Saturday 4 October 2014

Your Robot Story Generator is More Popular Than Your Books

The situation: hit counter soaring whilst royalties dwindle.

You feel: frustration.

You’re at university and an essay is due. In a pointless act of procrastination, you write an automatic story generator to amuse your friends. A computer program takes a few words either input by a friend or selected at random, and works them into a brief, inane story. Code then churns out a brief tale with no artistic merit whatsoever.

Years later, you begin self-publishing commercial fiction. You pay attention to the positioning of every single word. If a sentence doesn’t quite work, you rephrase it. You draft, you re-draft, and you re-draft again. You pay an editor to check it once, twice, maybe three times. So why does an automatic story generator gain more attention than your published books?

There you are, checking your daily web stats. Your story generator reached 10,002 hits whilst your beautiful author page enjoyed just 63. To make it worse, almost every story recorded was created from the words ‘knob’ and ‘titties’.

What is the world coming to? Why would people rather read random garbage called things such as Knobby Heights – A Tale of Passion on the Ditty Titty Moors than your heartfelt tale, Living With an HIV-Positive Mother?

Do not delete the story generator in a fit of pique. Do not email the author of The Boner Saga – A Paranormal Vagina Romance and tell him that he needs to wash his mouth out with soap and water. Your competitor in this case is yourself.

Yes, the generator’s success insults your career. Yes, it’s annoying. But, people are obviously enjoying it, so it must have some merit.

With the right advertising partners, a site with 10,000 hits could earn you a little extra cash – cash you could use to improve and promote your books, cash you could use to feed baby birds and put a roof over your Grandma’s head. There will always be morons in the world wanting to giggle about genitalia, so why not use knobs and boobies to keep Grandma dry?


Finally, you snap Dangerous, Squirting Boobies was just going too far. You slam your hands on your desk in frustration. Why must people constantly use your plot generator to produce stories about bosoms? Then you have an epiphany. If people want to write dirty stories so badly that they feel the need to twist a clean website to cater for their needs, then you have identified a niche - a niche that needs to be filled with However, when you see Fifty Shades of Floppy Schlong Dongadoodle land in your inbox, you realise that you have created a monster.

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