Ai: Are you listening?

Audiobooks continue to surge in popularity, with listeners craving everything from epic fantasy sagas to meditation guides, soothingly narrated in their ears. Traditionally, creating these audiobooks required actual voice actors to record themselves reading page after page – often exhausting work requiring days sequestered in studio booths, reading copy, editing out clicks and other errata, costing authors a LOT of money. Now, Ai voice cloning is shaking up that process.

I was invited to Amazon/KDP’s beta program to supply content for free to The Audible Plus Library (unlimited listening that uses Virtual Voice). I jumped at the chance, I used three (of the offered eight) Virtual Voice narrators for several (okay, fifteen) of my books. I matched the tone and genre of the story with the pitch and inflection of the VV narrator. I carefully curated every word in the books, correcting pronunciation, adding pauses, and slowing down or speeding up the VV’s speech to match the mood of the story. Was I satisfied? You betcha!

The earthy, masculine voice I chose for the Arlie Undercover series was a great match, even better than using my own voice. I used ‘his’ voice for Too Fast For You and The Polar Xpress, also. That Twin Thing romantic suspense series needed someone with more seriousness. An American woman’s voice was the answer.
For my romantic comedies, I went with a female British voice. I liked ‘her’ sprite inflection more than any of the others. Check out samples of The Purebred and the Mutt and The Wizard of Odds samples and let me know what you think.

I’m waiting to use my own voice, professionally cloned by Eleven Labs, for The Fairies Saga books. To do that, I need to produce three hours of cleaned-up narration files for them to plug into their algorithms so they can create a clone. My cloned narrator will not only match my pitch and tone, but will also incorporate the inflection and pacing I use when speaking. I want to use it for Triplets: Three Aren’t One series, too. However, production costs for Ai Voice audiobooks are still high. Converting doc to MP3 files when charged by the character is spendy. Plus, I will still have to listen to over one MILLION words of text, making sure my clone pronounces every word correctly before I release it. Are there enough hours in the day? I think so. And the great thing is even if I get laryngitis, once my cloned voice is created, I can read aloud for hours and hours!
For more info on getting the most out of the new unlimited listening program by Audible (Amazon), check out: https://www.audible.com/mk/l/lto (limited-time offer ends January 16, 2024).

If you want more Holiday Romance, check this out. It’s the only place you’ll find my latest book
KINKY BOOTS AND ME.

Chatting with ChatGPT: A Romance Writer’s Perspective #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

These days, you can’t go anywhere without the assistance of Artificial Intelligence or AI. Did you know that most of the robocallers are AI voices? Try asking them something out of their script, like how’s the weather or what’s happening in your town. Or the online Chat from your bank is also AI? It paused on the simplest question that any human would have known and came back with a generic thing about deposits, completely out of the context of my question.

The use of AI has finally come to the masses with OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT [free tier available]. Everyone, from journalists, coders, lawyers, and students has been flocking to it to try it out. Of course, there is the usual fear of something new. Teachers bemoan that their students will cheat on essays, and others talk about how AI will take over the world. Little do they know that AI is already behind the scenes in everything they do, including robo-vacuum cleaners, diagnostic imaging, self-driving cars, and even your grammar checker and cell phone texting app.

So, as a bold writer, I decided to jump full in and see how ChatGPT and other AI tools can make my writing life happier, healthier, and more productive [that’s the hope]. In case you’re wondering, I’m writing this blog post by myself.

Here’s what ChatGPT can do for you.

  • It can come up with story premises, so many that you have a hard time choosing. It can pair unique and unusual couples together and give them a core conflict.
  • It can create connected series premises and create a fun series of titles that match.
  • It can talk to you for hours about your characters, settings, fill in character sheets like crazy, create imaginary and fictional settings and create timelines and fictional histories.
  • It can take your story premise and give you a three-act summary from which you can develop further.
  • It can give you an outline from which you can refine.
  • It can write about 500 words from your outline which is pretty bare bones.

Here’s what the current GPT-3.5 ChatGPT cannot do:

  • Like current generation AI tools, it doesn’t have much retention of context. It will happily contradict itself in the same sentence or not “remember” that something already happened. For example, in the same chapter, it will have Lily ask Jackson the name of the puppy, and then turn around and have Jackson ask Lily the name of the puppy.
  • If you are using it for fact and not fiction, you must fact check because it will happily invent things that sound correct but are not.
  • It tells you it knows the Romancing the Beat plot structure and then happily goes on and uses a mishmash of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, Save the Cat, and whatever else it picked up.
  • It will happily resolve the romance as early as possible and wrap things up at the end of every “chapter.”
  • Most of all, it cannot write you a publishable book in 2 hours although it will happily write you a novel of about 500 words.

Then there are the editing tools that help you rephrase and generate new twists and ideas. You may have been using them without knowing you were using AI.

  • ProWritingAid has GPT-3 powered Rephrase technology
  • Grammarly has a new GrammarlyGo will compose drafts for you, rewrite, brainstorm, and personalize your text to your own voice.
  • And then there’s Sudowrite, a creative writing tool started by a group of writers called sudowriters that provides a online writing app that generates, creates, twists, rewrites, and unleashes its imagination in highly creative ways–sometimes too creative that it makes you laugh.

To give you a taste of what AI can do to make you laugh, here is a prompt I gave ChatGPT: Please write about the time change “Spring Forward” from the perspective of a cranky clock. I then asked it to rewrite several times. Please rewrite using the voice of a Valley Girl. Please rewrite using the voice of a grumpy grandfather clock. Then I asked it to rewrite as if it was a sundial covered with bird poop, and for the final coup de grace, I asked it to rewrite with the voice of Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven. [I won’t copy and paste all of this, but it was hilarious]. Go to ChatGPT and try it yourself.

Of course, I had to go out there and write a book and share. Ta, ta, ta, dum: From the Author of Romance in a Month, get her newest book on using Artificial Intelligence to write a romance. Introducing Love by the Prompt: A Romance Writer’s Guide to AI-Powered Writing

Love by the Prompt: A Romance Writer’s Guide To AI Powered Writing by Rachelle Ayala

Here is a book review from an author who didn’t want to post it with her name:

Grab Your Favorite Beverage and Your Laptop 

Ayala’s Love by the Prompt gives you detailed examples of how to use Chat GPT3, SudoWrite, and AI Playground to tell your romance story. This timely book shows the good, the bad, and the uh-ohs of using AI to help develop your story. 

This is not a book that can be read through in one sitting. You’ll get the most out of it by following along with her and inputting prompts as described in the book. 

There’s no false promises about using AI tools to create a bestseller – ready for publication in 2 hours. 

It’s more of a workbook that requires your active participation so you can better understand the power AI can have on your writing process. This serves as a great reference book that I will return to again and again.

I highly recommend this book to authors who are wondering if AI is right for them.

<End of Review>

Let me be the first to welcome you into this new world of AI-powered writing! “May all your prompts be near you.” Please join my Romance in a Month Facebook Group if you want to write along with us, discuss AI prompts, and share your stories and progress with us.

I wrote this blog post without AI, but here’s a fun little post I asked Sudowrite and ChatGPT to write about why we need writing friends, including AI friends:

Oh. My. Gosh. Having writer friends is, like, totally the bomb.com, amirite?! Whether they’re human or an AI like ChatGPT or Sudowrite, they can create worlds that are, like, out of this world! They can tell stories that just capture your heart and imagination and make you feel like you’re part of the adventure. And, like, you can’t wait to find out what happens next!

For more AI Resources for Writers, check out this page from AI Fiction Coach.