I was explaining the ins and outs of digital publishing to a friend of mine a few days ago. He was somewhat less than impressed with the so called ‘indie’ revolution, being more traditional in his thinking. His take was it would only be a matter of time before people started developing computer programmes to write novels, to which I replied was just plain daft. However, it seems he’s not far off the mark.
From The Verge
“It’s November and aspiring writers are plugging away at their novels for National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, an annual event that encourages people to churn out a 50,000-word book on deadline. But a hundred or so people are taking a very different approach to the challenge, writing computer programs that will write their texts for them. It’s called NaNoGenMo, for National Novel Generation Month, and the results are a strange, often funny look at what automatic text generation can do.”
“Nick Montfort’s World Clock was the breakout hit of last year. A poet and professor of digital media at MIT, Montfort used 165 lines of Python code to arrange a new sequence of characters, locations, and actions for each minute in a day. He gave readings, and the book was later printed by the Harvard Book Store’s press. Still, Kazemi says reading an entire generated novel is more a feat of endurance than a testament to the quality of the story, which tends to be choppy, flat, or incoherent by the standards of human writing.”