What’s an algorithm? You ask.

Just thought you all might be interested in this analogy between computer science/mathematics and construction of a novel.

J. Giambrone

All right. Maybe you didn’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway.Thinking about plot, sequencing, cause and effect, that sort of thing, prompted me to recall my many days studying computers. Computers execute instructions, and they do so in sequence. The ordering of the instructions is an algorithm. This is a higher-level concept than the nuts and bolts of ones and zeros. It’s more like a cooking recipe.

In a way characters are like little computer programs, executing their own actions in sequence.

So what sorts of things can be gleaned from computer science, which may cross over to the world of fiction? That’s where I’m at here, and we’re all caught up.

Here’s a little baseball algorithm I drew up just for you guys.

An algorithm combines a sequence of events with a multi-level tree structure (an upside down branching tree is often used). The algorithm goes through a…

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