This continues my recap of the Florida Writers Association Conference with a report on Day Three. We started the morning with a continental breakfast followed by two workshop sessions. The first one I attended was on creating emotional impact in your writing.
We were told to think about characters in a book that we’d follow anywhere. What was their appeal? Now think about your own protagonist. What obstacles do they face? What are their weaknesses? What would help them or hurt them? And what do they need to complete their journey? Do the same for your villain. Also, what universal truths do you want to resonate in your story? These become the themes in your novel. Tap into the strong emotions you’ve experienced in your life when writing your book.
The second workshop was a panel on AI (Artificial Intelligence), a popular topic at this conference. Many issues were raised, such as putting clauses in our book contracts against having our work used in AI training. Generative AI can be useful for tasks as a collaborative assistant. AI detection tools are in the works. For cover artists, AI can be helpful for research but not for creativity. AI generated art cannot be copyrighted because there’s no human element involved. And yet … AI generated art is winning against traditional art in competitions that are judged objectively. Is it not a creative act between the machine and the prompt engineer? You can have both, and that’s how the creative world might survive. For a writer, AI can be another tool in our arsenal for book marketing and generating story ideas.
The potential threat to humanity posed by the rise of AI was discussed. One fear is humans using AI for their own profit more so than AI itself taking over humanity. Manufactured myths are a danger, i.e. false news and social media manipulation. Artificial evolution means AI is changing fast.
How to get around AI in the classroom where it might be used by students to write papers would be to ask for opinion pieces.
Another issue … How will AI keep learning once it consumes all the data it’s fed? It may spit back generated (i.e. made-up) data or inaccurate information.
This is all food for thought. Personally, I’ve found ChatGPT to be helpful for certain tasks in book marketing and in generating specific storylines. You have to design a detailed prompt to get the desired response.
Disclaimer: These summaries are my interpretation of what I heard. Any errors are mine alone.
Join me at my next appearance on Nov. 4, 2023, 10:30 am EDT, Indie Author Day, Ponte Vedra Beach Library, 101 Library Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. I’m proud to be a panelist and keynote speaker at this event. Free registration: https://sjcpls.org/event/indie-author-showcase/
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