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. https://www.theverge.com/23520625/chatgpt-openai-amazon-kindle-novel
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.