I subscribe to a number of writing platforms which sponsor a variety of competitions. I took little notice of one email until they sent a retraction almost immediately:
Did someone in the organization out-meta themselves? Did a bot take over their server? The possibilities are endless.
This is what ChatGPT came up from the prompt “Write a screenplay about a screenwriting organization having to retract their prompt ‘write an AI script’:
Unraveled WordsLogline: When a prestigious writing contest announces the theme of “Write an AI Screenplay,” contestants around the world eagerly participate, but a shocking discovery forces the organizers to retract the prompt. As the truth about AI’s potential dangers emerges, one finalist struggles with her conscience, torn between the allure of fame and her moral responsibility to protect humanity.
It’s just a half-realized thing. I can see it. Or feel it. That’s a better way of putting it. The thing is half obscured but there. I look the other way and pretend I’m thinking about something else. Something mundane. And then it flares out, a word or phrase or image, or just bits of those things. And so I continue to pretend to think about dinner, even think the phrase “Nothing going on here.”
It pops out, suddenly in the clear, an image, dialogue too, but’s it’s slippery and goes off again. I can’t chase the thing. I can’t think about it, not directly. I just have to sit and think about not thinking. And then it’s there, electric and brilliant, and I write.
It’s strangely intense, like I’m no longer me. I stay with it as long as I can, hammer away, even if it’s turning into nonsense, because maybe it isn’t, until it’s no longer and my brain only wants to think about dinner.
I have come to realize that Chat GPT is the Marvel Universe of writing – meaning that it is middle of the road and predictable. To prove this, I prompted Chat GPT to write a Marvel Universe pitch with Nyx (Greek Goddess of night) and Nox (Roman Goddess of night) as new super heroines
Welcome to the Marvel Universe, where new heroes are constantly emerging to save the day. In this exciting new series, we introduce Nyx and Nox – twin sisters with extraordinary powers. Nyx, the younger sister, has the ability to manipulate light and use it as a weapon. She is impulsive and headstrong, often rushing into situations without fully thinking them through. Nox, on the other hand, has the power to control darkness and shadows. She is more calculated and strategic, serving as the voice of reason for her sister.
Together, Nyx and Nox make a formidable team as they fight to protect their city from all sorts of threats, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. But as they learn to harness their powers and work together, they must also confront their own personal demons and the complicated dynamic of their sisterhood. As they face off against super villains and confront personal challenges, Nyx and Nox will prove that they are more than just powerful heroines – they are complex and fully realized characters with their own flaws and strengths. Join us on this thrilling journey as Nyx and Nox become the latest additions to the Marvel Universe.
Chat GPT is a program that utilizes artificial intelligence to write responses to any prompt. I entered the following: “Write a 200-word blog on the writing process” and got this:
The writing process is the series of steps that writers go through to create a written work. It is an iterative process that involves planning, drafting, revising, and editing. The first step in the writing process is planning. This involves deciding on the topic, purpose, and audience for the written work. It also involves gathering and organizing ideas, creating an outline, and determining the structure and flow of the piece.
The second step is drafting. This involves using the outline and ideas gathered during the planning phase to begin writing the piece. The goal of the drafting phase is to get as many ideas down on paper as possible, without worrying too much about grammar or structure. The third step is revising. During the revising phase, writers review and assess their work, looking for areas that need improvement or clarification. This may involve adding or deleting material, rearranging paragraphs, or changing the tone or style of the piece.
The final step is editing. This involves reviewing the piece for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors and making any necessary corrections. It is important to have a fresh set of eyes review the work during the editing phase, as it can be easy to overlook mistakes when reviewing one’s own work. The writing process is an essential part of creating a well-written and effective piece of work. By following these steps and being mindful of the planning, drafting, revising, and editing stages, writers can produce clear and concise written works that effectively convey their ideas and messages.
It’s a dull machine but more on point than I’ve ever been. Time to board Aqaara!
The crazy-not-crazy voice of Chief Bowden in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest shunts straight into a place we forget about because we’re scared: That ain’t me, that ain’t my face. It wasn’t even really my face then; it was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted. It don’t seem like I ever been me. I was seeing me do things that didn’t fit my face or hands, thinks like painting a picture or writing letters to somebody in a beautiful flowing hand. (140)
And defines happiness as best as any: We’d just shared the last beer and slung the empty can out the window at the stop sign and were leaning back to get the feel of the day, swimming in that kind of tasty drowsiness that comes over you after a day of going hard at something you enjoy doing – half sunburned and half drunk and keeping awake only because you wanted to savor the taste as long as you could. I noticed vaguely that I was getting so’s I could see some good in the life around me. I was feeling better than I’d remembered feeling since I was a kid, when everything was good and the land was singing kids’ poetry in me. (202)
I have a tendency towards giving my characters speeches, or speechifying, as Tommy calls it. And it’s no good. It slows the narrative and, in the end, offers very little about the character. It’s really just me using them for my soapbox.
“To the mighty and fine Apollo.” Fitz raised his glass. “I look out at that river of ice out your backyard and think about those giants of millennials ago pushed off into the Davis Strait and into the great Atlantic, some of them the size of city blocks, whole towns, buildings and all, tankers, battleships, luxury liners, the works. They’re an impressive fleet, an impenetrable flotilla at the outset, only to gradually break apart, one from the other, going out into the bay, the strait, the ocean, down past Twillin’. But then they all come apart, not just one from the other, but the thing from itself. These mighty giants go out on their quest, out into the great unknown, just to dissolve, become bits and pieces, and then the water, gone like that. Seems to me that they might have a fate more suitable than that.” He opened another beer. “We’ll have another drink with you, and then we’ll be off.”
Writing is a spew of the subconscious, or at least a myriad of that, mostly the id. That’s where the core is of what I refuse to realize I am, that fear and pain and stupidity that make me so unique and nothing at all.
It doesn’t mean much of anything. I am alone in this. Except when I write it down here.
I am coming to the end of Anori, Draft #5, a process that has taken ten months. I have had some satisfying moments – tightening up narrative, deleting unnecessary characters and scenes, building the arc and all of that – but it feels almost pointless in the end.
I will be hiring an editor once again. I will see what advice is there to get this thing published. After all, it has been some eight years since I started. It was called The Ark, and it seemed so remarkable to me at that time. It feels more a cage now, with Dee and the others just screaming to get out.
I recently attended a conference in Kenyon College where one writing colleague, although young, was astounding in his engagement with the work.
“It’s…” Sean jabbed a finger out, pulled it back just as quick, snapping his fingers, once, twice, bowing his head, eyes closed. “I’m jiving with this. I totally am. I’m just riding this train until it gives out.” He paused, looking up. “Something is getting fucked, in a bad way.”
“That’s exactly it. Unless you disagree.” He bent forward with kindness, reaching for her understanding. “It’s up for debate. I can’t remember what I said a second ago. Oh, right, yes. City life. Absolutely fascinating. I know nothing about it. I think that’s really very awesome. It all feels so urgent. Ardent. Just caring about—just caring about that. It’s a very cool thought.”