AI and Creative Writing II
Following my last post on this subject, I challenged ChatGPT to write a short fiction entitled 'I should be writing.' This was because I was suffering from a weird form of writer's block. I had reached slightly under thirty thousand words into the last book in the Six Degrees of Separation series and should have been steaming ahead, but every time I tried to settle down in front of my laptop, I had to contend with the distraction of my much loved elderly and arthritic cocker spaniel who seemed to know exactly when I was trying to get into a creative mood and would immediately set about crying pitifully.
Was it food she wanted, a slow short walk, maybe just a trip into the garden or some grooming? Or was she simply in pain? With her crying as a background soundtrack, I found concentrating impossible.
It wasn't a lack of ideas - only that morning, I'd thought through a love scene between Alex and Sally while I was in the bath, and became so engrossed in their dialogue that the bath water went cold!
So come the afternoon, I'd finished reading SEX/Life 44 chapters about 4 men. (My reading is VERY diverse). There was nothing on TV, streamed or otherwise, that inspired me and Poppy the spaniel was snoring in her bed. I can work through snoring, so it was time to write. But guess what? No motivation! So I decided if I couldn't write any fresh prose, I'd get my newfound friend ChatGPT to do some. And here it is (unedited) - a short fiction entitled 'I Should be Writing'
'Samantha sat at her desk, staring blankly at the computer screen. She had been there for hours, yet not a single word had been written. She couldn't help but feel frustrated at herself. "I should be writing," she thought, but no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't seem to find the words.
She had always wanted to be a writer, ever since she was a little girl. She would spend hours lost in her own world, scribbling away in notebooks, creating fantastical tales of adventure and intrigue. But now, as an adult, she found herself struggling to even write a single sentence.
She looked at the clock and sighed. It was getting late, and she still had nothing to show for all her efforts. She was about to shut down her computer and give up for the night when she heard a knock at the door.
"Who could that be?" she thought as she made her way to the door.
As she opened it, she was surprised to see an old man standing there. He had a kind smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
"Hello, Samantha," he said.
"How do you know my name?" she asked, feeling a bit uneasy.
"I know a lot of things," he replied with a chuckle. "I also know that you should be writing."
Samantha was taken aback. How did he know that she was struggling with her writing?
"I can help you," he said, as if reading her thoughts.
"Help me?" she repeated, still in disbelief.
"Yes, I can give you the inspiration you need to write the story that's been inside you all along," he said.
Samantha didn't know what to make of this strange encounter, but something about the old man's words felt true. She invited him in, and they sat down at her desk.
"Close your eyes," he said, and she did as he asked.
In the darkness behind her eyelids, Samantha saw a world come to life. It was as if the old man had unlocked a door inside her mind, and all the stories she had ever wanted to tell were waiting for her there. She saw characters and places, conflicts and resolutions, all swirling around in her head.
"Open your eyes," the old man said, and Samantha did as he asked.
As she looked at her computer screen, she felt a new sense of purpose. The words were flowing from her fingers like a river, and she knew that she was finally writing the story she had always wanted to tell.
She looked up to thank the old man, but he was gone. She was alone in her apartment, but she knew that she was never truly alone as long as she had her writing.
"I should be writing," she said to herself, but this time, it was with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
And she kept writing, long into the night, until every word she had ever wanted to write was on the page.
Although didn't edit the AI output, I dearly wanted to. Instead, I left it untouched as proof that my friend ChatGPT has a long way to go before she/he/it can produce inspirational fiction. Fun though. And in case you are wondering how my dog is - I took her to the vet yesterday, and with some new meds, she seems to be much happier and I have no reason not to storm on to forty thousand words in 'Last Love'.