I have found the secret on how to write the perfect novel.
It is a plug-in I’m beta-testing called Auto-Write that you stick into your favorite writing software. Simple install. Cyberphobe-proof. Pretty cool!
Once installed, check the bottom status line of your writing software to make sure Auto-Write is activated.
You then choose the type of writing you intend to do: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, freestyle and so on. From there, you open a blank page and start writing. If you can’t think of anything to write, you simply stare at the blank page for 30 seconds. The wait time is adjustable in the options menu of the plug-in and I’ve found you can set ‘stare-mode’ to as much as 999 hours. This feature is especially helpful for those with mind-numbing writer’s block. After the stare-mode cycle has ended, a series of random opening sentences will then fill the screen. I’ve tried this feature out once and got:
The weasel limped on the grass.
Gordon gave the nurse his loose stool sample.
Hayden found the male strippers tied and gagged in the back of the sperm bank.
Thought-provoking opening hooks, indeed.
If the muse is already there for you, and you’re deep in the throes of heated composition, Auto-Write has a feature to set the threshold of when to kick in once your writing turns sour.
For example, here’s a shoddy couple of sentences done by yours truly.
Rob’s face was punched by the bad man. Then, he was carried over the bad man’s shoulder.
Ahem. Luckily, Auto-Write detected the crappy, passive writing and auto-corrected. It even adds helpful comments:
The bad man <<Really? You’re calling the antagonist a bad man?>> punched Rob hard and fast, breaking the bridge of his nose. He then picked Rob up with ease and hoisted his limp body over a shoulder. <<We’re moving this to the mid-point of the draft…>>
An improvement. Not 100% perfect, but much more palatable. Notice it automatically moves your paragraphs into a novel structure Auto-Write sees fit.
There’s even a setting to change your writing voice and style to a number of presets that mimic famous authors. I have yet to try this out, though. Auto-Write kept rejecting my choices everytime I tried to make a selection. It seems Auto-Write must have some sort of user-unworthiness detector. This is probably a bug that needs to be addressed, and I’ll be contacting the developers to fix this.
Of course, the plug-in app has yet to be released to the public and is still in the beta testing stage of development. I expect once in the public domain, however, the world will soon be filled with pitch-perfect novels. Much like the music industry, we will see the talent of young-writers-to-come become a mighty force that will take over the world of the written word.
(many apologies to the real Autowrite project)