How It Works

Look, here it is:

See? There are two secrets to how magic stories work, and this is Secret Number One: The story is written as little separate story chunks, which can be as long or short as you like, and which are strung together in parent-child relationships. A chunk that is not the child of any other chunk is by definition a BEGINNING. Your magic story can have as many different beginnings as you like.

You can give your beginnings children -- as many as you like. Those child chunks can have children too. You can create as many generations of children-of-children as you like. The magic story engine picks one of your beginnings at random, then picks one of its children at random, and if that child has children it picks one of those at random, and it keeps going like that until it reaches a child that does not have children.

A chunk that has no children is an ENDING. The story is over, and next time it's very likely to be different, because of what I have just told you and because of Secret Number Two, which I am about to tell you:

Instead of a sentence always being "I like the purple cow", you can make a magic sentence that might come out as "I hate the purple cow" or "I like the blue cow" or "I am indifferent towards the shiny chair." Here is how you would write it:

I {like | hate | am indifferent towards} the {purple | blue | shiny} {cow | chair}.

In other words, enclose a set of options in curly brackets, separated by a "pipe", which is that straight line thingy that looks like this: |. The magic story engine takes it from there. It says "oh look, curly brackets; I will randomly choose one of the things inside; oh good, it has pipes between the things so I can tell them apart." Here: try it. Go on.

Remix!

You should do lots of this. It really multiplies the magic and makes things much more random and irreproducible. Have fun with it. Almost any sentence can be made to have at least a few variations. Let loose. Go wild.

Between the story chunk randomization and the sentence randomization -- what we might call MACRO and MICRO randomization, respectively -- it really doesn't take too long before that story is never going to be exactly the same twice. Want some tips on writing magic stories?

You have to register as a user to play with the machine, so it can save your stuff for you. I'm not after your private data. There's no fee or anything. All rights for your work remain yours. This is for art's sake. Nor will I be editing or censoring anything, so I hereby declare my lack of responsibility for what anybody except me writes. Once you're in the system and logged in, there will be prompts for how to do everything, start a story, add to it, edit it, and so on. You are the only one who can see it unless you decide to make it public, which you can do any time you are ready.