Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do a lot. As writers, it’s unethical to let a computer write our stories or poems. But maybe that machine can be helpful yet. And this article will show you 8 ways to jumpstart your writing with AI.
8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Writing With Artificial Intelligence
Writers are always in search of new stories, new poems, and new ideas. That can be draining. Wouldn’t it be nice if a machine could do this? One with artificial intelligence?
It’s a touchy-feely topic among writers. I believe that writers should use their own intelligence and creativity. I am, however, a techie at heart. I think that artificial intelligence within certain parameters can help us jumpstart our writing. That’s what this article is about.
Why AI Seems Tempting
Writers are enchanted with the new AI because its possibilities seem limitless. The most sophisticated AI (like Chat GPT or Bard) can produce coherent texts! Ultimately, they’re geared toward doing a writer’s job. Streaming platforms are already experimenting with this.
Most writers find AI interesting because it promises to help them out when writing gets tough. This thinking comes from writer’s block. Now if that’s your problem, this website has many articles on this (how about starting with the low-tech quick start guide against writer’s block ?). If you’d like to dabble in AI, then follow me.
8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Writing With Artificial Intelligence
Here’s a fun fact for you: the less sophisticated artificial intelligence is, the more it can jumpstart your writing. Why not use digital helpers? Let’s look at some generators and see how much fun we can have with them.
The resources I introduce were all free at the time I wrote this article, and there was no need to register. If possible, I have fed them the following randomly chosen words to test them:
Example: Teabag, Sprouts, Elvis, Fire truck
So here we go!
1.Writingsexercises.co.uk is a platform with many generators, some very useful, some quirky (for example, the lottery generator). Let’s say, you want to write a crime novel. The murder plot generator will give you a murder, a victim, a crime scene, and a method of killing. Not satisfied with the results? Click a button for different ideas. Here’s what my try produced.
The victim is a female in her late forties.
The body was found on an oil rig.
The victim has been dead for 2-3 hours.
The victim appears to have been stabbed once.
The victim has been robbed.
As you can see, you can’t expect extraordinary plots. Yet if your mind is blank, you do get a starting point.
2. The setting generator from Writingexercises.co.uk is more fun. Again, click some buttons and you receive a time of day, a location, weather, and an overall atmosphere. Here’s my result:
There’s been a heatwave for days.
You’re in a small town.
There’s a desolate feel to the place.
You also receive tips on how to develop this idea. Very helpful! This website’s mission is to help people overcome writer’s block. There are a few more generators like the random first-line prompts.
Example: ‘This woman puts you in mind of a fluttering hummingbird. She has narrow blue eyes that are like two chunks of lapis lazuli. Her thick, curly, chocolate-coloured hair is neck-length and is worn in a practical style. She has a graceful build. Her skin is dark. She has large feet. Her wardrobe is tight, and is mostly white. ‘
This description gives you an idea but no backstory. You do need to fill in the blanks. But choose a cast of characters like that, and you might have an idea for a plot.
4,. The ‘What-if-inator’ from Seventh Sanctum produces story ideas by scrambling all kinds of historical personalities and events. Here’s one with our test word ‘Elvis:’
Example: ‘What if…Elvis was killed by Cleopatra?’
Now that gets you thinking, doesn’t it? What if indeed.
5. Language is a Virus is a website for poets. I typed in our test words. The first of four stanzas received was very random and strange. But look at the last stanza:
With evil mice, comes vicious victims
This enchantments Michaelmas, knows anorexic is tempestuously
Never dances with thunderbolt, my apprenticed all captured
Always once for false king
Not a poem, right? But the combination of words does have something to it. Here’s what happened when I straightened it out a bit:
‘With evil mice, come vicious victims.
This is the enchantment on Michaelmas:
anorexics never dance with Thunderbolt, my apprentice.
All are captured, always, once and for all, for the False King.’
Still needs some work. But I think I’m on the verge of a Surrealist poem. While this poem generator doesn’t do my work for me, it does come up with some interesting images.
6. Paraphrasingtool.ai offers two interesting tools, one generator for ideas and one for stories. Let’s try the idea generator first. Using our four magic test words, I received five ideas. One of them gave me something to think about:
Example: ‘A fire truck-shaped teabag holder that dispenses tea bags shaped like Elvis Presley.’
Anything can happen with a gadget like that. Would a cup of this tea enable you to sing like Elvis? Think about that.
7. This story generator (free basic version) is also from paraphrasingtool.ai. I turned our test words into a sentence, ‘Elvis’s fire truck was sprouting with teabags.’ This is the story produced by the story generator:
Example: ‘Elvis’s fire truck was sprouting with teabags. Most of them were untouched, but some had been sipped at and licked clean. Elvis’s face was scrunched up in disgust as he shoved the empty packets into a bungee cord and hung it from the rear view mirror.
“I can’t wait for Santa to bring me new engines,” he grumbled, tugging on his safety harness. “These ones are just gross.”
Elvis drove down the street, his siren wailing. He loved to show off and make people scared. Some of them laughed when he came close, but others took off in terror. It made him happy to know that even after he died, his legend would still live on.’
Is it a story? No, it lacks conflict, action, and a story arc. But the generator produced a funny little scene that you can use to start a story.
8. Plot-generator.org.uk asks you so many questions that once you’ve answered them you may just as well write the story yourself. That alone is very educational! Please do try out the blurb section that lets you try out different genres. Theoretically, you could use the same info to create a Bronte sisters’ story, a vampire tale, or a story about a smelly troll. It is a lot of fun.
The Last Word
Writers need to befriend all kinds of technology. If we didn’t use computers, many books wouldn’t get written, and certainly not as fast. Writers need to know what’s on the market. But we also need to know where we stand.
Use technology to have fun with the activity you enjoy the most: writing. I hope this article has shown you a few digital helpers you can have fun with. Remember: writers write, they don’t feed computers.
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By Susanne Bennett
Susanne is a German-American writer who is a journalist by trade and a writer by heart. After years of working at German public radio and an online news portal, she has decided to accept challenges by Deadlines for Writers. Currently she is writing her first novel with them. She is known for overweight purses and carrying a novel everywhere. Follow her on Facebook.
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