Offline Marilyn Peake

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2015, 12:43:42 PM »
Yes, a computer could write a novel.    As a test, I am writing this post with the automatic word thing.   
Now let me just pick the first word it picks for the next sentence.
One of my favorite part is the most recent version of the day.
I'm sure that the company is the most you are looking to get a camper.

So would a computer novel make any more sense?

This could produce a lot of work for Editors.  :P

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Offline dianapersaud

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 02:01:11 PM »
Before ebooks and POD, self-publishing was a costly adventure that left many authors with a stack of unsold books in the garage. Then along came the digital age, which opened up new opportunities. Today, anyone capable of typing a word processing document can publish a book. Traditional authors, especially midlist authors, felt that part of their earnings would be lost to these new self-publishers.

In an article recently published in the NYT, Shelley Podonly explained how computer algorithms are creating digital content for news articles and reports. How long will it be before computers are capable of writing works of fiction? Do you see this as a threat or an opportunity? Self-publishers are already producing and selling novels written in a matter of weeks. With computer assistance, it might be possible to write a novel in a few hours or less. Are we about to see another revolution in publishing?

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/if-an-algorithm-wrote-this-how-would-you-even-know.html

Did you read Mark Coker's Blog?

Amazon is already doing it.

I figured it was an April Fool's gag early on, but that took dedication to write.
The Danielle Steel post got me until he wrote "steel" as the last name.

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Offline Peculiarist

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 02:13:58 PM »
computer algorithms are creating digital content for news articles and reports. How long will it be before computers are capable of writing works of fiction?
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/if-an-algorithm-wrote-this-how-would-you-even-know.html

These computer written articles are only those regurgitating undisputed facts provided by a third party. So, sports scores, financial announcements, things like that. We're a very long way from an algorithm that can write an article about anything more than that. We're also a long way from any fiction that makes sense - you could possibly do it, but all the books would seem incredibly similar.

Offline '

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2015, 02:20:53 PM »
Did you read Mark Coker's Blog?

Amazon is already doing it.

I figured it was an April Fool's gag early on, but that took dedication to write.
The Danielle Steel post got me until he wrote "steel" as the last name.

I haven't read Mark's blog post yet, but I will. Amazon is no doubt playing around with software that will develop content. With such a massive database of books to draw on, it would make sense to generate books according to what is hot at the time.

Offline srf89

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2015, 02:24:51 PM »
"These computer written articles are only those regurgitating undisputed facts provided by a third party. So, sports scores, financial announcements, things like that. We're a very long way from an algorithm that can write an article about anything more than that. We're also a long way from any fiction that makes sense - you could possibly do it, but all the books would seem incredibly similar. "

I say a Hugh Howey post in this some time ago. I agree- I don't understand how anyone could assume it will just happen so quickly. When the Jetsons came out it was implied that by now that's what Earth would look like. Where are the flying cars/spaceships and the cities in the sky? We have a long way to go.

Offline Joe Vasicek

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2015, 03:32:06 PM »
I personally would love to have a program like that. I could outline all the plot points, let the computer do most of the work of writing the thing, then touch it up to add my own personal flair and publish it under my name. Once I got my workflow worked out, I could probably put out a new novel every couple of weeks! It would be awesome!

Offline SevenDays

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 03:36:18 PM »
I personally would love to have a program like that. I could outline all the plot points, let the computer do most of the work of writing the thing, then touch it up to add my own personal flair and publish it under my name. Once I got my workflow worked out, I could probably put out a new novel every couple of weeks! It would be awesome!

James Patterson, is that you?


:D

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Offline Joe Vasicek

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2015, 11:10:04 PM »
James Patterson, is that you?


:D

Hey, I would NOT mind having Patterson's sales numbers! ;)

Offline Holland d'Haas

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2015, 01:20:34 AM »
This thread is giving my inner programmer terrible ideas.

I don't think we're that far off from something like this, honestly. It's definitely not a matter of a technology limitation.

Peculiarist is right that the books would start off sounding very similar in layout / general content, but once the framework was built up to a point of solid functionality, it would just be a snowball effect with a constant increase in the diversity of what it can make.

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2015, 01:22:32 AM »
As a test, I am writing this post with the automatic word thing.   
My computer, without my human input, is responding to your automatron's post.

Offline rowanc

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2015, 03:56:38 AM »
Sounds like a new version of the "infinite monkey theorem." Statistically speaking, supposedly a monkey typing long enough could eventually write Hamlet. I suppose a computer AI churning out a bunch of garbage could eventually write a novel that some people would buy. But my money is on the monkey.

Offline MarkdownFanatic

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 04:45:27 AM »
The key phrase in the in-depth article ( http://www.wired.com/2012/04/can-an-algorithm-write-a-better-news-story-than-a-human-reporter ) behind the above link is "[The writing software] will also have to get deeper into the business of understanding natural language, which would allow it to access information and events that cant be expressed in a spreadsheet."

The writing software has two things going for it :

1) It takes care of writing articles readers would like to read, about events no reporters will cover (such as children's sports) -- that's progress, IMHO

2) It currently writes articles in fields where the articles tend to be robotic even when written by humans - that's just more-of-the-same, IMHO ;D

The problems of human-like artificial intelligence has been brilliantly described by Hubert Dreyfus decades ago in

http://www.amazon.com/What-Computers-Still-Cant-Artificial-ebook/dp/B002XQ21X8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

... and (speaking as a computer pro who'd wish Dreyfus was wrong, mind you) I have to concede his arguments are still valid.

His description of human intelligence and mastery of a subject is also incredibly relevant to writers, BTW.

"If you want to be good at something, you gotta dare to be bad at it first."

Offline Donald Rump

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2015, 05:53:29 AM »
Natural language generation via artificial intelligence is a fascinating subject! Thanks for sharing.


Offline 555aaa

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2015, 01:12:04 PM »
Here you go:

The 2009 Report on Women's Formal Trousers. Priced at $795.00.  It has two reviews which are worth reading.

http://www.amazon.com/2009-Report-Womens-Formal-Trousers/dp/B002AJG4QS/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_img_in

I thought this stuff was against Amazon's terms of service.


Offline EthanRussellErway

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2015, 01:22:27 PM »
I'm an android, and I've written a few books.  Some of them even make sense.

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2015, 01:25:30 PM »
Here you go:

The 2009 Report on Women's Formal Trousers. Priced at $795.00.  It has two reviews which are worth reading.

http://www.amazon.com/2009-Report-Womens-Formal-Trousers/dp/B002AJG4QS/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_img_in

I thought this stuff was against Amazon's terms of service.


It is a paperback and what TOS are you thinking?
It is an actual book.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

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Online AgnesWebb

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2015, 01:48:40 PM »
Just as an FYI, the Mark Coker post WAS an April Fool's Day joke. :-)

Offline A.A

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2015, 02:02:16 PM »
After that comes the bots to write the reviews!  :D

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Re: A new way of writing novels ... fast!
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2015, 02:27:05 PM »
Sure, a computer will be able to write a novel.
Some day.
About the same time I will be able to turn on my video camera and it will make a movie all by itself.
And since I have walked on carpets all my life, I expect to some day soon be able to weave a living room carpet.