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Writers' Muse

Like a screensaver without the screen
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The Writers' Muse comes in a variety of models, a faerie which looks a little like Disney's Tinkerbell, a grouchy troll, a dapper demonic figure dressed in 18th century attire, and of course one that looks like the Bard himself. Each is fully articulated and motorized, and when not in use, sits on a recharging pad which you can conveniently situate out of sight behind your monitor.

When your muse detects that you've opened your word processor of choice, it will amble from behind your monitor to peer up at the screen. It might make casual observations (in character) about your work in progress. ("It looks like you're writing a letter!") If your output seems below par, the figure will utter some helpful encouragement, or else make acerbic remarks about what a slacker you are (per your preference selections). If you're idle for too long, it will take it upon itself to engage in some pointless activity (i.e. Shakespeare will produce a tiny quill and paper and appear to be writing himself, the troll will scratch his rump, or Tink will take a nap.)

This product would stay fresh with input from the internet. Associated with the little bot would be a website with a user's group where modified behavior for the figure could be implemented with an easy-to-use script, along with refined pattern recognition regarding writing output, style, etc. Over time, the muse's core software would learn more about your style and modify its behavior accordingly to provide more helpful advice when needed/available from the internet.

Current writing software products could also be incorporated into the muse's OS so that it could provide some sort of analysis, verbally, of the work in progress.

This product would of course be absolutely eschewed by professional writers, but youthful would-be writers with internet access would throng to better electronics stores everywhere to own the whole set.

Soterios, Mar 16 2005

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       This sounds like the kind of thing that should already be baked. It also sounds like the kind of thing that would annoy the **** out of me.
However, despite being quite close to MS word's helper, I really like the idea. Some form of AI could be used, with an update of vocabulary to come up with pseudo-random stuff to inspire/annoy.
(random quotes from classics)
  

       Come to think - I could really do with something like this for writing my PhD thesis. The little troll would be ideal. Rather than being a muse, it could just shout abuse at me and tell me to "Pull the finger out you lazy lumocks!" and "Better start practicing 'D ya want fires with that?' !"
Jinbish, Mar 16 2005
  

       We'd all like to send Clippit back to the murky Microsoft lab where he came from so you'd have to be fairly careful about how this was implemented, but this could be really good. If it acted as a background research assistant it would right now be analysing my input and searching for some useful links via Google. It would already have found the key points both of the idea and of my input and searched Google for "Writer's Muse", "Current writing software products", "pattern recognition", "Clippit" and "research assistant" and cross-referenced them to see which ones may address other words on the page and if I have used any of the sites before.   

       That means that after I have finished writing this it will have pre-empted my trawl through the net to find out how near this concept is to fruition. And come to fruition it will, just probably not as a little desktop robot more's the pity.
wagster, Mar 16 2005
  

       This is a really good halfbakery style idea! +   

       It makes me think of this:   

       Modern writers all use the computer. It scores over the older electric typing mashines in that mistakes are even easier to correct and then there are the copy and past options. It makes a writer approach a chunk of text in a different way.   

       I find this interesting compared to older literature written with a pencil, ballpoint or even a feather. Life has changed so literature changed with it. But also it changed in style due to modern writing technology. This idea adds that certain je ne sais what.
zeno, Mar 16 2005
  

       This seems to be just a materialized peripheral version of Office's Clippit. I think it would be as hated as Clippit is now.
waugsqueke, Mar 17 2005
  

       CLIPPY: "I see you are writing a novel."   

       "Modern writers all use the computer . . . It makes a writer approach a chunk of text in a different way."   

       There are those who feel that a computer impairs good writing because it allows an iterative rather than rigorous approach.   

       I'm on the fence.
bristolz, Mar 17 2005
  

       If I write with a feather,
there's no telling whether
I will sound literate
so I'd much rather iterate.
robinism, Mar 17 2005
  

       Myself, with regards to writing, I feel a personal computer is like any other development in the field of writing tools. Our successors (and many of our peers) will feel the computer is an indispensible writing tool, and they wouldn't know how they would have got along without it.   

       The item I suggest here is a toy (as per my category selection), not truly meant to be an aid to pro writers but, as I noted in my description, a diversion meant to appeal to would-be writers and the young, like a literary Hello Kitty. If fully implemented as described, I think it could be a sophisticated toy, capable of even possibly useful analysis in the same sense that Legos might inspire one to ultimately become an architect, but not intended or marketed as a real writer's tool.
Soterios, Mar 17 2005
  

       Robinism, was that off the cuff? It's a classic.
Ling, Mar 17 2005
  

       My catchy little verse
saw many an iteration
but went from bad to worse
since my muse is on vacation.
robinism, Mar 17 2005
  
      
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