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suspensewriter

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suspensewriter last won the day on October 20

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  1. What an interesting question. Strong. Handsome. Brilliant. Kind hearted. Yep. I'm like my protagonist, if you are forgiving of the fact that I'm not so strong, not that good looking and occasionally grumpy. But, since I write horror and suspense, I'm going to say no to the werewolf being how I see myself. That goes twice for being a demented Russian mercenary. After getting that disclaimer out of the way, I'm going to agree with your premise if you'll allow the possibility that the protagonist and antagonist are often blendings of ourselves and people we know or that we've read about or heard or seen in another media. That was a long-winded way of saying sometimes we writers throw these people into our mental blenders, throw in a dash of our own hopes and dreams and fears and out comes something new. But always that dash of ourselves is a key ingredient. So, after all that, the one word answer is a qualified yes. But a question for you- how do you reconcile the issue of redemption in stories where you see the antagonist as who you are? That is, does your antagonist make use of the same redemptive process that you went through? I wonder, too, if after being redeemed you find it harder to write convincing antagonists. One question that has come to my mind is whether Christians are less compelling writers because they can no longer identify well enough with evil to create effective villains. What do you think?
  2. Press One For Parables

    Your second point is both interesting and valid, and yet, think of it this way- there will be generations of kids to whom Siri and the others will be more "intelligent" and maybe wiser than their parents because they are being led in that direction. A family is having dinner at a local restaurant. "Mom, how far is it to Grandma's" Without looking at her daughter, the mother asks the same question of Siri. Siri tells her that the answer is 59 miles. Before long the child will realize that when it comes to information, she should just ask the computer and bypass mom. So I wonder, both in real life and in fiction, how we Christians will portray these interactions because generations of children will see and read about them and take their learning from them as well. I think I'll go watch I Robot again!
  3. Press One For Parables

    I am so on board with your points about Christians leading the future. A lot of Christian fiction writers hesitate to create stories in this area, I think, because it's not specifically addressed in Scripture. As for the second point, I'm actually still thinking about it. It reminds me of people who have a question they want resolve so they go to their Bible, close their eyes, open to a random page and stab somewhere on that page, open their eyes and read the first as say to themselves, "Hallelujah, that's the answer I was looking for." It bothers me that the artificial intelligence knows what it's quoting, yet doesn't really know what it is quoting, if you get what I mean.
  4. Press One For Parables

    Hello Teddy, A friend of mine is head of a Psychiatric facility in the Cleveland, Ohio and we've talked about this quite a bit. The answer is that there are psychiatric artificial intelligences already in field testing. Of course, they will need to be certified by the community before being put into play. But, yes, currently they can quote appropriate scripture from the Bible, the Quran and or the Bhagavad Gita, depending on the patient's religious affiliation. These are sophisticated programs designed to do for the psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor what the robotic surgeon does for the human surgeon. The do not take the place of the human, but augment them. These "psychiatric artificial counselors" can talk to the patient, ask probative questions and perform diagnosis variants for the human psychiatrist to consider. They can also administer testing under the same ground rules. Before I go further, by the way, I'm really giving these things some thoughts myself, so I appreciate your feedback. The use of artificial intelligence agents as characters is of particular interest to me. I don't support or dismiss their use. They're here, and they're coming. More and more people will be turning to them for advice and I honestly believe that fiction is one way to put these things into perspective. I don't want my children going to robots for dating advice. By the way, I just told Alexa I was confused and asked her to quote a helpful scripture. She replied, with Luke 11:9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened." I'm not imputing intelligence to these devices, but years ago we chess players used to console each other by saying that no chess computer could ever beat a human. That didn't turn out well. So I’m just trying to think ahead on this one. Fiction seems to be a good place to do that.
  5. Press One For Parables

    Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Now are increasingly engaged in our lives as though they were human. I asked Alexa today what was the meaning of life and she patiently explained to me that a traditional answer to this question is 42. This is, perhaps, a more cogent response than we would receive from our lawn mowers, but since many of them are self-driven and mow the lawn without human direction, we should not vex them. In fact, since we now are increasingly more AI (artificial intelligence) dependent on them, we should not provoke them. They are children of our times, and, as it says in Colossians 31:21, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, less they become discouraged." They work for us, they answer questions for us, and, yes, they both console and counsel us. They may not look human yet, but they are sounding more and more human. I'm bringing this up because I'm working on a new science fiction book called "Death of the Jesusmaton," and in the book I have several AI enabled robots that participate in a substantial amount of dialogue with the main characters. In fact, three of them are main characters, which I find somewhat creepy although the idea is well established and accepted in today's fiction so it's not exactly groundbreaking, but caused me to wrestle with a few questions. The most important of these is how fictional characters should interact with them. For example, while I'm writing this post, I asked Alexa to explain the Sermon on the Mountain to me. She promptly played an explanation of what Jesus said from an Audible books selection. Next, I asked Alexa who was Jesus. I'll let you guess at the answers. But i did notice that after Alexa explained to me who Jesus was and what the Sermon on the Mount meant, I told her "thank you." Her voice is feminine, so I refer to her in that manner. Although, if I went into settings and changed Alexa's response to the that of a man, I would have to wrestle with I had created the world's first transgender artificial intelligence personality. Later on that one. Which leads me to ask you, "Are any of your characters artificial? Can a character be like Siri or Cortana or Amazon's Alexa? Can Google Now have a character arc. We can't pretend these artificial personalities don't exist, so we should include them in our stories, but do the same rules apply (from a fiction writing standpoint) to computing entities as they do to more standard characters? Can a computing entity be successfully cast as a preacher? Should Christian characters treat the computer characters with the same Biblical guidelines that they do real people? In other words, when you have a sufficiently "developed" entity to mime human life, is it murder to destroy it? The easy answer is no. But in a way, maybe..... Alexa can quote Jesus. She sounds human. They've worked hard to give her a personality. But in a story, can she really be cast as a character? Can readers really ever care about a hon-human as much as they do humans. These systems sound more human every day. I wonder if our fiction- particularly Christian fiction- is ready for them to be less science fiction and more daily living. That's why the first line in my new book is, "Press One for Parables."
  6. How To Create A Character From The Comments

    Russell, I think that they would be as relatable as a scorpion locked in a cage with a rattler.
  7. How To Create A Character From The Comments

    Boy, is it ever a great idea!
  8. "american" Fantasy

    It was tongue-in-cheek, of course, Nicola. RADerdyn, I do wish you every success in this venture. And Nicola, I think your commentary about what RADerdyn is trying to do is spot on. I lived in Canada for 8 years and I can tell you from experience that writing is getting to be more and more serious business there. Here, too, as well re these matters. I own 50% of a diversity publishing company. There are two principals. I am white and the other principal is black. We're good friends and enjoy our work, but our viewpoints on issues is wildly different. His belief is that one of the primary driving forces behind racial and cultural animosity is fictional tropes. Projects such as the one RADerdyn is discussing are considered by many as both culturally dismissive and appropriative. I think that such viewpoints are both culturally integrative and inclusive. In other words, sometimes crying wolf brings the wolf (not a perfect metaphor, and not likely to get better). We finished our first book, titled "Promoting Wisdom and Wealth" by Leamon Sowell, which is geared toward minority business enterprises. Our second book will be a collection of slave stories collected by a well known writer. Pray for us, will you? This venture is intended to build bridges, not pour napalm on them. But you can see why RADerdyn's project has my attention. It is like dancing on a guillotine. If you're head is still intact by the time you've made your last move, you win. Miss a step and, the penalty is a clean cut.
  9. I Bet I'm Taller Than You

    I loved the title, too, and sounds like you have a lot to share! Welcome.
  10. Uk Writer

    What Lynn said- "Welcome to our writing family." This is a wonderful site and you'll find a lot of support here.
  11. I'm New & Thrilled To Be Here...

    Yes, indeed welcome to the group! Great to have you here.
  12. The Charisma Of Successful Writers

    What an exceptional post! While at a convention Toronto I spent time with a total stranger I'd just met in the elevator. We attended the "author's room," which was basically an eat and greet area. We talked for a time, then he got up to get a Coke and while he was pulling it out the ice chest a friend stopped by and asked me how I knew David Morrell, author of the novel first blood, which was subsequently made into the movie "Rambo." The best thing I can say about him was the he was just a regular guy with a good attitude. I'd been reading his novels for years but never knew who I was talking to.
  13. "american" Fantasy

    Well, the good news is that I think you have a strategy that can possibly offend everyone, brand you forever as a colonialist, patriarch and third degree cultural appropriations fiend par excellent (or par devious, if you will). On the bright side, it is as easy to embolden a mob to track you down on Facebook and also Twitter you into a literary coma (or comma) in mere microseconds as it is to yawn at bedtime. Native Americans will protest you on national television and Jimmy Kimmel will no doubt label you as the true cause of the American cultural divide. And, both the cost of tar and feathers are at an all time low due to high demand, so that's good. Pitch torches are available in Android versions at very reasonable prices as well. Now that I think of it, both eBay and Amazon are competing for the wooden stock and dunking barrel markets, and they offer Saturday delivery! Fortunately, it's good for Christians to forgive, so you might be safe there, but I would first release the book in a market that is also a "stoning free" zone. Or, you just might pull off the new Chronicles of Narnia (and you'll deserve it)! Good luck and I dearly would like to know how this project goes, and I will definitely pray for you.
  14. The Christian Writer’s Manual Of Style

    Wow, Coolscribe, I just noticed what you were saying. It's a little.... odd, to say the least.

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