Over the years I’ve highlighted one or two punctuation guides which I’ve found useful in my writing. I’m not a stickler for punctuation rules, but I do believe that you have to understand them before you decide to break them. I’ve spent a few days reading through some of my older pieces of work to see it’s changed over the years (I’ve got a cold and I’m bored – leave me alone), and I’m pleased to see that there is much less that I’d change about my earlier work than I thought. I think my sense of rhythm has improved, and I’m a lot more ruthless in cutting out needless fluff than I used to be. Best of all though, I use a lot less commas.
Ignoring everything they’ve seen throughout the Terminator franchise, a group of Japanese researchers have come up with a computer that writes short stories… and it’s actually produced a piece of work that got through the first round of a literary competition.
Creative writing as a manufactured commodity – that’s a scary thought, but perhaps it’s inevitable. Companies love automation: feed a few instructions in one end and get a finished product out of the other. It’s always been a popular notion that there are only a handful of stories and that everything written is a variation on those; if that’s true then why can’t a machine just write a half decent story?
Yes, I said I’d never do it.
The book is over 500 pages, I said. It’ll weigh a ton!
But y’know something? Until you have a version of your book in print then the job just isn’t done – even if it would be pretty expensive to buy.
And so here it is: The Quisling Orchid … in print!
… And I’m chuffed to bits!