Creative Writing, Software?

I knew, vaguely, that creative writing software was out there, floating in the world, but I never thought about it much until I read an afterword in Michael Chabon's "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" in which he mentioned the two software programs the book had been written on. I've never tried any of this software personally, and am wondering if anyone out there reading this uses such a program. I guess everything about the programs sounds good, and helpful, but I just don't know if I want a software program tracking my characters for me and aiding me in plotting my novels. This is probably due to the fact I'm paranoid about computers getting not only good enough to write novels themselves, but to eventually surpass human authors in quality, or at least equal them to the point of running human writers out of business. Why deal with (and pay)a human author, someone who takes years to write a book, when you can enter a few characters, a locale, and a genre into a sophisticated program that can out-write Daniel Steel any day of the week, in a matter of hours?

Sure, we laugh it off now, and make high sounding claims about the unmatchable ingenuity of the human writer, but imagine showing someone an iPhone twenty years ago. It would probably make their bandanna-wearing head explode.

Strike while you still can, Hollywood writers! The future marches upon us!

12 comments:

Ken McConnell said...

I used CopyWrite on my last novel and I've also used Scrivener. Both are excellent Mac based programs that let you organize your notes and such but do not hold your hand with wizards and other foolishness.

Right now I use two programs to write with: Google Documents and Open Office. All my latest written words are stored on Google so I can access them from either of the three computers in my house or my computer at work. Open Office lets me export them to .doc format for clueless publishers and archive my stuff in an open document format.

I don't use that horrific OS from Redmond, so I can't comment on all the crappy programs that you can buy for it.

Missy said...

My friend Chandra wrote her Master's thesis on just this subject. At the time (2 years ago) the computer generated stories were easy to identify next to human written stories. It would be pretty amazing if that could be improved upon to add mood, tone and feelings that a human knows.

Todd's uncle works in artificial intelligence at Boeing trying to get computrers to talk with people and think freely, I think he stiol has planty of work ahead of him too.

Missy said...

I still have plenty of work to do on my speed typing too.

Blogagaard said...

Thanks, Ken. I'm glad to know the programs are helping people.

Missy: Oooh, that's like, the first master's thesis I've ever felt an urge to read. Also, why does everyone seem to have this one cool uncle?

Speed typing overrated.

Missy said...

Dude I do not know where the 1 cool uncle thing come from. Being from Minnesota, my manatory "uncle who works at 3M" worked in adhesives and helped design how to make scotch tape and them medical tapes. He used to wear bandaids on his arms to see how long they would stay on. Now he retired and his son is "my cousin who works at 3M" and he makes inhalers. When we told him Todd had asthma and used these, my cousin said, "You are welcome for saving your life," in true Hansen smart-ass fashion.

Also, back to Todd's cool uncle- he gave Todd that cool Star Wars book for our wedding.

Blogagaard said...

I don't know. Seems like every time you're talking to someone their like, "Oh yeah. My uncle works for NASA saving the Earth from alien attacks."
Or, "Oh yeah. My uncle is George Jones."

Ken McConnell said...

So what do you use to write with? Come on, spill it.

Missy said...

I have a cool uncle named George- but he is not famous. He works in admissions at UW River Falls.

Blogagaard said...

microsoft word, circa 2000. And a sketchbook that I use to make very vague outlines and the occasional drawing. It's a bare bones operation here at Blogagaard, Inc.

bironic said...

Don't mock the Hollywood writer.

Blogagaard said...

Sorry. They did give us Gigli. Here is the plot summary taken directly from IMDb (I'm not kidding):

The violent story about how a criminal lesbian, a tough-guy hit-man with a heart of gold, and a retard came to be best friends through a hostage.

bironic said...

Look for GIGLI 2: THE CONVERSION in a bargain bin near you.

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