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Way Out New Novel Writing

This is a bit of a detour, but if you’re writing a new novel, you want it to sell. The old way was to write the best novel you can, get your agent, then the publisher, then market the bejeebus out of the published book. Then there’s self-publishing and now hybrid publishing. But it’s always been possible to do it the other way around. First decide how to construct your novel from a study of why some published novels became bestsellers. Peter Benchley was said to study 100 best sellers and then nailed their elements together in “Jaws.”

Way back in 2016, an Atlantic article describes the search for a computerized

Bestseller-ometer (Can Big Data Find the Next 'Harry Potter'? A new algorithm aims to inject some science into the art of publishing, Atlantic, Sept 12, 2016). After the algorithm evaluated hundreds of novels going back 30 years, the computer opined that Dave Eggers, “The Circle” had all the attributes of the Big One. It had good but modest sales. The computer recognized that “The Circle” has what most teachers of fiction recommend, “authoritative voice, spare, plainspoken often colloquial prose, and declarative verbs that connote action-oriented take-charge characters. But apparently the computer lacked the ability to sense a fit with the zeitgeist.

But now friends, it’s modern times. In the Jerusalem Post, Mar 27, 2020, Lisa Samin wrote a profile of Asst Prof Jessica Cauchard. Here I quote from the JP article:

Cauchard and a team of colleagues won a prestigious academic award for their forward-thinking paper, ‘Physiologically Driven Storytelling: Concept and Software Tool’.

We put forward a new approach to interactive storytelling where narratives adaptively unfold based on the reader’s physiological state,’ she explains.

The paper “describes the design, development, and evaluation of a software tool for physiological story telling named PIF: Physiological Interactive Fiction. PIF embeds for the first time a reader’s state detection and real-time text adaptation. By automatically changing the story depending on the reader’s state, PIF enables writers to create adaptive narratives to improve the reading experience.”

Here’s the link for the paper referred to in the JP article:

Man, do I want a PIF app! I don’t see it yet in the App Store.

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