I Used AI to Write My Dark Fantasy Novel: Here’s How It Went

بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Using AI to Write
A Dark Fantasy Novel

Back February of 2022, I had a dream about three princes, plus a girl who can change to shadow. Some months later, my dark fantasy story was born (first draft written). But during the “middle” part of the novel, I thought about using AI to help me continue the story. I had a stronger-than-a-vague sense of how I wanted the story to progress, but I was curious what a computer program would come up with to move my story forward.

The AI I used is called SudoWrite. It analyzes your writing and puts out various ideas to continue your story forward. I used the free trial, which has a word-count limit, to see what it would come up with. Some of the ideas are theme-based—romantic, dark, and even humorous. And I used them all to see what it would come up with.

After using up my free trial, and laughing at some of the hilarious parts, I found it couldn’t help me write my novel. It came up with ideas such as plot points and even created new characters, but it didn’t progress the story. (The new update has even more ideas.) I added a few lines to my story, but during my self-editing process, I’d removed the AI-written content because it didn’t fit with my story’s vision. (Not to mention that AI only knows what to write by using others’ work, which is a form of plagiarism and ethically wrong to steal someone’s work.)

With the current craze and clamor of ChatGPT, we shouldn’t rely on its authenticity—it doesn’t have that capability to produce anything original. It might help give ideas, but that’s about it. Even when it comes to titles (and I’m terrible at titles), ChatGPT isn’t so great. I’ve also tried to use it to research comp titles and often it’s unable to follow the prompt, creating fake books by fake authors.

As of writing this post, I think AI isn’t going to replace human authors. And it certainly didn’t help me write (or finish) my story. I think one of the main reasons why AI failed is because my story is unique: it’s a dark fantasy story with practicing Muslim characters in a setting inspired by a combination of various Asian cultures and environments with a unique magic system based on plausible (and scary) technology. AI draws on existing works and most (if not all) of these works are from Judeo-Christian and Western authors. So, it has nothing to base it on when it comes to stories like mine.

If you value your writing and your skills to improve, then continue to write (and read) without AI—it’s a crutch you don’t need.

Happy writing!

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