You may have noticed that AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is suddenly in the news. This new technology could be a valuable tool for writers. However, authors are concerned about copyright issues since the source material for AI’s algorithms is based on previously published material. The Author’s Guild has a letter calling for AI industry leaders to obtain consent, give credit to, and fairly compensate authors.
There’s also the issue of disclosure. If your idea derives from AI, do you need to announce it? If you’ve written an article or blog using AI, are you truly the author? And what’s the danger of AI taking over for audiobook narrators and writers entirely?
Artificial intelligence lacks our human emotions, our compassion and empathy. How can a program write a story that derives from the writer’s deep well of experience? While I wouldn’t rush out to read a book written this way, I admit that AI can be useful for other tasks.
Until recently, I’d been ignoring the online commotion about ChatGPT. Don’t even ask me what this stands for. I couldn’t see myself using it until I read an interesting article on using Prompts to get the results you want. As an experiment, I wrote this into the box at ChatGPT:
My prompt: “I write a mystery series featuring a hairstylist and amateur sleuth. Give me six unique story ideas centered around national holidays.”
After the first round, I repeated my inquiry and asked for six more unique story ideas.
AI Response: “These holiday-themed mysteries will challenge your hairstylist amateur sleuth and keep readers entertained with the perfect mix of beauty, suspense, and intriguing puzzles.”
Combining the two rounds, I received multiple ideas for St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. One of the elements sounded suspiciously like it came from my book that spoke about the “Black Gold” hair trade. It’s hard to know what’s being copied and what isn’t since these suggestions are all based on material that’s already out there.
Here’s an example for Easter from ChatGPT. I’ve already done this holiday in Easter Hair Hunt, #16 in my series. Note that my story includes a missing jeweled Faberge egg.
The Easter Egg Heist: In the weeks leading up to Easter, your hairstylist sleuth has been busy organizing an Easter egg decorating competition for charity. When the highly anticipated event finally arrives, the town’s precious Golden Egg, filled with valuable jewelry, goes missing. With all the suspects in their colorful Easter attire, including rival hairstylists and charitable participants, your protagonist must untangle clues hidden within elaborate hairstyles and uncover the thief behind the Easter egg heist.
Not too bad, huh? Some of the ideas I gleaned from this experiment could be springboards to plot a novel. In this way, ChatGPT can be useful. It may provide the spark of inspiration to get the writer’s brain up and running.
ChatGPT also gave me a step-by-step outline for another story when I gave it a few parameters, but the plotline had quite a few holes and didn’t relate to my series characters. The results were interesting but I don’t want to write a book that way.
My stories stem from my characters and their evolving relationships along with the setting, and much of the plotting happens in my subconscious. Story magic kicks in and then the book takes off on a direction of its own. AI will squash that creativity. But I can see others taking this easy road once AI is more established. Then what will be disclosable and what is not?
Book titles could be generated this way. Ditto for Book Descriptions. Check out the suggestions on this Kindlepreneur site on how to make your own book blurb better using AI. First you need to write a story blurb. Then you paste it into the AI dialogue box and ask for a better version.
I gave it my book description for Warrior Prince, book #1 in the Drift Lords series coming in a new trade paperback edition on Aug. 15. Then I said to the AI: “Make this Book Description Better.”
Nira Larsen’s dream job interview at an Orlando theme park turns into a nightmare when she’s attacked by costumed thugs. She’s rescued by a band of space warriors known as the Drift Lords. Their leader, Zohar Thorald, explains that Nira’s assailants were Trolleks, invaders from another dimension. They’ve targeted her because she has the power to defeat them. The Trolleks have opened a dimensional portal through which they’re invading Earth, and Zohar needs Nira’s help to seal this rift.
As her dormant powers awaken, Nira realizes the ancient myths she’s studied as a mythology grad student are real. Her elemental abilities are derived from the Norse gods. But she also feels an unexpected connection to the Trolleks that she can’t explain.
Zohar falls for the feisty redhead until one of the Drift Lords is murdered, and his doubts about her loyalty threaten to derail his mission. While he’s torn between his duty to save Earth and his love for a woman who might betray him, he has no choice except to trust her. A worldwide cataclysm will result if he fails, and only together can they succeed in saving Earth.
Nira Larsen’s dream job interview at an Orlando theme park takes a dark turn when she’s attacked by otherworldly thugs. Rescued by the Drift Lords, a band of space warriors, Nira learns she possesses the power to stop these invaders. As her dormant abilities awaken, Nira discovers a link to Norse gods and an inexplicable connection to the enemy.
Zohar Thorald, the Drift Lords’ leader, battles his growing feelings for Nira while a traitor among them threatens their mission. With Earth’s fate hanging by a thread, Nira and Zohar must overcome mistrust, embrace their unique bond, and save both worlds from impending destruction.
What do you think? Is the AI’s version better than mine?
How about you? Have you ventured into the deep waters of AI? Do you believe it can be helpful or dangerous for your career as a writer?
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