Read Around the Rainbow | A.I. vs. Me

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time, and if you aren’t aware of what Read Around the Rainbow is, it’s a blog project I do with a group of other authors on the last Friday of every month. (You’ll find links to their posts below.)

This month we’re dipping our toes into a topic that scares the bejesus out of me.

A.I. vs. Me

If you hang around the writing world, I’m sure you’ve come across a discussion about A.I. at some point. Some think it’s great. A.I. can write our blog posts for us. It can write our emails etc. It will give authors more time to write more books because A.I. will solve all our problems and erase all human interactions. It’s great! *dripping with sarcasm*

But if authors use A.I. to write entire books, has it gone too far? Is this the end of authors? What if I take someone else’s work, feed it into Chat GPT, and tell the awesome robots to tweak it a little? Whose story is it then?

I have to admit that I, to some extent, have succumbed to the ostrich effect when it comes to A.I. I don’t investigate because I don’t want to know. And I’m so glad I’m not teaching anymore, because I fear A.I. already has infiltrated the schools, and I do not envy the teachers of today one bit.

I find this development super scary because while this is the first time I’ve used something like Chat GPT, I think if you do it often enough, and ‘build a relationship’ with your awesome robots, the result can be a lot better than what I accomplished here.

If I was a ghostwriter, I’d fear for my future. I do as an author too, but the one thing we have that is unique for each and every one of us, is our voice. Though if we work with A.I. I’m assuming we would develop a voice together with it.

I’m not sure I want to go down that road, but even I, who am a fast writer, don’t stand a chance against A.I. I publish a story a month, which I think is pretty f*cking awesomely done of me 😂 I struggle to meet those deadlines, had I used A.I. I could’ve had a story in a few minutes. It would’ve been soulless, it wouldn’t be mine, I would feel morally desecrated and so on, but I don’t believe that will stop people from doing it, not for a second.

This month’s assignment was to write a 300-word long story and then ask A.I. to write a similar one. And as I wrote above, if I’d used A.I. a few times, I’m sure I could have got a better result than what I got.

I wrote a fated mate story. A wolf shifter and a bear shifter who meet for the first time on a busy street.

This is my text (It’s 392 words, so I cheated):

Rudi was walking down the busy street outside the office. The May sun was glaring in his eyes, and his skin had shrunk a size or two. Fur wanted to cover his arms. Claws prickled with the need to be let out of the human-shaped prison they’d been forced into.

It had been a long day and a never-ending week, and Rudi couldn’t wait to shed the pretence of being a good little office worker, shift, and run until his legs couldn’t carry him any longer.

He only had to keep it together for a few more minutes, then he could get out of the suffocating scent of exhaust and fill his lungs with clean forest air.

Breathing in deep, he froze. Heat washed over him, and he growled loud enough to make a woman across the street look in his direction.

He scanned his surroundings. Where? Where were they?

His body ignited. Need burned. His mate. Somewhere nearby was his mate.

The woman across the street yelped as a tall man with dark hair and frantically searching eyes ran toward her.

There he was.

Rudi stepped out into the street without so much as glancing at the oncoming traffic. As a car blared its horn, the man’s gaze snapped in his direction. He changed his course, no longer running towards the woman but aiming for Rudi.

He was coming closer and closer. Rudi’s heart beat fast, his hands ached to touch, and he ground to a halt in the middle of the street. The man came to an abrupt stop in front of him. He was breathing hard, his eyes wild.

“Hi.”

Rudi reached for him. “Hi.”

Arms slid around Rudi’s neck, and their lips met in a tentative brush. Fireworks went off behind Rudi’s eyelids, and he wrapped his arms around the man. “Name.” His whisper caressed his lips. “What’s your name?”

“Bjorn Oak of the Hibernator Hollow sleuth.”

Oh fuck, a bear.

“You?” His thumb caressed Rudi’s nape, making him shiver.

“Rudi Oclan of the Moonstone pack.

Bjorn grimaced. “A wolf, huh?” Then he grinned. “Could’ve been worse.”

Rudi shrugged. “Marginally.” But when Bjorn laughed, goosebumps erupted over Rudi’s body, and he pulled Bjorn close for another kiss. He had his mate, but if the fucker in the car honked one more time, he’d soon be without a car.

I wish I’d clocked myself when I wrote it to know how long it took me. I was scrawling down things while eating lunch, then went to the computer and typed it, and then I listened to it. So there was some time invested.

Smiling bear
A.I. generated ‘Smiling bear in city’ from Canva

Then I hopped onto Chat GPT and asked it to:

Write a 300 word gay romance story with a wolf shifter named Rudi and a bear shifter named Bjorn, who are fated mates and meet for the first time on a busy street. And it took like 5 seconds.

This is the result (423 words, so it didn’t stick to the 300-word instruction):

In the bustling heart of the city, amidst the cacophony of sounds and flurry of activity, Rudi, a striking wolf shifter with silver fur and piercing amber eyes, traversed the crowded streets. His heightened senses detected the tantalizing scent of pine and earth, a calling that resonated within his soul.

Meanwhile, Bjorn, a hulking bear shifter with a gentle smile and auburn fur, meandered through the sea of people. His deep voice and compassionate nature drew others to him, but his heart yearned for a connection that transcended the mundane.

As fate would have it, their paths converged on this bustling street. Rudi’s heart skipped a beat as his gaze locked with Bjorn’s warm brown eyes. Time stood still as a tingling current passed between them, whispering of an inexplicable bond.

Driven by curiosity, Rudi broke free from the crowd, his agile strides bringing him closer to Bjorn. The world faded into the background as their eyes remained locked, the vibrant city fading away until only they remained.

With bated breath, Rudi approached Bjorn, his silver tail wagging with anticipation. A shy smile played at the corners of Bjorn’s lips, mirroring Rudi’s nervous excitement. They exchanged greetings, their voices harmonizing with the symphony of the city.

In that moment, Rudi and Bjorn understood that they were more than mere strangers; they were fated mates, two halves of a whole. Their connection, woven by the hands of destiny, tugged at their hearts, urging them to explore the depth of their bond.

Days turned into nights, and nights into shared secrets and stolen kisses. Rudi reveled in Bjorn’s quiet strength and unwavering support, while Bjorn found solace and acceptance in Rudi’s playful spirit and fierce loyalty.

Together, they discovered the beauty of their intertwined destinies. They walked hand in paw through vibrant parks, danced under starlit skies, and found solace in each other’s embrace. Their love transcended the boundaries of species, reaffirming that love is love, no matter the form it takes.

In the bustling streets that once felt overwhelming, Rudi and Bjorn forged a sanctuary of love and acceptance. Their story became a beacon of hope, inspiring others to embrace their true selves and seek love in its purest form.

As they navigated the challenges that life threw their way, Rudi and Bjorn held each other’s paws, knowing that together they could weather any storm. Their love, nurtured by fate and fortified by their unwavering commitment, illuminated the busy street, radiating a love story that would forever be whispered in the city’s bustling winds.

It’s eh… A few things, for example, how it talks about Bjorn in his fur and then how his deep voice and compassionate nature draw others to him. It clashes in my brain because bears wearing their fur don’t talk to people 😄 We also have the shy smile on Bjorn’s lips right after Rudi’s wagging tail, how they held each other’s paws etc.

I’m not normally one to harp on about show and tell, but there isn’t any show here, and there isn’t any dialogue. Those things, however, I think you can train your pet robot to do better if you’re willing to invest the time.

I hope we’ll see authors honing their craft instead of turning to A.I. but I honestly fear for the future.

Check out what the others stories and A.I. results!

A.L. Lester

Addison Albright

Nell Iris

Lillian Francis

Fiona Glass

Ellie Thomas

Ofelia Gränd

Read Around the Rainbow | How Do You Feel About Blurbs?

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time! If you haven’t seen these posts before, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic on the last Friday of every month. This month, we’ve decided to talk blurbs – a favourite topic among many authors 😆

How do you feel about blurbs? Do you write them before or after your story?

There are a few people who like blurbs. In my mind, I know this, but I can’t for the life of me understand how they’re functioning human beings 😂 I’m joking. I’m sure they’re perfectly sane… or close to.

So, blurbs. I hate blurbs. I’d rather write ten stories than one blurb. And it’s not only that I hate writing blurbs, I hate reading them too. If you can get me to read the first paragraph of a blurb, you’ve done a good job! Most often when I pick a book to read, I read the first sentence of the blurb, then I skim some reviews, and if it’s somewhere I can see tags, I read them too. Read an entire blurb? Nope.

This, of course, results in a few DNFs for me since I’m also a bit picky about what I read 🤣 I never said it was a good tactic.

typewriterDo I write the blurb before or after the story? After, at the very last minute, when there is nothing else I could do instead. I think this also has to do with being a pantser. I don’t know how my story will end, so to write the blurb before I’ve finished the story would only mean I’ll have to rewrite it, and considering how much I love to write blurbs, I want to avoid that. Imagine having to do two blurbs per story 😳

It’s not that I don’t understand the importance of blurbs – or that’s a lie. And I think that’s exactly it. I don’t see the point because when I’m in tantrum mode, I can almost convince myself no one in the whole wide world would ever voluntarily read a blurb, because why would they? Such a waste of time! LOL

And it’s not like I haven’t tried. I’ve tried to hack my brain, have tried to make myself believe in the importance of blurbs, the magic of a well-written blurb. I’ve read loads of books, articles, posts, tips etc about how to write a compelling blurb, but no matter how a blurb is written, I find it very uncompelling.

But if it’s something you have to learn when in this business, it’s that you shouldn’t transfer your behaviour onto your readers. I hate blurbs, both to read and to write them, but it doesn’t mean that the people wanting to read my books do, and by having written a blurb I give them a chance to make an informed decision about whether they want to read this particular story or not.

Though I’m not gonna give up hope of there being a day when ‘This is a story about a werewolf’ will be sufficient as a blurb 😆

Check out what the other have to say about blurbs and where in the process they write them. Who knows, there might be someone who likes writing them *looks around* 😄

Nell Iris

Addison Albright

Fiona Glass

Amy Spector

Ellie Thomas

Lillian Francis

Read Around the Rainbow | Someone insults your main character, how do they react?

ReadAroundTheRainbow

It’s Read Around the Rainbow time, and I was this *holds up fingers really close together* close to skipping out. If you haven’t read any Read Around the Rainbow posts before, we’re a group of authors who blog on the same topic on the last Friday of every month. This month’s topic is:

Someone insults your main character, how do they react?

Some authors have elaborate backstories for their characters. They keep story bibles with facts and character sketches. They know their middle name and their birthdays, what they dreamed about becoming when they grew up, who their first crush was, and that sort of thing.

My characters are born thirty years old – and often they appear out of thin air because parents are a hassle. They don’t have a background unless it’s important for the story.

If you study my characters, you’ll notice many of them lack description of their physical appearance, one even lacks a name (Dear Diary). I have a beta reader who often comments on not knowing the age of the character (bless her), and most often she doesn’t because to me that shit is unimportant as long as they’re adults.

I don’t care if they’re thirty-three or forty-three, I don’t give a damn if their hair is blond or purple, I don’t care what their first dog was named – unless said dog turned into a ghost when it died and still is around, then it’s important!

What I’m trying to get to with this rant is that unless my character is insulted in the story, I don’t know or care how they would’ve reacted if they were. Once I’ve written the last sentence, gone through the edits, written all the blog posts etc about a story, the character is erased from my mind.

This is why I don’t do series, and on those few occasions I’ve tried, I’ve ended with a two-book series where the second has been painful to write.

I love my characters. I give them all my attention, care, and love while I’m with them. Six months later, I don’t remember their names.

So how would my main character react if he was insulted? Hang on while I flip through my catalogue and see if someone ever is 😆

I don’t know… Bassel in Bathshit Bassel is insulted almost every day, but his tactic is to do his best to ignore it. He’s a psychic and he makes some people uneasy, so he mostly ignores their reactions and does his best to avoid conflict. Thor doesn’t always agree with his approach. Thor is the guardian of Dag, his nephew, but his life as a nightclub owner is busy, and Dag spends more and more time with Bassel.

Serve Soup

“There’s a door in the back, yeah?” Bassel was watching him with big, sparkling eyes.

“You can come into the club.”

The sparkle died. “Eh… there will be a crowd, and a kid in a nightclub, and…” He flinched.

Thor watched him with a growing sense of dread. Bassel didn’t like his nightclub. “Have you ever been inside?”

“No! A guy like me can’t walk into a place like—” He waved at the old brick building. “We’re not welcome.”

White hot fury erupted in his chest. “Everyone is welcome in my club.”

“Ah…” Thor could feel Bassel backtracking despite not having moved an inch. “It’s not my scene. The hyena wouldn’t want me there.”

Thor narrowed his eyes. “Who?”

“Ed.”

Thor jumped, having forgotten Dag was there and capable of participating in a conversation.

“He’s a wolf.”

Dag shrugged. “He laughs like a hyena every time he walks past here.”

A low rumble built in Thor’s chest. He didn’t have the energy for Ed being an ass. “I’ll talk to him.”

“No!” Bassel reached out but didn’t touch him. “It’s the way people react to me. You can’t protect me, and I don’t need you to.”

“The hell I can’t! You’re mine to protect—” He motioned at both Bassel and Dag to make him appear a little less insane. “—and I will not stand for you being harassed.”

Bassel stood frozen for a second or two, then he glanced at Dag. “I think we’ll take the door in the back. Is it open?”

Check out what the others have to say! I’m sure their posts will be way more interesting to read 😆

A.L. Lester

Ofelia Gränd

Fiona Glass

Addison Albright

Ellie Thomas

K.L. Noone