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August 7, 2017

What is the Universe?

by Criss Davis

I spend a lot of time thinking and even then I spend a lot of that time thinking about thinking. If you can not wrap your mind around that, please look up metadata. It is data about data. Yes, you have HAVE the information, but exactly can you tell me about the information? You know that completely rational conclusion that your arrived at? How exactly did you arrive at that conclusion and what were the mechanics behind it. That is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about thinking.

A character does not spontaneously pop into and out of existence. They have to exist somewhere, move forward on a timeline, in at least one scene, and every interaction with their environment has a + or – impact on them. If the readers perspective changes and the character is still alive the character still exists and therefor must still move forward in time at the same pace as the reader. Because realistic characters are not static they would have interacted with their environment while the reader was not focused on them.

It is conceivable that a moderately nice character we visited on a dreary afternoon at the beginning of the novel underwent a tremendous transformation when we see them again at the end of the novel. It is not conceivable for that same character to change drastically in a short period of time without any outside influences. Think Newton’s third law here, but modified. Let’s call it the Criss’s Third law.  For every character transformation there has to be an equal and opposite number of outside influences over time. I will find the first two later.

So, using this new formula, we can see that slow gradual changes can happen by small increments over a long period of time. Your character lives in their universe and moves forward in time. Even though they are a complete jerk, everyday after work they pass by a homeless guy and feel pity for him. That is a small + but a steady one on whichever value you assign it.

A sudden change would be a the same character being mugged and stabbed by the homeless guy.  The jerk suddenly become a vigilante. A huge  decrease -.

Using this method, the Universe can be loaded and saved.  The metaphor I have for the Universe compared to what a writer does is a simple sheet of paper. The paper is the entire Universe and when the characters are written down they have a existence and a frame of reference. By being able to load and save a Universe, the program can back fill the story line in preparation for its starting point. It can also create parallel storylines that interact with each other or even potentially write a series of novels using the same storyline, characters, and plots.

I have a feeling that the metadata generated for a single novel of 50,000 words will be several times larger than the finished novel alone.  Maybe that will be an entry? Finishing up this train of thought, I am not at all concerned with the processing COST of generating a novel.


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