The bad fan fiction doesn’t seem like a big problem, but give that ten-year-old time to grow up and the fear of many writers–that their beautiful stories will be replaced with soulless AI-generated tales–becomes a lot more plausible.
However, some aspects of human writing may never be replicable by AI. Each person brings their unique soul and experiences to their writing in a way AI can’t (we hope).
If you want to distinguish your writing from AI-generated writing, play up your humanity.
Many adults have lost the joy they felt writing as children. Here are some suggestions on how to bring it back.
A lot of writers started writing as kids. We loved to read, so we decided to make our own stories.
Some of our stories were written and illustrated in crayon in stapled-together booklets. Some were written in stiffly adult cursive in pink lockable diaries. And some were typed in obsolete word processing programs in which documents could never be longer than 13 pages.
Writing when you’re six or ten or thirteen is a joyous activity. Characters and their magnificent struggles swirl through your head and every word that comes out is a diamond.
But at some point the magic fades.
You agonise, you doubt yourself. You pack away the crayons.
Grown-ups aren’t better at everything. So get your crayons back out and remember the fun you had writing (or might have had writing) as a kid.
I took four fantasy novels and predicted what each was about based on its first paragraph. Yes, the first paragraph of a novel is important.
Writers are told they have to grab their readers by the throat in their first sentence. Attention spans have gone the way of the megalodon, and if you don’t grab a reader straight away you’ve lost them.
A first sentence should do everything. Be a microcosm of the entire story. Introduce a fascinating character. Be surprising. Set reader expectations. Foreshadow the story problem. Raise a question. Wash the dishes. Hang out the laundry. Pick the kids up from school.
Okay, maybe not all those.
I agree first sentences are important, but how much can they really do?
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