AI writing a book

"Are your books written by AI?"

...someone asked when they saw my ad on Facebook.

I came across many Facebook ads promising quick and effortless ways to get rich. These advertisements all touted the use of AI technology, such as Chat-GPT, to write a book in a matter of minutes. Some claimed to be able to turn website information into a book (potentially infringing on copyright laws). Others boasted all you needed was a brief description and the AI would do the rest, leaving you free to enjoy endless vacations under palm trees while money kept rolling in.

The only thing that rolled were my eyes.  From experience, I know that writing a book requires effort and dedication. 

The thought of having someone (or rather something) else writing my books for me had never crossed my mind. 

Then a comment appeared on my Facebook ad, asking if Nephilim Quest was written using AI. I responded with a firm, “Definitely not.” However, the question piqued my curiosity, and I decided to see what AI could create when given prompts. I searched for different AI platforms and wrote a description for a short story I wanted AI to create: I hit enter and waited for the result. 

Let's just say I didn't find it overly impressive. Sure, the systems could generate stories, but they lacked any sense of individuality or creativity. The writing contained overused tropes and inconsistencies, like sudden shifts in character gender or point of view. The language was flowery and forced, not at all ... well, mine. (And the historical details... Don’t get me started.)

Plus, I noticed that the plot would have gone in a completely different direction if I had written it myself. So nope. Perhaps if a writer is stuck in which way to steer the story, they might use AI to give them suggestions. But I want to write my own stories. In my voice. Allowing my mind to shape the plot's twists and turns.

Currently, it is most likely that sales platforms such as Amazon are being inundated with these hastily created books - an assumption easily drawn from the fact that when I uploaded Nephilim Quest #4 The Khopesh of the Gods to Amazon, a question had been added to the download form, asking if it was written using AI. Again the answer was NO.

I hope that the authentic voices of genuine writers will still stand out amidst the noise.

Still, AI can be a helpful tool for writers. After listening to Joanna Penn’s podcast (highly recommended, if you are a writer), she mentioned ProWritingAid as a useful editing program. I tried it out by pasting in a chapter I had written myself and was pleasantly surprised to see how well it caught grammar mistakes and other errors, such as repetition and excessively long sentences. As someone who speaks English as a second language, I often use Finnish idioms in my writing that native English speakers may not understand. 

So I find using AI a good way to help me catch grammatical errors (and come to think of it, hasn’t Word done this for a while already?).  But having the AI write the whole first draft (of finished book) - no. I prefer to stick to my writing and plot planning methods. However, sometimes my characters deviate from my carefully laid out plans and venture off in unexpected directions, making it quite a challenge to write them back where I need them. 

That’s one of the main reasons the Nephilim Quest series, originally intended to be just one book, has now expanded into four books. Currently, I am working on writing the fifth book, “The Book of the Dead,” and I have made it clear to my characters that this time, they may not go off on their own adventures.

A reader lives a thousand lives!

Leena :)

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