AI is changing writing

A fellow writer has directed me to an article in The New Yorker by Stephen Marche, “Computers are Getting Better at Writing,” which offers a glimpse into how AI is being used to enhance the writing process.

It focuses on an artificial-intelligence application called Sudowrite that can suggest plot direction based on what you’ve already written, improve descriptions of scenes and emotional responses, even “write” entire passages.

I have no need to generate plots. I have more plot ideas than I have time to write. I certainly don’t want a program writing my novel. But I did take Sudowrite for a spin to improve my description of an emotional low point in my latest work in progress.

I pasted what I’d written into the text box. The program generated three passages that heightened the protagonist’s inner turmoil. Two I rejected out of hand, but the third gave me an idea I turned into a simile I incorporated into my first draft in Scrivener.

The passage may not survive later editing, but the process expanded my thinking about how I can describe Sarah’s reaction to events that are spiraling out of her control.

You can take the program for a free three-day trial, a tour that will double if you mention you read about it here. (I get nothing for the mention. They simply ask you how you heard about the program.)

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