Episode 21: That Time I Used AI For Writing

365 Dates of Travel Podcast

Transcript for Episode 21: That Time I Used AI For Writing

Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. So we’re talking a behind-the-scenes writing story as opposed to stories from my book because it’s a big topic at the moment. Everything’s about artificial intelligence, and I don’t know if that’s just everyone’s world or if it’s just in the writing world, but it seems to be everywhere at the moment. Everyone’s panicking about artificial intelligence. 

Now, I will say I have heard of people who lost their job because of AI, but it seems to be more freelance writers. So freelancers probably had multiple different companies or businesses they worked for, and when they needed something, they’d get in touch and stuff like that. So I can understand why that sort of work has been decreased by artificial intelligence. And I’m sure there are other people who have lost their job because of it, but I don’t think it’s quite as big a problem as people think as yet. But I could be completely and totally wrong. 

So from my perspective, I’m looking at it as a new writer or a learning writer, and to me it means so many different available tools. Even tools I bought before everyone went crazy about ChatGPT and AI, are adding AI elements to their programs. 

I tried to buy the lifetime price for things I knew I would use, as it’s much cheaper. I hate paying subscription because you end up paying much more overall, in my opinion. But everything I bought includes the updates, so anytime they add new features, I get those new features as well, even though I’m not on a subscription. And some of them have been a bit hit and miss. 

Editing software

Like in my editing software, I don’t use that setting at all. It’s not really a setting, it just pops up, telling me to use it all the time and I just ignore it. In my experience, it’s very slow and I don’t want to sit there and wait for it to think. I’d rather think on my own, or at least I’m doing something rather than just waiting. And I don’t know if it’s just my internet, or my computer or my words that it’s trying to fix, but to me, it’s not a viable feature that I have used. 

QuickWrite

I did buy one software called QuickWrite, which has AI, and I call it my “super thesaurus”. I’m sure there are more things I could do with it. But for me, I insert a whole sentence that isn’t working. If I just really can’t figure out how to make it work or how to make it better or change it or whatever I need to do to fix it, I put it in there and under a command saying “rewrite”, it will rewrite it. 

Sometimes what comes out is completely ridiculous. I often wonder if it’s programmed to not use any of the same words. So it’s trying to change every single word. And that’s not the point. I just want to make it sound better, not choose an alternate word for every single word. You can press generate multiple times with the same command: generate, generate, generate, generate. But the suggestions that come up get more ludicrous the more times you press. 

Sometimes the first one is a bit silly, so I’ll do a second one, but sometimes the first one is enough to make my brain kick in and work out how to fix it myself, or it’s just one word and that changes everything and the rest follows. So I play around with it. I rarely take exactly what it said. It still needs rewriting. 

For those of you who have my newsletter, you would have already heard me talk about this in there, where I first coined the phrase “super thesaurus”, because I gave an example where there was one sentence and I pretty much changed three words in that sentence. And that’s why it was the “super thesaurus”, because I could have looked up those individual words in my real thesaurus or in my online thesaurus, but is an online thesaurus AI? I’ll just put that in. But it was much quicker with QuickWrite. And it’s more comprehensive, I guess, to do it inside this program. 

Once I put that sentence back into my manuscript, my editing software said, “I don’t like that. That’s not a good sentence. You need to rewrite it.” So it helped me change the words, but I still needed to rewrite the whole sentence. Well, restructure the sentence. So it’s not a one stop shop and you still need to use your human brain to make things make sense. 

I stump it sometimes, coming back with, “I am an AI model. I do not understand emotions and feelings.” Obviously, it doesn’t do that voice. It’s just in writing. Sometimes then it won’t give me anything. And other times it’ll give me Google-like information about whatever it was that I’ve asked about and the history behind it, or something along those lines, which is not always useful. 

What programs are AI?

But I hadn’t actually planned on talking about QuickWrite in this session. In this session, I really wanted to talk about two software products that have AI base. Well, one definitely has an AI base. I’m not sure about the other one, but if Google, yes, Google is AI and you use it every day, if that’s AI, then these both are AI. Now, the first one claims completely to be AI, and 100% is artificial intelligence. So we’ll start with that one because it was the one I discovered and tried first.

SudoWrite

I can’t remember how I discovered it. It was probably some email that I subscribed to. I have so many writing newsletters, subscription, blog post things that come into my emails these days. It’s ridiculous. But now and then, they come up with something good. And I think one of them probably sent me to SudoWrite. So that’s the name of the software program, or whatever you want to call it, and it does use ChatGPT. 

I think the writing software programs have subscriptions to Chat GPT and then build programs to make the Chat GPT works in various writing situations. So this is just my very lay term, understanding about what’s happening. 

Free trials

I had a coupon for 10,000 free words on a SudoWrite trial. When I went to the website, it said I had 4000 words, but it gave me more than that, and I ended up getting a second free trial later, about a week after I’d done the first free trial and I hadn’t subscribed it, offered me a second chance and said, they’d give me another 10,000 words over a three-day period to try a separate part of the site that I didn’t try that first time round. I don’t know if that was a coincidence or not.

I don’t need either of the products I’m talking about today until after I finish my travel stories. They’re all fiction writing based, so I was just testing the water. I don’t need a subscription or to buy any of these products at this point. But I’m learning about what resources are out there for when I start my fiction writing life after my second launch of the travel book coming up in July. 

First trial

So the first trial. I’d already watched a couple of online tutorials about how the program works. So I had a little bit of an idea. I started in what they call the First Draft section. This is where you’re writing, or you’re uploading work already written and want help to rewrite or improve it.  

I copied in just over 300 words from a work in progress that has a title called Putin. Not that I’ll ever mention Putin in the book or in the final title, but that’s just how I distinguish it as a project for this moment. And I haven’t spent a lot of time on this at all. I just thought it would be something I could easily play with trying out this software. 

I played around with the settings like Describe, and you can click on Rewrite, you can tell it to do more dialogue, you can add more internal conflict. So you highlight a paragraph and then click on “more internal conflict” and it will spit something back out at you with the characters looking more inside about what they’re really feeling and reacting to whatever is happening to them at that stage of the story. You can tell it to expand the paragraph or make it more succinct if you’ve got a high word count. 

I used the Describe setting a lot. It’s broken up into the different senses. So it’ll give you smell, touch, sight, taste, and it will come up with something for each one of those senses that match your paragraph. Well, I wouldn’t say they completely match your paragraph, but it’ll give you ideas anyway on how to incorporate some of those senses. 

For a lot of writers, myself included, smell is a difficult one. How do you write about smell to put people in the setting? So if that’s you, you can look at the smells. It can help you with ideas about what you might put for a smell to help set the scene. But some of the ideas didn’t match at all what I wanted. For example, my story started in an underground nuclear missile bunker and it kept coming up about the smell and taste of iron and blood and that’s not really what I wanted to put into my story. 

How many AI generated words 

After about 3 hours of playing with the software, like I said, I started with 322 words, to be precise. At the end of that 3 hours, I had just over 3000 words that I’d copied and pasted back into my original writing folder on the Putin story. But to make that 3000 words, I used 8000 artificial intelligence words. 

Everything with programs like this is based on word count. So not what you started with, not what you added yourself, but the amount of words that have been generated by the program. I will say that the 3000 words are not all usable. Some of that is the same paragraph written three different ways because I couldn’t decide which one I liked best. Or I liked one sentence from each and so I saved everything and thought I’ll work that out later. So it definitely hasn’t turned into a 3000 word usable piece of writing, far from it. But it took me 8000 words to make that 3000 words, which is probably more likely 2000 words, or potentially even less. And like I said, everything’s done on word count. 

Costs

The current pricing for SudoWrite, if you’re paying for a year, the monthly cost for 

30,000 words is $10, 

90,000 words is $25 and 

300,000 words is $100. 

Or if you’re paying by the month, it’s $19, $29 and $129. 

So at first, 300,000 words looked like, well, why would I ever need 300,000 words? Because a book will be 90,000 words. Some are 80,000, some are 100,000 for an average book. So you would actually get one book in 90,000 words or three books in 300,000 words. I’m like, how could you write three books or write one book a month to be able to use that word count? But like I said, I was lucky if 8000 words made 2000 usable words. 

Thoughts on SudoWrite

It was fun. I could feel myself getting addicted to it quite easily. But I will put it away until I am writing fiction. So I have not signed up for an actual subscription. 

Second Trial

For the second trial, it said I had three days to use 10,000 AI words. So I played around with and I think it was specifically for the newest addition, called Story Engine. So Story Engine is probably a little bit more like what people are imagining AI writing software can do, as in, in theory, it can write your whole book for you. 

I thought I’d try it using my cosy mystery ideas because in this section of the software, you can start with just an idea. That’s all you need. And that’s where my cosy mystery is at. I have the idea. I have all sorts of visuals in my head about what the town looks like; the characters look like; what they’re going to be. But I haven’t written any paragraphs or dialogue. It’s just all the story ideas. So this is perfect. 

Story Engine

Story engine starts with something called the Brain Dump, where you write everything you know about the story and everything you want in the story. So that was easy. I put everything I knew in, up to 2000 words. Putting everything in that I thought it would need to know. You also tell it what genre you want to write in. So I wrote “cosy mystery” and then you can add what writing style you’d like. I believe you can put in a particular author here if you would like to follow a style of author. After one of the videos I watched, I copied what they did, and I asked it to write with “lush prose and lots of dialogue”. Then you press generate.

It gives you a synopsis, then character descriptions, then an outline. And I don’t know if it’s always the case, but in my case, it gave me an outline of twelve chapters. Then you choose chapter one. It gives you twelve, what they call beats, then you can tell it to write the story. 

At each stage, you can change what comes out, you can add things to tweak it to what you want. And at every point you just hit generate. 

Now I have to admit every time I went to press the generate button, there was this nervous excitement that happened in my stomach. It almost felt like I was doing something naughty or cheating and it was just really weird but exciting at the same time. 

Extra words

But again, it felt like there was a glitch in the system or maybe this just happens with everyone, but it just kept giving me words. I really expected the 10,000 words to run out quickly. I think you probably use fewer words doing it in this way, depending on how many rewrites you do. You can change and add anything you want, then press generate again and you’ll get new words. So you keep pressing generate, generate. And the computer system decides how many words it will give you each time you press generate. 

Over my hours of playing, and I don’t remember exactly how many hours, but it was way more than 3 hours from the first trial. I somehow managed to generate over 33,000 words. I was meant to only get 10,000 words. I thought I’d just kept going, thinking that it’s going to cut me off any second. Quick, let’s just keep generate, generate, generate, generate, generate. I wasn’t going back and checking all the details. So what it gave me was quite ridiculous, really. 

Most of it will be completely unusable, not for this story anyway, because it completely made stuff up all on its own. And besides, twelve chapters are not enough to tell a story and 33,000 words, which was about five or six chapters, making around 66,000 words if it finished. But like I said, they’re not usable words. 

Mistakes

It didn’t keep the story straight. My main character was introduced three times. I was reading, but it would reintroduce Tessa. What’s going on? And then the main character met three characters in the book for the first time more than once. So she kept being reintroduced and then reintroduced to the other characters, which obviously you just have to cut out all of that. 

One character didn’t match the description at all. It got the name right, but the description that was in the character description section was completely wrong. She went from blonde hair to wispy and grey and she was a character in her 20s. Later on, the characters in their 70s, had the same wispy grey hair. 

One character changed from a male to a female, which was not part of the storyline. And it killed off one of the characters that I wanted to keep in the continuing series. My plan is to make this into a series of cosy mysteries and it killed off one of my characters that I planned on keeping around. So you have to look at it really carefully and it would take a lot of time to look at every single sentence that the AI writes and work out if you need to change it. In some ways it would be easier just to write it yourself, but it does spit out words faster than you can write, but they’re just not usable. So the time it takes to fix them, for some people, it may not be worth it. 

Better ways of using it

If I’d done it properly, checking each step, then I would have got closer to what I actually wanted. But if you don’t have specific ideas about what you want, then you kind of have your story written for you. So in that sense, it is written for you. If you don’t know what you want, it will make up the different plots, it’ll make up the characters and which one lives or dies or stays. And so if you really have no ideas, then that will work. If you have specific ideas, it will be a lot more work no matter what it spits out. You will have to double, triple, quadruple work, check everything to make sure that it has stayed on track and stayed true to the story or the descriptions of what has already come before it. 

So you can’t just put in a basic idea of a story, press go and it is done for you. I mean, you can, but it’s not going to be readable or good quality in any sense of the word. And if you stuff up your first book, people aren’t going to buy your second book. 

More on word count

One of the videos I watched before the trial was with one of the people who works or wrote SudoWrite. I’m not sure exactly her position at the company, but she did an online example to give people an idea of how many words she generated compared to how many words she kept. And in that sample at the time, she used eight generated words per every word she kept. So if you wanted to write the average novel 80 to 100,000 words, then that would mean 640,000 to 800,000 artificially intelligence generated words. So even the top count of the 300,000 word monthly subscription doesn’t have enough. Even if I halved that word count, the 300,000 still doesn’t make it. So it sounds like a lot of words, but it really isn’t. 

Introduction to second software

So once you have these terrible words, you’re going to need to edit them. So that brings me on to my second software I’m talking about today. And I’m not sure how much AI is in this software, but I’m guessing if Google and spell check are considered forms of AI, then this is a form of AI just of a different mindset. It won’t write words for you, but it’ll help you improve your story. 

Fictionary

So it took a bit of fiddling around to get started with this. I definitely spent more time on it than I expected. But all those words SudoWrite had spit out were uploaded into Fictionary. About five full chapters, 26,000 words, unedited. 

Fictionary looks at 38 editing points. So if you are editing yourself, or if you’re an actual editor editing other people’s works, there are certain things that you need to check to make sure that the story works. And it is that bigger picture of the story itself. So not the writing as such, but how you’ve written the story. Does the plot work? Do the characters work? Have you kept everything in line? Which is what SudoWrite couldn’t do by killing off characters and all that stuff. Fictionary will help you see if any of things have happened in your story. 

Preparing manuscript

You have to do a lot of work. You have to set up your manuscript in a particular way so it knows when a chapter starts and when a scene is, because you are looking at a scene-by-scene edit for this one. 

I had to go back and put stars in between where I thought a scene ended or began so that they would be individually broken up once uploaded into the Fictionary software. 

I should say it’s a two-week trial for this one. I’m not sure if it was part of the trial or if it was just because the first time, but I was guided through the process and told what to do to start with. I followed the prompts, even though I just wanted to get down to the nitty gritty.

Characters

The first thing it asked me to do was to look at the characters. And so out of the manuscript, the software had gone through looking for anything that seemed to be a name or a character, and it brought them into a list and asked you if they were the characters. Is this the information correct? It did a pretty good job. I haven’t checked the whole manuscript, but the main characters were there. There were a few random names I didn’t know, but I left them because, like I said, I haven’t properly read through the whole SudoWrite script that it punched out at me. 

What I particularly liked about the character section was that it even had the cats in there. So my book is called “The Lost Cat Books” series. So there’s a bookstore called Lost Cat Books. The cats have names and are mentioned, of course. And so they came up as individual characters, which I thought were quite cute.

Sometimes it didn’t quite understand everything, or it was just clarifying, I guess. At one point, the main character, Tess McGill, is called Miss McGill by a younger character. And so they had McGill as a character and they had Tess McGill as a character and they also had Tessa as a character. But the software made it easy. All I had to do was click on each of those three. And then there was a button that said “merge characters” and so I could turn them all into the one character and I could label her the protagonist and things like that. 

So you were able to double check everything and make sure everything matched. They even had the town name as a character. And I wasn’t sure if that was on purpose because I know a lot of times they say the setting is just like a character, but I did delete that one and I don’t think that will have any effects to the rest of the editing. 

It pretended to have read the whole story and worked out where the inciting incident was and where the climax was. And obviously this is not a finished manuscript. This was only five chapters of a badly AI written manuscript. But it gave me a visual picture of the story arc. A line shows what the ideal story arc is, as in when to begin, when to have the inciting incident, which is what gets the story going, where the middle is, where the climax is and what comes after.

I pretty much matched everything quite nicely on the first little Story Arc, it’s called. Which impressed me. After I made a few changes and went back, it had the inciting incident at a really weird arrow completely off point. I’m not sure what happened there. And then the third time I went back to the Story Arc after doing a lot of changes, it said there wasn’t enough information to give the story arc, which is probably a better response to what was there because there was no climax, there was no ending. So the middle obviously was not the middle and the inciting incident was definitely not the real inciting incident, but it didn’t have enough information, it didn’t have the full story. So I’m happy that it came back to me saying it didn’t have enough information, because I know I didn’t give it enough information. 

Graphs.     

I love seeing all the graphs and things. It breaks the scenes down in word counts, and there’s a graph showing you how many words are in each scene. I’ve always been a visual person, so I love that they’re putting my words into visual pictures. But the nitty gritty of editing and the software is a lot of work, it’s detailed work, but it was also kind of fun.  

I’m looking at it as a learning project because it’s teaching me the aspects that every scene needs to have to be a successful scene in its own right, and then be a successful scene in the plot, which makes the story, which makes a good book. So definitely, over time, I will learn how to do this more naturally. It’ll show where I need work or where I’m doing well. 

Scene analysis

So when you look at your first scene and you can start wherever you like, but I obviously started in scene one, you’ve got four sections to analyse that scene against. You’ve got character, plot, setting and notes. So only three sections, really, if you discount the notes. 

Characters

Under character, it automatically populates who’s in that scene. So you can check and see if they’re actually in that scene, or if they’re just mentioned. So you can have a mentioned column and people who are physically in the scene. So you can see where the characters are. If they shouldn’t be in the following scene and they’re still there, you have to write about how they exited. So it keeps you on track on where everybody is as you’re going from one scene to the next. 

It also looks at what point of view it’s written from. So which character’s point of view, what’s their goal in the scene, what do they want to achieve or find out, and how the scene will impact the protagonist, whether they’re in the scene or not. So you’re checking to make sure it’s adding to the story, rather than just being wasted words. 

Plot and setting

The plot section has ten evaluation points, and the setting has six evaluation points. So you have to go through and decide if you have met all those things. In settings that can be, have you made it clear where the scene is taking place? Have you made sure what the time of day is? And you can put as much information or as little information as you like in the boxes. 

One of the videos I saw, they were putting ticks and crosses, and that’s it. I like the idea of the ticks and the crosses, but being new and learning, I did the tick and the cross and then wrote something beside it. So either what was in there or ideas of maybe what I need to add. 

I definitely did a lot of work on each. I did five scenes in the end so I could see the visual graphs at the end. I kept going back to the original manuscript and adding all sorts of notes in about what I have to do, what I have to add, what I have to change. So it’s definitely going to improve what was already written. 

Senses

It looks at all the senses and asks you to tick or cross or whatever you’re going to write for each of the senses. And like I said earlier, smell is one that a lot of people find hard to get into their scenes. While I was doing this, I was cooking a roast in the oven. So I wouldn’t be surprised if a roast smell at some point ends up in the book, because every time smell came up and I realised I didn’t have anything, all I could actually smell was the roast cooking. So it may or may not be included in the book.

Big commitment

It’s actually quite time consuming, but it is in-depth editing. And to be honest, I found it a lot of fun. Like, I might not say that after scene 87 or 105 or something, but to start with, it’s fun, and I am looking at it as a learning curve, and it will only improve. 

Fictionary review

There can be no downsides to using Fictionary. I think it’s absolutely brilliant, and I will be using it once I am ready for it. It’s just not the right time at this point, but I know where I’m going once I start writing my fiction. 

More data

But after I’d completed the in-depth edit of the five scenes, I went back into the ‘visualise’ section, where I could see the information put into nice, clear graphs for me, and it was fantastic. You go to ‘Story Map’. Like I said, ‘Story Arc’ had stopped working at this point, but all those individual points you analysed are put in a graph side by side. Scene one. Scene two. Scene three. Scene four. Scene five. So I have a list of all the characters in each scene, whose point of view the scenes from, their goals, the character arc, the scene name, which is just so that you know what’s happening. 

It looks at the purpose of the scene, how I open it, so it gives you four choices of how you’re opening it, whether it’s a dialogue, description, thought, or action. Then you analyse it. So the opening type and closing type are underneath each other, and then next to each other. You want variety in your work. So if I start with a dialogue, I don’t want to finish with a dialogue, and I definitely don’t want to start the next scene with a dialogue. So you break it up. 

My results

So I haven’t done well. Well SudoWrite hasn’t done well in this section because out of the five scenes, I start four of them with description and one with a dialogue, which was a sentence I added. Otherwise, it probably would have been five descriptions. And then it ends with a thought four times and a description one time. So that is not an ideal situation. I wonder if that comes from me suggesting to SudoWrite to write lush prose. I’m guessing that might have a part of it. 

If you’re just reading it through from start to finish, you’re not really analysing what the different things are and how often they’re happening. So this gives you a clear vision of what is happening, what’s too much or not enough, or just not much variety. And so I can look at whether I said the time and the place. 

SudoWrite’s not too bad at saying where they are, but not necessarily been clear on the time of day. Is it immediately after the last scene, or is it the next morning? So that needs to be looked at back on the manuscript. 

And then they talk about entry hooks and exit hooks. Each scene needs to have a reason to be there. You want the reader to read the next scene. So the first lines have to draw them in to want to read further. And if they read the last line of the scene, they also have to keep reading to find out what happens. SudoWrite’s not so good on that. For entry hooks, I’ve got one tick, three crosses, and I’ve added in a question mark, which probably means it’s going to be a cross. So definitely SudoWrite needs to work on entry hooks. 

Exit hooks are pretty similar. I’ve got one tick, two crosses and two question marks. So I also need to learn more about how to write entry hooks and exit hooks. Some might be there, and I’m just not sure, or I’m not really sure what one is. So I definitely need to do more work on that. So that’s a good learning point. 

I’m excellent at ‘objects’. There’s only one time I haven’t mentioned objects, so I need to add something in the room so people know what to visualise when they’re reading. 

Sights are not so great. Smells not great. But I’ve written some good ideas next to the crosses about what I can add in there and even triggered a potential plot twist or a red herring plot at some point, so you never know where ideas are going to come from.

And then sounds. I’ve got three out of the five, so not too bad and it’s quite nice. One of them is the cats purring.

But it really shows you where you need to improve. So that can only be a good thing. And I think particularly if you’re well, this is good for everybody, whether you’re self publishing or traditionally publishing. But particularly if you are traditionally publishing, this is a fantastic way to edit your story to the best possibility that you can. Which means you’re more likely to have a quality product that an agent and or a publisher will want more information about or pages to read or to publish you. Obviously they have their own in house editors and so it will get more work down the track, but it will give you a really good edge on people who are just editing themselves from start to finish without the advantages of something like Fictionary.

Obviously, for self-published authors it saves money from having to pay editors. And based on what I’ve seen on the internet, actual editors who people are paying to edit their work are using tools like this. So you might as well use the tool yourself. It’s always good to have a professional edit done, but it depends on what your goals are for your book. 

For me, it’s definitely going to make me a better writer. So if you look at it as a learning technique, then you can’t go wrong. There is a ‘Write’ function in Fictionary, which means as you’re writing, you are using the different prompts to make sure you’re including them right from the start. I haven’t tried that, but that’s a good way to learn how to write. I think I’d rather do a bit of free writing first and then go back in. But if you really are starting out from scratch and have no idea how to set up a scene, then it’s probably quite a good way to do it. 

You’ll be like, okay, I need an entry hook. You start with your entry hook and it’s like, okay, but what setting am I in? Okay, what’s around? I have to think of sight and sound and taste. You’re not adding them later. You’re not reading to find if they’re in there, you’re actually writing it at the time. So maybe I will try that one day. If I get another free trial, I might try that. 

I will give a little caveat. I do have a three month free coupon to use for this software, but like I said, I’m not quite ready to use it as yet, but I will be utilising it once I finish with the travel stories. 

Wrap up

So there’s an insight into AI writing software from a newbie learning writer. I don’t know if it’s exactly what you were expecting or if it was interesting, but I do think all of these things are good for learning. So if you look at them for tools of learning, I don’t think you can go wrong. And I would be really surprised if anything of quality comes out of this software without having a human touch. They’re not going to make a good book without having a human person going through them and fixing things along the way. 

The QuickWrite software is always telling me how it doesn’t understand feelings and doesn’t know what it’s like to touch something. So humans are required, but you could also look at it as a writing partner. Some people are saying, well, if you’re writing with a second person, this is what they would be doing. They’d be giving you ideas, they’d be giving you hints, you’d be changing things based on what they said, but you would also be giving them credit for what they are doing. So is it cheating if you don’t acknowledge the fact that you have used it? 

One of the writing societies has written a policy about it which says, well, why not acknowledge all the AI that you’ve used? And that was where I discovered Google was AI, because they mention in your ‘Acknowledgment’ section to talk about all the AI that you’ve used including Google and spell check. Like what? I hadn’t associated Google with artificial intelligence, but of course it is. And so is spell check and any sort of grammar check or anything because there are computers behind the wheels that are actually doing it. So we’re using AI already every day. I challenge anyone to not Google something for a week or a month. I don’t think, especially at the moment, there’s no way I could do that. And so AI is already a part of our life and unfortunately, no matter what you think about it, we’re going to have to embrace at least some of it. 

I don’t think computers are going to take over the world. I don’t think computers are going to put all writers out of business. I’m looking forward to using it to make myself a better writer and to have fun while I’m writing. I could have spent hours and days playing with both of these softwares because there was an anticipation of what was going to come next? What’s going to happen? Oh my God, this is a great idea. Oh, this is great. That’s hilarious. Seriously, what are you writing now? 

It can be entertaining and fun, and when you’re writing, you’re often by yourself in a quiet room. I can’t write with music. That’s just weird. I don’t know how people write while they’ve got music playing in the background. But you are on your own a lot, and so it’s kind of fun. And I’m not afraid or embarrassed to laugh out loud in a room by myself or laugh out loud at something that I’ve written or done. 

I’m not sure if there’s much to laugh about in this section or this episode. And I’m sorry if it’s not what you’re expecting, but some of you might have found it interesting, some might be looking into it if you’re looking into writing your own book down the track, or just interested in what AI and writing means when you’ve probably heard about it in the news. 

Screenshots in newsletter

I have screenshots from when I was playing with Fictionary, so I will include those in the July newsletter, either directly in the newsletter or a link to them somewhere else. So if you are interested in looking at pictures from what I was doing and what was coming up and how it works, then sign up for my newsletter and you will get that at the end of July. 

It generally comes out on the last day of the month. And once you sign up, you get access to all the previous newsletters. There’s a link in the welcome email for all the previous newsletters. If you’re listening to this in August or September or February, the year after, you can still sign up to the newsletter and be able to access the photos that I’m talking about today. 

The newsletter also provides links to the freebies as well. So all the ones that have come before and the ones that will come after, you will always get. So you can sign up at my website so franheapwriter.com and you can find the sign up page and you’re done. Easy. 

Next week

Next week I will be going back into the travel stories, reading three stories from the June chapter, which I talked all about the background of last week. So back to regular programming. I do hope I’ve made you laugh, even if it’s just you smelled the roast while you’ve been listening to me. It was very delicious. I still have some roast potatoes beside me, which is breaking all the rules. When recording a podcast, you are not meant to eat just before you start. So my podcast editing software will be working overtime again, and I must Google or use some extra AI to find out how to save some of these outtakes because there have been a few good ones again tonight. One day I’ll do a whole episode on outtakes if I ever work out how to do it. 

So until next week, thank you very much for listening today and I wish for you an interesting day. 

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