The Amazing Expanding Sentence

I’ve been thinking about writing software for a while now; first [Ariadne][], and then several little projects.

One that’s been at the back of my mind, not fully developed but nagging me, is the idea I’ve come to label **The Amazing Expanding Sentence.**

Here’s the idea. Let’s say you’re a writer and you want to write a novel. You start of with a single sentence

A wonderful tale of a rebel who overturns
an evil empire.

Well, that sounds pretty cool. So we want to expand that sentence. Somehow (and this, of course, is the trick I’m looking for) we ‘overwrite’ this sentence with two or more sentneces.

We meet Jake, a folk singer, who has a
dead-end job. He learns a terrible secret
about a senator about to become president.
He runs across America, and finally corners
the senator in his Volcano base.

Well, you get the idea. The first sentence has expanded, but the old one is there. You keep expanding, hopefully until you’ve detailed the whole story, moving through one-line summary, synopsis, treatment, chapter summary, scene summary, and novel.

There is probably some horrific flaw to the whole idea.



One response to “The Amazing Expanding Sentence”

  1. Have you read Cordwainer Smith’s “Norstrilia”? The opening page summarises the story in a couple of sentences, and tells you to read the rest of the book if you want the detail.

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