According to the author, Gwendolyn Clare, it works like a programming language.
- Wow! You're making me wish that I had a science background like you. In INK, IRON, AND GLASS, scriptology is a branch of science. Did you draw on your scientific background in creating your story? If so, how?
My love of science definitely influenced the decision to write a novel that centers a bunch of mad scientists as main characters, instead of casting the scientists only as villains. But real-life science is often slow, meticulous, tedious work that wouldn't make for very compelling reading, so it was actually a challenge to strike the right balance between realism and reader expectation. I hope the story communicates the excitement of science without getting too bogged down in the frustration of it.
I did draw on computer science as a direct influence when figuring out how scriptology should work. While I couldn't make that connection explicit in the book -- there aren't any computers! -- scriptology functions a lot like an object-oriented programming language, where ink is the code and the universe itself executes the program.
Interview with Gwendolyn Clare
I have not read the book myself, but my impression from reading reviews is that it's ambiguous as to whether worlds are created by defining them, or the definition of them simply builds a portal to a world that is among the infinite possible worlds. In either direction, the attention to detail that is required suggests that, if not properly specified, you risk either having additional details filled in, or created a world not consistent with human survival.