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How Kindle Novelists Are Using ChatGPT

How Kindle Novelists Are Using ChatGPT

Earlier this year, I wrote about genre-fiction writers using AI in their novels. Most wrote for Amazon's Kindle platform, where an extremely rapid pace of publication, as fast as one book a month, is the norm. AI helped him write quickly, but it also raised complex aesthetic and ethical questions. Will widespread use of the AI warp spec lead to the most common conventions and tropes? What parts of the writing process can be automated before writing no longer makes itself felt? Should authors disclose their use of AI?

With the introduction of ChatGPT, the questions facing these writers have become more urgent and mainstream. I checked back with one of the authors, Jennifer Lepp, who writes in the cozy paranormal mystery subgenre under the pen name Leanne Leeds, to see how she was thinking about AI now. She's still using the GPT-3-based tool Sudowrite — in fact, she's now paid to write tips on using it for the company's blog — and she's incorporated some of the more recent tools into her fiction. Have done have started doing. We chatted about what it's been like working with ChatGPT, how its launch has affected the freelance writer community, and other topics.

When we last spoke, you went through the evolution of using Sudorite, first mostly as a thesaurus, then experimenting with incorporating text into your work, then letting it grow and with Having a different experience and bringing it back and using it to really include the details you're talking about. How is your process now?

Well, I was hoping that this would help me write two books at the same time, and it failed spectacularly. Obviously, I still stick to my writing. So, on one hand, it was cool.

You thought this would allow you to toggle back and forth and write two books at once?

I thought, Hey, if I don't know what to write, I'll just pop something in there and it'll let me go, and I'll be back in the book I left off a week ago. It didn't turn out well that way. If I didn't know what I was doing, it didn't matter what it spit at me. It wasn't going to help me reconnect with the material I'd already written.

You and some other freelance writers were early adopters of these tools. With ChatGPT, it feels like a lot of other people are suddenly grappling with the same questions you're facing. how was that?

I'm definitely still battling, and I think I'm battling a little bit more publicly. For the most part, people rolled their eyes at first - I don't think they understood what people were using AI for. ChatGP3 lit up. Every group, every private, behind-the-scenes writer's group has some sort of discussion going on.

Right now, everyone is talking about using it on peripherals. But there seems to be a moral gulf between the two: "It blurs really well, and I hate blurring, and I'd rather pay someone to blur, not write blurbs. " So I'm going to use it for the blurriness." or "Well, I'm going to use it to help tighten up my plots because I hate plotting, but it plots really well, so I I'm going to use that." or "What do you know if you ask him to proofread it, he'll make sure it's grammatically correct?"

Everyone gets closer and closer to using it to write their stuff, and then they stop, and everyone feels like they have to announce when they're done talking about it: "But I Never uses its words to write his books.

and I do. It doesn't run my plot. This generally takes no consideration in my books. It doesn't make characters. But real words, just to get them down fast and get it out, I do. So I've found myself wondering over the past few weeks, shall I join the debate? Should I say anything For the most part, I haven't said anything.

Where do you think people are drawing the line?

This is a case of plagiarism. Everyone knows that they crawl content with and without permission.

And there is an ethical question. I can go in and right now - I'm listening to Jim Butcher's audiobook. I love her voice. I love deadpan snark. So I went to AI when I was thinking of trying to do something like this with a character and said, "Rewrite it in Jim Butcher style." Bomb! Same deadpan, urban fantasy font.

Ok, where did you get it? It's almost the same argument and the same fear that is going on with visual artists. This is even more evident in the artist community. I have three writers I read extensively, indie writers I'm friends with, and I know they've never let me see their stuff, and I can't recreate their style reasonably well. I am able was able

Do you see a line between using AI for something like narration and using it to mimic another writer's voice?

Yes. That, to me, is a moral line. I may worship Jim Butcher, and I may wish to God I could write like him, but I'm not going to take his stories and rewrite them in my own voice.

But you could, if you were morally okay with it, with this technology and what it allows you to do.

Have you incorporated ChatGPT into your work?

Right now, I use it for titles and plots - especially mystery plots. and ambiguity.

I started by basically just stating who I am and what I want. "I'm writing a paranormal mystery that takes place in the small town of Table Rock, Texas. It features a female amateur detective. That's her name. I want a murder victim. I want how they were killed. I Four murder suspects wanted." are needed, along with information on why they are suspected and how to clear them and then tell me who the convicted murderer is.

And it will do just that. It will spit it out.

What are some things he has given you?

Right now, I have books [plot] two, three, four, five, six and seven, and they were all Murder Mystery ChatGPT-generated, although I edited some of them. What's impressive about this is that if I tell it that it's a sweet mystery and I tell it that it needs to be humorous, it seems to be doing what I'm asking of it. The names it gives me for suspects are cute. The reasons behind it are never gory or serious.

You feel like you can automate that part of it and still feel in control of the story?

A sweet secret has two parts. There's murder, and murder is what all the characters revolve around. But for me the murder is no less important than all the revolving events. So there has to be a kill, and it has to be entertaining and funny and create mayhem and nastiness. But what it is is almost irrelevant to the plot, even though it is the thing that drives everything.

You mentioned on the email that you were using AI for book covers.

I didn't do a full cover on DAL-E, but in the seventh book I had, I sketched a plot involving the Lykoi cat. This is a cat that's so ugly it's cute. This is apparently an entirely new breed that was like a hybrid between a hairless cat and a hairless cat. And so it has hair in some places, and it looks like a werewolf.

So I have to find a photographer who can do a shoot, find Lykoi the cat, pay everyone to get me the image and the cover. that is expensive. So on a lark, I was like, huh? I'm surprised...

And I went to open my account, jumped into DALL-E. Boom! For me, it saved so much time and money, and the cover looks great, but a photographer doesn't get paid, right? Anyone who wanted to pose for their cat didn't get paid.

How do you see these devices and how did the authors develop them?

I'm really stuck in the middle, wondering which way this is going to go. I certainly don't want to encourage people who aren't comfortable using it. I think it's going to leak into her life. It's already leaking into all our other software, so I imagine it's going to be very hard to get away with. But I definitely don't know where this is all going. ChatGPT surprised me. I thought, well, it'll take three or four years, and it'll get better. Then ChatGPT came along, and oh my god, it's so much better! Six months have passed! Progress is so incredibly fast, and very few questions have really been answered.

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