Discovery.com brings us the news about MEXICA , a fiction-writing computer program. Other random-story programs simply choose randomly from predefined bits and pieces. MEXICA actually establishes relationships among characters, that range from pure love (+3) to pure hate (-3). MEXICA then consults a database to select the events most likely to happen at that point in the story. The story’s interestinginess is then calculated. If MEXICA determines the story to be boring– that is, if the tensions among the characters don’t vary– events are replaced until the story becomes more interesting.
I used to joke about Stephen King, Danielle Steele, and other writers having become brands (like Betty Crocker) for the output of intricate mathematical models of successful works. Now, this is closer to becoming reality.