Thursday, November 30, 2017

Get thee behind me, sort of.

Scientists have invented a robot that can do your writing for you. You give it the basic plot and characters and it does the rest. Would you use it? Why or why not?

by Catriona

This is a bad day to ask me. Ordinarily, I wouldn't entertain the notion. However, right now I'm trying to edit a book to give to my agent for her to read on the plane to Tokyo on the 23rd of December. I know the story is there somewhere, as are the characters. I know I can tighten the plot and fix the pace because I've done it before. I know which bits of  the prose need attention because I have a sense of smell and they stink. I can do it. I will do it. (I can't be responsible for my beloved agent getting stuck on a fifteen hour flight with a bad book.)

If I could just hand it over to the Plot-o-Bot, though? And, instead, spend the next three weeks responding to the editor's notes on a different book, which happened to land on my desk today? So that was done by the end of the year? And I could start next year with a clear desk? Tempting.

If I didn't like what the Editron did, I could always fix it in the next edit, couldn't I?

I'd never let a Myster-a-matic write a first draft, or a final draft, or even check page proofs. But I've got to tell you: if I could farm out tasks like "spread this sub-plot back through the early chapters" and "sharpen this relationship; it's boring" and "merge these two minor characters into one" [groan], I might well.

And I'd definitely let it write the synopsis. I'd let my blender write synopses if its typing was better. Wouldn't you?


Lori Rader-Day said...

Love this, and agree totally. When they come up with synpsi-bot, sign me up.

James L’Etoile said...

There has to be a Synops-a-bot somewhere on Amazon. It would be worth the Prime membership.

Unknown said...

They can definitely have the synopses!

Susan C Shea said...

Yes, the synopsis is about perfect for the plot-o-bot!