This reminds me of a couple of old pieces, which I highly recommend:
1) A Roald Dahl story titled "The Great Automatic Grammatizer". This is a cautionary tale about the invention of a machine that mass-produces entire stories.
An engine built along the lines of the electric computer could be adjusted to arrange words (instead of numbers) in their right order according to the rules of grammar. Give it the verbs, the nouns, the adjectives, the pronouns, store them in the memory section and arrange for them to be extracted as required. Then feed it with plots and leave it to write the sentences.
Eventually, this puts all human writers out of business (they all end up signing contracts relinquishing their right to create any more original work, and in some cases agreeing to have their names on the machine-produced stories). One of the best things about the story is Dahl’s sly commentary on the writing process. For instance, there’s a passage where the machine’s inventor is explaining some of the tricks of writing to his sceptical boss:
"There’s a trick nearly every writer uses, of inserting one long, obscure word into every story. This makes the reader think the man is very wise and clever. So I have the machine do the same thing. There’ll be a whole stack of long words stored away just for this purpose."
"In the word-memory section," he said epexegetically.
Love the playfulness Dahl shows in throwing that "epexegetically" in, out of nowhere. If you haven’t read the story, get hold of it. Quite funny and very relevant to much of what’s happening in the modern publishing industry.
2) Also, this illuminating piece from the New Yorker about Edward Stratemeyer, the man who started the publishing syndicate that produced, among other series, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Don’t miss the comparison of Stratemeyer's revolutionising of children's books with what Henry Ford did for the auto industry.
Stratemeyer could not keep up with the demand for his stories. This prompted his second big idea: he would form a literary syndicate, which would produce books assembly-line style. From his days of working at Good News, he was acquainted with the best juvenile writers, and knew that "any one of them could have built up a 70,000-word novel from a comma, if required," as one such writer put it. By the time the Stratemeyer Syndicate was incorporated, in 1910, he was putting out ten or so juvenile series by a dozen writers under pseudonyms, and had more series in development.
Stratemeyer would come up with a three-page plot for each book, describing locale, characters, time frame, and a basic story outline. He mailed this to a writer, who, for a fee ranging from fifty dollars to two hundred and fifty dollars, would write the thing up and—slam-bang!—send it back within a month. Stratemeyer checked the manuscripts for discrepancies, made sure that each book had exactly fifty jokes, and cut or expanded as needed. (Each series had a uniform length; the standard was twenty-five chapters.) He replaced the verb "said" with "exclaimed," "cried," "chorused," and so forth, and made sure that cliffhangers punctuated the end of each chapter—usually framed as a question or an exclamation. Each series was published under a pseudonym that Stratemeyer owned. As Fortune later noted, it was good business for children to become attached to a name, but it would be bad business for that name to leave the syndicate with the ghostwriter.
Full piece here.
P.S. Please read what poor Samit had to go through as a result of being misquoted on the Kaavya topic by Tehelka. Another good reason to keep quiet about the whole thing.