1. JannickStAlice

    JannickStAlice Member

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    Narratives built off of mathematical formulas

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JannickStAlice, Feb 22, 2019.

    Ok, so, I'm very much into novels that sort of eschew traditional structuring themes. One I know of that's been tried a few times is using mathematical formulas to shape narratives.

    I used to do weird poetry by randomly generating numbers and then writing words which match the same lengths of the sequences. It took forever and was impossible to come up with results that were even remotely comprehensible.

    I also had a story that I never finished where a despotic billionaire who ended up accidentally bringing the world to total ecological destruction in a few moments who goes to 'time seances' in order to piece together his life (and the life of the Earth) which tried to shape it's chronology on some computer science formulas.

    What I am thinking of doing now, and I know it would be a painful write, is a story that's based off of this thing I saw on this cheesy magicians show growing up in the 90s. Basically they stopped the TV screen and surrounded it with a series of numbers in squares. They gave you a starting number then a series of instructions like "pick any even number within six in any direction". After all of these instructions, you'd inevitably end up on the same number.

    It's maybe a long term thing down the road with more research. But, I'm wondering if it'd be possible to write a non-linear novel in that way like one of those cheesy 'pick your own adventure' books. However, it starts in the same place and ends in the same place. But the different sort of pathways give a different meaning to both.

    Probably to complex to actually work into a sensible narrative so it'll never come into fruition. But it's an interesting daydream I've had.

    Anyway, I'm wondering, what's the general thought on using mathematical formulas to structure a story this way? Have any of you tried it?
     
  2. Friederich Kugelschreiber

    Friederich Kugelschreiber Senior Member

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    This is like the writing version of math rock. Are you into math rock?
     
  3. JannickStAlice

    JannickStAlice Member

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    Some.
     

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