Move Over, Hemmingway

By now you've probably heard about Chat GPT, the artificial intelligence app that is so smart it passed the entrance exam to at least one elite university and is being banned by schools because it makes cheating almost impossible to detect. It can write essays, news articles, commercials, speeches, advertising copy and, as it turns out, novels!  Or at least the synopsis for one.  I asked, Genie, a Chat GPT app, to brainstorm an idea for a mystery novel titled "Flash of Fire" which is set in Dogleg Island, Florida and features police chief Aggie Malone, her husband Ryan Grady, and their border collie Flash.  In about three seconds, the app created this: 

The residents of Dog Leg Island, Florida live in a state of unease. For years, the island has been plagued by a series of unsolved murders, and the local law enforcement has been unable to find the culprit.

Chief of Police Aggie Malone and her husband Deputy Sheriff Grady have been tasked with solving the mysterious murders. With the help of their border collie Flash, they must uncover the clues and put the pieces together to solve the mystery.

The deeper Aggie and Grady dig, the more they realize that the murders are connected to a sinister plot involving the island's wealthy elite. With the help of Flash and the island's residents, they must race against time to uncover the truth before the murderer strikes again.

Flash of Fire is a thrilling mystery novel set on Dog Leg Island, Florida, where the stakes are high and the danger is real. 


You've got to admit, that's a little spooky!

Chat GPT "learns" by scanning the internet for everything that has been written on the assigned subject and then producing a more-or-less original presentation on the topic.  I suspect it read the cover copy of the previous Dogleg Island books, along with  the description of other mystery novels, to come up with this idea. I confess, the style is remarkably like my own.

This was my first attempt at using the app, and I imagine that with experience I could get more refined output. For example, what was the sinister plot? How do they uncover the truth? And, really, isn't the whole "series of unsolved murders" bit a little dated?  On the other hand, I haven't yet done a story featuring the island's wealthy elite, and there might be something worth exploring there.

The whole thing has made me wonder just exactly how useful Chat GPT can be for the working writer. So why don't we see?  Of my next few posts, some will be written by me, some by artificial intelligence, and some by both.  Will you be able to tell which is which?  Let me know in the comments!

(Hint: this one was written by me. Mostly.)


Jeanie Jackson said…
While what it says is spot on, it could have gotten it from "reading" a few descriptions and reviews. I hope we do not reach the point where writers are no longer needed or cost effective. That would be beyond sad and like so many "improvements" the special quality would go down or be completely missing. It is still interesting It has already been suggested that some authors toss books into a computer program and sale the resulting book.
Donna Ball said…
So much, much more goes into creating a novel than just the "idea". The idea is actually the easiest part! For that reason, I can't see AI ever writing a completely original work of fiction. But it's an awful lot of fun to play around with.
Kay said…
I can't help but wonder from a purely TIME standpoint if AI is used do you spend more or less time to make say for example 1,000 words to finish status. And seriously how much FUN could that be? In any event, it should stay 100% author choice -- AI writing books is worlds different than for example AI driving a car. No harm no foul if an author uses it - as always, because the novel is good, we buy it. I, personally won't lose any sleep trying to find out if Human or not wrote "it, this, that, etc" Periodically I visit old friends, by rereading my favorite authors - and that is how I found this blog requesting comment. For years I have enjoyed visiting you, I particularly enjoy the raine stockton and the new spin off Buck Larson. Kay

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