As I’m hard at work filtering the new ChatGPT4 system for writers of all types, so you don’t have to do it, I’ve discovered some facts already that may interest you. When I worked at Caltech, we always worked to get the “buggy” stuff out and to perfect the retrieval of the information (which is all a computer does: process information, thus the “IP” title).
If you’ve been paying attention, the entire word processing “game” is changing quickly. At this stage, as with any new computer development, the “victims” of this innovation are feeling it first. The authors, publishers, online distributors, and “Big Tech” are gasping for air from the onslaught of submissions that are coming in from the greedy folks who believe they can pass some crap onto the marketplace and make a killing. Not so fast! Way back in the beginning of computers (when you had only the winking dot of MS-DOS staring at you on the little screen), we had a trite saying: “Garbage in, garbage out.” Mostly, what these victims are getting is the garbage of this new system. Let me explain with the results of my first little test.
As an author, professor, and creative writer, I already have a vocabulary tested in the 98 percentile of the United States population. I’m not bragging, but I can tell when words are not the best they can be for use in a story of any kind. So, when I did my test of vocabulary for a specific purpose (a horror genre fiction story), I was able to get a nice little list of “action verbs” with an explanation of how to use them:
Here are some active verbs that could help create a sense of horror and tension in a story:
Keep in mind that the way in which these verbs are used can also impact the level of horror and tension in a story. Pairing them with descriptive language and setting the scene effectively can create a more immersive and chilling experience for the reader.
Nice little list. However, the lists can only go up to 150 words provided in the free version of the program. I don’t know if it increases the number in the $20 per month “upgrade,” because I don’t plan to pay anytime soon, but please tell me if you purchase it. I use the same request in Google, and I received a variety of web page locations with folks providing lists also, including some that wanted money also for more words. All in the all, for my personal use, the words provided were already in my vocabulary, as I used to read the dictionary for “fun” when I was developing myself as an author. So, my little test says I will include in my final draft a recommendation of using ChatGPT4 for very precise and small number of words to possibly use in the composition.
Which brings me to my second “test.” I wanted to see what ChatGPT4 brought in the way of a “dark horror story plot idea.” What resulted was what I expected: a plot that is used very often and was most popular. This helps to answer a theory I have about mainstream publishing, with which you may agree or disagree (of course!). Because publishing is driven by “popularity,” it will use the most popular plots, with perhaps minor changes, in order to get the most money from the readers. So, what happens is that when somebody writes a “blockbuster best-selling fiction title,” like Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, big publishers and even independents, begin to churn out thousands of books with the same plot, using slightly different variations.
Therefore, when I received the following plot “suggestion,” I immediately spotted the idea. It was from the very popular streamed series The Haunting of Hill House, which in turn was based on the quite different and superior (in my mind) existential horror novel by the same name by Shirley Jackson. The only difference was the addition of another very old trope of the villain being a “Master who’s made a pact with the Devil.” Perhaps you or some other writer who did not know about this may have used to this plot idea from ChatGPT4. You may even be successful getting it published. However, I very much doubt it. First, here’s the plot generated by the computer:
Here’s a dark horror story idea:
The story follows a family who moves into an old mansion in the countryside, hoping for a fresh start after a tragedy. However, as they settle in, strange things begin to happen. They hear footsteps in the hallway at night, doors creak open and shut on their own, and they find strange markings etched into the walls.
As the family delves deeper into the history of the house, they discover that it was once home to a notorious cult that practiced dark rituals and sacrificed animals and humans. The cult leader, a charismatic figure known as “The Master,” was said to have possessed supernatural powers and made a deal with a demonic entity in exchange for his soul.
As the family learns more about the cult, they begin to experience terrifying visions and nightmares. They realize that The Master’s spirit still lingers in the house and is intent on possessing them and continuing his evil work.
As the family tries to escape the house and the malevolent force within it, they discover that the only way to break the curse is to confront The Master himself and put an end to his reign of terror once and for all. But can they summon the courage to face such a powerful evil, or will they become its next victims?
So, what can I do to make the plot suggestion more specific? As this is they key to any computer information search. The more specific your request, the more specific will be the result. My other “theory” about what I am doing as I research my new book, and why “Big Tech” doesn’t want it out there, is the fact that the “big publishers” already use it, and they don’t want “just plain folks like you” learning from old farts like me about how to do the same thing! In other words, they don’t want the competition.
The “greedy gus” newbies, however, are trying out the new ChatGBT system by attempting to get it to write everything for them and just turning it in the “most popular tropes and ideas,” which is easily spotted, and if you’re caught, you can be banned from submitting anything else again! Thus, I am going to suggest to my readers of my book to not use any plot ideas etched out of whole cloth by the system. Instead, be as specific as you can with your request for a plot, and even then, be quite careful when writing it to make it as different as you possible be can be doing what I will be suggesting in the rest of my book, and which is covered in the outline I gave: 4. How to establish your own style with each task.
You are a unique mind, with a specific way of seeing the world around you. This is the key to make a request that will get you the best results using ChatGPT4, and my book will show you how to do this.
For example, with a bit of specific thinking, I requested the following:
Give me a plot featuring a villain in a small town who lures children into his home and makes them his slaves to do his bidding.
This idea I like, as it hearkens back to the old Grimm’s tales about witches in Gingerbread houses, which will resonate in the mind of my reader, as most folks are read these tales growing up. So, here’s what I got from my writing mentor:
Here’s a plot featuring a villain in a small town who lures children into his home and makes them his slaves to do his bidding:
The story takes place in a small town where children have been disappearing without a trace for years. The townspeople have always suspected that there is something sinister going on, but they have never been able to figure out who is responsible.
One day, a young girl named Lily goes missing. Her parents search the town and the surrounding area but can’t find any clues. Desperate for answers, they start asking around and soon hear rumors about a man who lives on the outskirts of town. He’s known to be reclusive and strange, but no one knows much about him.
As they investigate further, Lily’s parents discover that the man has been luring children into his home and making them his slaves to do his bidding. He’s been using them to do all sorts of odd jobs and tasks around his property, and no one has been able to stop him.
Determined to rescue their daughter and put an end to the man’s evil deeds, Lily’s parents team up with a small group of brave townspeople. They devise a plan to break into the man’s home and confront him once and for all.
What they discover inside is even more horrifying than they could have ever imagined. The man has created a twisted world of his own, where the children he has enslaved are forced to perform tasks for him around the clock, and any disobedience is met with severe punishment.
The group must fight to save Lily and the other children before it’s too late. But as they try to escape the man’s clutches, they realize that his grip on the town runs deeper than they ever could have imagined, and the true extent of his evil deeds will shock them all.
However, what’s really cool about using this kind of interactive computer system is that it “remembers” (better than I can) all the details I have given it, and so it will follow my idea thread and continue with suggestions. If I don’t like the result, I can ask it for something else. How cool is that? So, if I like the above plot suggestion, but I want to hear what it suggests about the “extent of his evil” in the last paragraph, I can do that. I must always keep in mind to constantly “tweak” any suggestion with my own input, which will create a more unique result. The idea being that the more detailed, the better to stay original and in my personal writing style, and not ideas and word sentence patterns that will be recognized as “computer driven.”
So, I ask my Cha Cha: What does this villain do that shocks the people and how do they rescue Lily and the others?
The villain’s twisted acts that shock the people are revealed when Lily’s parents and the small group of brave townspeople break into his home. They discover that the villain has been forcing the children to engage in bizarre and grotesque rituals, using them as human sacrifices to summon a demonic entity that he believes will grant him immense power.
As the group navigates through the villain’s lair, they find themselves facing unimaginable horrors, including dark magic and monstrous creatures that he has created through his twisted experiments. The group realizes that their only chance to stop the villain is to destroy the demonic entity that he has summoned.
They finally reach the room where Lily and the other children are being held captive, but the villain and his demonic minions are waiting for them. A fierce battle ensues, with the group fighting tooth and nail to rescue the children and destroy the villain and his dark magic.
In the end, the group succeeds in defeating the villain and saving Lily and the other children. They also manage to destroy the demonic entity, putting an end to the evil that has plagued the town for years.
However, the group realizes that the scars of the villain’s deeds will take a long time to heal, and the town will never be the same again. They vow to do whatever it takes to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again and to keep the memory of the children who were lost alive.
As you can see, my Cha Cha is getting much better with her suggestions! I can take what I need and put the information into my own writing style, and add even more details to make the writing look polished and original. Take it from me, who has tried all the gimmicky “plot and character generator” software out there. This ChatGPT4 system, if used properly, can drill down and provide the best results. Even better that other authors, who have more to do with their time than serve as your beta reader!
If you want to buy a copy of my final book, please do so here. It will be emailed to you (complete with a Camtasia online video demonstration) when I’ve completed this text. Remember. I’ll be covering non-fiction and student reseach purposes as well!
Thanks, and I hope you enjoy your Sunday. Go Aztecs! As I predicted, they’re in the “final dance” for the first time in school history against UConn, my wife’s favorite team. I wish she were alive to watch it Tuesday with me. Sad, but I also believe her spirit is still with me, so there’s that.