July 17, 2011

To my science fiction, comic book nerd friends and writer friends:

I have a question about a story series I am am writing. The title character is a computer program, Artificial Intelligence, who eventually comes to life in the real world. His personality was copied from a human. The series isn't a mystery or a thriller, it's more like a slice of life like Seinfeld, Entourage mixed with SF elements and action from time to time.

My question is: would you as a reader, rather know the exact origin, identity of the person your main character was downloaded from and history of the AI from the start of a TV/comic book series ,or would you rather that info be held off until later in the series to build up?

It matters little to me emotionally. But it's important because I have two beginnings to choose from, and your answers would help me figure out which beginning is best.

Thanks for your time.


XantesFire said...

Does it matter to the main plot? If it's not a mystery or thriller or being kept a secret for comedic or any rational scientific reason I would think the person it was being copied from would want to know and so would all the scientists and non-scientists involved. For the scientists it would be more important because it would give them a baseline to analysis the AI's behavior. For the non-scientists involved because they would like to know and if the scientists know, it's not gonna be a secret.

Courtney said...

I think start the story at a random point and establish the character as you go, building up backstory by dropping bits of information here and there.
That's the way it's done in a lot of stories. At least traditionally. Modern writers have a habit of just telling you straight up who their character is.
Where as, Sherlock Holmes, for example starts with Watson missing Holmes and paying him a visit. Slowly we are told more about the two, and I like that method most.