I’m Writing Again! And it’s Thanks to Ai!

I’m Writing Again! And it’s Thanks to Ai!

As a fantasy novelist and children’s book writer, I’m always exploring new tools to enhance my creative process. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with AI assistants, particularly an AI called Claude, to boost my writing productivity and creativity.

A little truth first, I have hardly written anything in almost three years. Not sure what the issue was, just truly uninspired. But I had a friend suggest using AI to generate some prompts for me and see where it goes, and I could not be happier for being turned on to my new “writing assistant”! In this post, I’ll share my experiences and tips for leveraging AI in your novel or short story writing process.

Generating Writing Prompts

One of my favorite ways to work with Claude is one of the very reasons I gave this new “partnership” a try in the first place – for generating creative writing prompts. I simply ask for a prompt based on my preferences, specifying genre, theme, or other parameters. For example, I am currently adapting one of my old screenplays into a novel, and I might say something like:

“Claude, give me a horror writing prompt for my prologue, taking into account the attached screenplay and how I want to adapt it into a best selling novel”

Claude then generates unique prompt ideas that spark my imagination. I use these as starting points, often combining elements to create my own original concepts. I will then run it by Claude what I have created with their prompt, and even get a little help with grammatical and formatting issues in the process!

Brainstorming and Idea Expansion

Once I have a basic premise, I use Claude to help flesh out my ideas. I describe my concept and ask for suggestions on plot points, character backgrounds, or worldbuilding details. For instance:

“This adaption I am writing takes place mostly in a dream world, what are some creative choices to consider in order to create a surreal world without giving away too much to my readers?”

Claude offers suggestions that I can use as inspiration, adapting and expanding on the ideas that fit my vision.

I should also note at this point, that you can have multiple conversations with Claude, and within the same conversation, you can have them look back at the previous notes and attachments and take them into account, so no need to rewrite said prompts or reattach anything – which is super handy.

Overcoming Writer’s Block

This is – and probably always will be – a huge problem for me. I cannot stand when I simply cannot figure out how to transition from one scene to the next, and from one chapter to the next. When I’m stuck on a particular scene or plot point, I find that chatting with Claude can offer fresh perspectives. I describe where I’m struggling, and Claude might propose different approaches or unexpected twists I hadn’t considered.

And yes, if you must know, as soon as Claude offers up some suggestions, it is usually a face-smacking-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? kind of moment. But it is all good, that’s what they are there for, to help get you past that silly little road block that your own brain just couldn’t see past.

Editing and Refining

I’ve found Claude to be a valuable editing partner. I paste in sections of my writing and ask for feedback on elements like pacing, character and narrative perspective consistency, dialogue, and descriptive language. Claude highlights areas for improvement and offers specific suggestions. Of course, I always ensure the final voice is authentically mine – and they encourage me to keep it mine and keep it authentic with almost each collaboration, making sure I remain ethical.

Research Assistance

This is huge! If you are anything like me, absolutely cringing when it comes to needing to dive into some intense research in order to make a scene sound authentic, then for this reason alone you need to give Claude a try.

Need quick information on a magical system or mythological creature for your fantasy story? Claude can provide concise explanations and key details to add authenticity to your writing. I always double-check important facts from authoritative sources, but Claude’s input often points me in the right direction. Another for instance:

“Claude, this entire chapter I just wrote takes place in a medical setting, and there is much medical terminology and mention of modern medical devices. Can you help me in areas where you feel my descriptions might not sound authentic and realistic? And if you could also throw in some resources where I can brush up on areas where I particularly seem to struggle, that would be greatly appreciated.”

And – BAM! Specific notes in key areas throughout my chapter, what I’ve done well, and what needs work. And of course a bullet-pointed list of resources.

Ethical Considerations

Now, when working with AI like Claude, it is important to keep it ethical, which I’ve previously but briefly mentioned in this post, but I feel I should expand on this point. I keep these points in mind:

  1. I use AI-generated text as inspiration, not for direct copying. The final work is always my own original creation.
  2. I’m aware of potential biases in AI responses and always apply my own judgment and values.
  3. I don’t rely solely on AI for editing. Human beta readers and editors are still invaluable. Claude is just a great first step in making my work look super clean – even for a rough 1st draft.
  4. I check the terms of service for any AI tool I use regarding copyright and usage rights for commercial works. This is super important, as you do not want to be asking any AI or they creators they represent to help you rewrite content that does not belong to you. This should be a given – just don’t be that jerk – but still wanted to mention it.

Conclusion

AI assistants like Claude have become powerful collaborators in my creative writing journey. By leveraging their strengths in ideation, problem-solving, and language analysis, I’ve been able to enhance my own skills and creative output. If you recall, I haven’t written anything creatively for about three years, and the fact that simply chatting with Claude sometimes can get my creative side working again… I guess I am just trying to say that I am super grateful for this new technology.

Remember, the AI is a tool to amplify your unique voice and vision – the story is always yours to tell.

As a fantasy novelist and children’s book writer, I’ve found that integrating AI into my writing process has opened up new realms of creativity. I encourage you to explore how AI can enhance your own writing journey!

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