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How to write a book semi-automatically

To semi-automatically compose a non-fiction book, or several hundred thousand of them, one can observe the methods of Professor Philip M. Parker (of INSEAD), of whom we have written (semi-automatically) many times.

To semi-automatically compose a work of fiction, one can learn much by reading Michelle Legro’s essay in Brain Pickings. It begins:

Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots

You are an author about write a story. How shall it begin? Perhaps there is a single, basic plot: a conflict that needs to be resolved. Perhaps there are two questions to be answered: will my story have a happy ending or a sad ending? Perhaps the conflict has one of several distinct oppositions: man vs nature, man vs. technology, man vs. god or man vs. self.

In 1894, French critic Georges Polti recognized thirty-six possible plots, which included conflicts such as Supplication, Pursuit, Self-sacrifice, Adultery, Revolt, the Enigma, Abduction, and Disaster. In 1928, dime novelist William Wallace Cook, author of Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots, did him one better, cataloging every narrative he could think of through a method that bordered on madness. His final plot count? 1,462. Plotto, reissued last month by Tin House, was a manual that aimed to mechanize the entire narrative trade….

(HT investigator Estelle Capablanca)

BONUS: Further Advances in Brainless Writing

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