"A story is a complicated space."
A computer scientist, Stephen Cresswell, who specialises in AI planning, said that to me in the pub yesterday while we were talking about the sort of AI related things we've been talking about for a few months.
At first, thinking about a story as a complicated space, I thought that a Chekhov short story, for example, was a much more complicated space than a ghost story.
But maybe they are just different kinds of complication.
A Chekhov story has more depth, or density, of complication, or, each "agent" in the "society of agents" has more history, or more potential for characteristic but emergent behaviour, so the complicated space can be mapped onto a much smaller plot landscape.
As you can tell, I'm making this up as I go along now!
And of course in a Chekhov story the potential for characteristic but emergent behaviour is an illusion, the agents behave how Chekhov makes them behave - it's the illusion that provides the suspense? - but no less brilliant or truthful for that.
But, Stephen and me are going to write a complicated space, to see what happens in it.