Talk to the ChatGPT

 Can you write an article in the voice of a creative writer explaining how to use Chat GPT for beginning novelists and bloggers?

The response from Chat GPT ( : Use ChatGPT to generate writing prompts.
One of the biggest challenges of writing is figuring out what to write about. ChatGPT can help you overcome writer’s block by generating creative writing prompts based on your preferences. For example, you can ask ChatGPT to generate prompts for a specific genre, such as romance or horror, or based on a specific theme, like love or betrayal. This can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing and come up with new and exciting ideas for your writing.
Get feedback on your writing
As a writer, it’s important to get feedback on your work to help you improve and grow. ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for receiving constructive criticism on your writing. You can ask ChatGPT to review your writing and provide suggestions on how to improve it. This can include anything from grammar and syntax to character development and plot structure. Just be sure to take the feedback with a grain of salt and use it as a tool for growth rather than a definitive judgment on your writing.
Use ChatGPT for character development
Creating compelling characters is essential to good storytelling, but it can be difficult to know where to start. ChatGPT can help you brainstorm ideas for your characters, including their personalities, backstories, and motivations. You can even ask ChatGPT to generate a character profile based on specific traits or characteristics you’re looking for. This can be a great way to bring your characters to life and make them more relatable to your readers.
Get inspiration for blog posts
If you’re a blogger, ChatGPT can be a great tool for generating ideas for new blog posts. You can ask ChatGPT to suggest topics based on your niche or industry, or even ask for ideas on how to make your blog more engaging and interactive. ChatGPT can also provide you with helpful tips and strategies for growing your blog audience and increasing engagement.

Pretty good right?  ChatGPT – “Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer.”  Is a language model designed to generate human-like responses using “generative pre-training.” That pre-training uses existing data, which, as is reasonable, is only found online.  If information made it into the internet, ChatGPT can scrape it and produce answers.  

Sounds like we are out of a job right?  Why not just ask for the Great American novel and call it a day?  Or call it your life’s work courtesy of technology?

This current version of generative responses is both exciting and disturbing.  Exciting because now we have an instantaneous assistant to help with research and ideas.  Disturbing because we’ve all read dystopic novels.  But not even ChatGPT suggests we take everything he/she says verbatim.  Think of the data, not only are vetted articles posted online, so are articles written by humans with less-than-stellar credentials.  The bot will gather it all, privileging frequency.  Both good and spurious.  So no, not all the research presented is accurate, or exactly what you want.

How we get what we want is to plug in (ask) the most specific and focused question we can create.    Better questions produce more specific solutions.  For instance, in the self-help world, an unhelpful question is:  Why am I such a failure?  A better question is: How can I improve the communication between me and my husband?  so too with these early versions of Chat GPT.   Don’t ask, write an article on self-help.  Rather ask,  Can you write a self-help guide on marriage in the voice of Sylvia Plath?  The results will be much, much better.

And for the elephant in the room – no, ChatGPT cannot yet write the Great American Novel.  

According to reviews, written by humans,  we can’t use the app to write a full novel.  Those rumors that authors are just plugging in prompts (Can you write a novel in the voice of Sinclair Lewis with the theme loss and love?) and quickly publishing the results are just that,  rumors, and even when those intrepid bleeding edge authors   DO slap up a derivative novella, the work isn’t that good.   Why? The AI has a limited amount of memory (ironic, I know) so apparently after around 3,000 words, the work will start to circle back on cliches and tired phrases because, of course, there is an abundance of cliches on the internet from which to choose.   

How do we use this current version?

At this time, ChatGPT is great for research, experiments in character voice, and popular idea generation.   

Like any kind of research, you need to know some information before you can ask a good question.  So too, you need to know enough about your research subject to recognize the errors in the ChatGPT responses.  Make sure the facts listed in a ChatGPT response are easily verifiable, the errors will be yours, you can’t get away with blaming the bot.

Chat GPT is a start, it’s a tool not a full solution to our creative writing needs.  I couldn’t even, in good conscience, publish the article created by my question to Chat GPT and call it good.

Because it’s not my style.  And that is something we can’t yet produce by computer.




Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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