Creativity and AI created art —will computers write the next generation of masterpieces?

While I believe that creativity will be perfectly explained one day. I also believe it will be far from being easy to be replicated artificially. I’m basing such a sweeping proclaim on a simple observation. That of AI and the way it has been implemented in chess programs up to now. In fact, although nowadays the best chess programs are so strong they can often beat even the strongest Grand Masters in the world—it all started with Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov’s mach in 1997—these programs play in a way that is quite different from the style of any human…

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Story ideas, where do you get them?

In a way, it seems the problem of the origins tickles our consciousness as a species on countless levels. And, given how fascinating it is such a subject, understandably so. Usually, writers aren’t asked to tackle cosmic questions. Rather, they are asked over and over other kinds of ‘cosmic’ questions. Questions pertaining to the genesis of new ideas and stories. Where do you get your ideas from? How does an idea bloom into your mind? To such questions writers often come up with a lot of different answers. Some more articulated than others. Some more serious and thorough than others.…

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The secret recipe for a great novel? Does it even exist?

What is the secret recipe for a great novel? And the secret recipe for a bestseller? Above all, do these recipes even exist? Questions like these are of interest to writers and readers alike. In fact, while writers are always on the lookout for new ways to make their stories more and more compelling, and sellable, readers are forever sifting through the oceanic offer of books they have at their disposal to zero in on those with just the right features to turn an otherwise normal reading session into a deeply rewarding experience. As a result, at first blush for…

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How to fight Amazon fake book reviews

Book reviews can be extremely useful. They can help us better choose our next book, to home in on the one that is most likely the best for us. Of course, this holds true provided it is the kind of book we like. You know, no matter how many stars a book has if it is about, say, Second World War and we read only romance. Even so, even when considering reviews of the types of books we like, in this digital era of ours we can run into a problem. In fact, although many reviews are genuine, and some…

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20 signs you are a writer

Maybe it’s Neil Gaiman’s statement that particularly resonates with you–“As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.” Or maybe you feel more in line with Dorothy Parker’s take–“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” In any case, shedding light on your desire to become a writer and what you’re actually doing to…

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Why do writers write. Or rather, why do I write?

Money. We all know it can’t buy happiness. But, as Groucho Marx said, “it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” And that’s something. Or not? In any case, on one thing we can all agree. If someone wants to become filthy rich and do that real fast, writing is not the way to go. Indeed, this should be immediately apparent if we stop a second and think about the time and effort even a single book requires. Besides, according to the Nielsen Book research for 2015 only a very small number of books (500) sold on average more…

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What is serendipity and how it relates to creative writing

When you find valuable or agreeable things you weren’t looking for, that’s a case of serendipity. Serendipity has always played a major role in science. For example, in the discovery of penicillin, made by Alexander Fleming in 1928. In fact, as the story goes, Fleming was sorting through many different petri dishes containing cultures of dangerous bacteria. So doing, he noticed that on one dish was happening something unexpected. The colonies of bacteria spread all over the dish but for one small area where a mold was growing. Besides, the area all around the mold was free of bacteria. Of…

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Where do you get your ideas from? It’s quite a common question… but what about the answer?

Where do you get your ideas from? is probably one of those questions that writers are asked most often. Unfortunately it’s also a loaded question. In fact, it uncritically assumes that ideas are sort of objects completely formed and ready to be used—maybe like objects sitting neatly on a shelf somewhere in a magic shop, all happily waiting for a writer to come by and choose one. In reality ideas are made of the fuzziest substance in the universe: jumbles of often erratic human thoughts. So much so that even if you ever managed to find a magic shop with a…

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A truly indissoluble bound: writers and coffee–and what it means for literature

The link between writers and coffee has a long standing tradition. As detailed in Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, many among the most famous and accomplished writers in the world drink coffee, or used to, to fuel their creativity. Søren Kierkegaard, Voltaire, L. Frank Baum, Margaret Atwood, Honoré de Balzac. This is just a handful of names. The list could go on practically forever. Legend has it that Honoré De Balzac drank as much as 50 cups of coffee a day. Instead, Søren Kierkegaard used to pour into his coffee a staggering amount of sugar. This wasn’t exactly the most healthy of…

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