Get my opinion on novel writing and AI. Is AI going to replace novel writers completely? Or are rumours spreading around the writing industry unfounded?
I have always been a writer. I usually say that I’ve known this since I was four years old, but I’m not sure why that’s the age I have in mind. Something must have happened, but I don’t remember what it was. I’m not sure I could even write back then, and I certainly didn’t have a computer of my own.
Man, that makes me feel old. Remember when laptops weren’t a thing and you just had one family computer you’d all take turns on? The internet used the same line as the landline phone, so you couldn’t use them both at the same time. If someone was on the phone, you’d have to wait for them to finish before you could use the internet.
I wrote my first “book” when I was 7. It was a page and a half long (although I must add that they were A4 pages). I showed it to my mum, and was disappointed when she told me it would need to be a bit longer. Fast forward to sixteen-year-old Isabella writing her first full novel, the journey there was eventful. There have been moments I am truly proud of… and others not so much. But that’s for another article. The brief version: until now, I’ve written five full novels and have three unfinished works that taunt me daily from inside their Scrivener files.
I also write a lot at my day job in marketing and content creation. Put this together with running a magazine, and, yes, I think I can call myself a writer.
Why You Should Use AI As a Creative
About Creative Writing and AI
People have been asking me for a while for my opinion on AI and writing (mostly in content writing, but the conversation is broadening more and more as AI scales at an unprecedented rate). I have been thinking about it for a while, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I know where I stand and what I feel, but until now I wasn’t able to put it into words.
It’s funny how writing happens for me. Sometimes I can spend days on end with no idea what to write, no inspiration for a story and no clue what to say in my column. Then an idea sparks, and all of a sudden it just flows. There’s no stopping me. To quote one of the most legendary films of my childhood… It’s like word-vomit.
Sometimes it happens at a really inconvenient moment. Like, I’ll just be walking down the street and I’ll have an idea. I’ll start writing in my head, and after a few minutes I’m practically running for my keyboard or taking furious notes on my phone.
This just happened to me, actually. I was in the shower. I rushed to finish washing my hair and now I’m sitting here writing this, dripping wet and wrapped in my towel.
On AI Replacing Writers
I could fill this magazine with AI-generated content; that would be easy. But I just don’t believe that’s what people want to read. The one thing that AI can’t do is tell you about real people’s experiences, from the interviews we do to Beatriz’s wild dating stories. It could try, but it wouldn’t be real, and I think that would come through in the way it reads.
Just like a computer can never generate a truly random number, it can’t generate the true nuance and chance of a real person’s existence.
I do think that the world is going to change with the introduction of AI. I already use AI at work, and it helps me at Outloud with ideas for things like summaries and Instagram captions. I rewrite everything, but it’s useful to have an initial structure there. It makes it quicker, that’s for sure, and sometimes it suggests things that I never would have thought of. It always sounds a bit clunky, though, and it doesn’t sound like me.
Why You Should Start a Blog
Of course, this will change over time. The more AI learns, the better it will become at imitating people. It might be able to take ten samples of my writing and write just like I do, but it doesn’t have all of my memories. It can’t write about the first book I wrote when I was 7, or how I felt when my mum read it. It can’t write about the writing competition I won when I was 15, or my experiences in creative writing class at school.
I could give Chat GPT a detailed account of what happened, but then I might as well write the damned article myself.
This is a scary time for anyone who works in creative industries. There really is no knowing where we’ll be in five or ten years’ time, especially without any kind of regulation in AI.
There’s a lot of talk in online communities about bringing in regulation and copyright protection to stop AI work from being copyrighted. This could be fundamental in the way in which artistic industries develop alongside AI. Honestly, it seems like the best of both worlds to me. Allow AI to churn out 1,000 romance novels for every 1 written by a human. But keep a label on it. *This novel was created by Artificial Intelligence*. Who would want to read an AI-written novel anyway? Not me, that’s for sure.