Reject it or Embrace it—A.I. Will Affect All Writers

Right about now, writers are regarding ChatGPT and other writing A. I. as more of a rival than a resource. People have already flooded the marketplace with media written by anybody with an opinion or a tall tale. The saturation of the market is one reason giving and receiving honest reviews has become so critical. Now, a new challenger has entered the arena, and the question for authors is will we like this technology? Will we add it to our toolbox? How are authors using it right now, to enhance their writing

In an article for The Verge, Jennifer Lepp, who writes in the cozy paranormal mystery subgenre under the pen name Leanne Leeds, told writer Josh Dzieza that she uses ChatGPT: Right now, I use it for titles and plots — specifically mystery plots. And blurbs. I basically started out by just telling it who I am and what I need. “I am writing a paranormal mystery that takes place in the small town of Table Rock, Texas. It has a female amateur sleuth. This is her name. I need a murder victim. I need how they were killed. I need four murder suspects with information about why they’re suspected and how they are cleared. And then tell me who the guilty killer is.

Writers who admit to using A.I. say they don’t publish the A.I.’s writing exclusively, but they go in, add their input, tweak characters, rename characters, and do other things to add their own personalities to a story. A.I. helps with the speed of putting out content and makes publishing series quicker.  

Readers tell them they enjoy the A.I. stories and novels and can’t tell the difference. Other readers say the writing lacks warmth, empathy, and the human touch.

Ms. Leeds also mentioned she used A.I. for a book cover in a plot that involved a Lykoi cat—a cat that is so ugly it’s cute. It’s a new crossbreed between a cat with hair and a hairless cat. She explained she would’ve needed to find a photographer and a Lykoi cat, and pay everybody to get the image she needed. 

On a lark, Ms. Leeds opened a DALL-E account (the art A. I. program that I described yesterday). Could the artistic A. I. paint a cat? It did, and performed the task, effortlessly. Boom! For me, it saved so much time and money, and the cover looks great, but a photographer didn’t get paid, right? Somebody who wanted to pose their cat didn’t get paid. (Click on her name above and see the artwork.)

Finally, I’ll scare you just a little more. Aside from using AI for descriptive writing or for ideas, you can also ask it to mimic another author’s voice. Writers admitted to playing around and asking ChatGPT to write a story in a famous author’s voice and style. The software did that surprisingly well, but thankfully, this is an ethical line nobody has admitted to crossing. Yet!

This technology seems to be unchecked. Hopefully writers will stay vigilant and keep each other updated on what we discover. Let me know in the comments how you feel about ChatGPT capabilities.

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Educator, Author, Blogger, and supporter of Independent Writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, Find me on Twitter @boom_lyn.

16 thoughts on “Reject it or Embrace it—A.I. Will Affect All Writers

  1. I am of two minds…
    On one hand it scares me the sort of things it can do, and of course as a writer I have carried a certain megalomaniac attitude towards what I think is my “unique” writing voice hahaha then in comes this thing which can do what I do sometimes better, faster and then some…
    On the other hand its like we are obsessing over the aspect of being replaced and raging against the change instead of finding how to embrace and co-exist minimising the fall-out… If it means having to declare if your novel was generated by AI or developing more of the tech that can detect AI written content such as GPT-Zero which can predict likeliness of AI having written something and saying novels will need to be out through such a filter.. but for lets say me using AI to generate Tweets for my social media or to write a blurbs… everyone knows writing a blurb is soulless work some authors even outsource their blurb work why not to AI… Then you could say what about the person whose job is to write blurbs for authors, well yeah looks like you will have to learn a new trick to pay the bills.

    I would think that the writer should be the one finding inventive ways to use AI not simply saying write a book or blurb, but instead as in the example you cited above using it as a sound board to brainstorm, you tell it you story ask it find loop holes… for research, sometimes you want to know legal procedures so you can create a hot shot lawyer character or that sizzling tearjerker about the brilliant surgeon and their terminal patient whose last wish is to be married before they die…

    Sure there is always people who will simply use AI to do everything and all they do is put their name on it.. but again you have always had “authors” whose books are written by ghost writers, musicians whose songs are written by ghostwriters and sometimes these ghostwriters never get recognition or be paid accordingly… Speaking from experience as someone who has done some ghost writing projects as Writer-for-hire on things I can never lay credit to *sigh*

    AI might kill creativity but only for those who have never been truly creative…

    Hate it or love it AI is inevitable…. adapt or be replaced.

    1. You’ve put it all in perspective and I agree. We’re wasting time crying about something that’s already here. Our questions should be what’s next and how can we use or benefit from it. Thanks for the insight!

    1. Hey, Mark! Great to have you comment. You’re right. I never thought AI would venture into creative writing, blogging, and cover designing. The future will determine if the reading public is fooled by the ChatGPT”s.

    1. Hi, Shirley! I don’t believe it’s just one genre. This app writes fiction, nonfiction, news articles, does research and edits. It’s making mistakes right now, but the creators are resolute to improve it. Who knows what it will do in the future.

  2. The book cover idea sounds like a huge help. The idea that the market will be inundated with new stories that were written in minutes and may or may not be edited and revised will turn many readers away from indie authors. It’s lazy writing, but if the profits are there, people will do it. Great post, Linda!

    Yvette M Calleiro 🙂

    1. The book cover idea will help, but I’d be interested to hear what artists and illustrators think. They probably feel like indie authors. Thanks! I always appreciate your comments.

      1. Absolutely! Their field will be inundated with people who claim to make the best covers who are just using AI. I would think the current book cover designers are already jumping into this to stay relative, but a layman like myself can make my own cover, their business will become obsolete. It’s sad.

      2. I agree with Penny. This is making me sad. I imagined robots who’d work for me, but not ones who’d take away my livelihood. We’ll figure out ways to cope, I guess.

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