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, 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.

Allowing Others to Love You #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Or letting love happen this Valentine’s Day …

Photo by Анна Хазова

Valentine’s Day is a day of celebrating romantic love, and that’s exactly what we romance writers do best. We are in love with love, and we want all our characters as well as friends and family and even strangers to find love.

Funny thing though, love is sometimes an elusive being when you go out to find it. Is it hiding underneath a rock? Or could it be lurking in the pages of a book? How about it’s gone on a long vacation with no itinerary of returning? Maybe it’s staring you in the face and you’re not seeing it!

This is exactly what happens to many of my heroes and heroines, as well as friends and even myself in real life. Most of my romances, especially the friends to lovers, or even the enemies to lovers stories have this theme. Two people may be insanely attracted to each other but they have all sorts of reasons why this person is absolutely the wrong person for them. My job as the writer is to go behind the character’s doubts and insecurities and figure out fun and exciting scenarios for my hero and heroine to get past their roadblocks to love.

In most cases, the issue isn’t that they’re not lovable. Or that they don’t want love, no matter how loudly they deny that’s the case, but that they’re afraid to be vulnerable. That they make it difficult to let others love them. There are barriers and walls that might be built from past traumas or simply distrust that others have their best interests in mind. Perhaps deep inside, they don’t feel they deserve love.

Our characters are a lot like us. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself. A common theme in my romances are characters who feel like they don’t belong or are hard on themselves and distrustful of people’s motives. They push those away who try to get close and struggle to accept love and affection, or even small favors that their friends want to do for them.

You know the type. If someone asks if they need anything, they’re always “fine.” They’re cheerful to help another but can fathom sitting back and letting others shower them with affection.

Here are some steps to help you start allowing others to love you:

  1. Acknowledge your fear.

Many of our issues stem from fear. We can start by acknowledging the fear that’s holding us back. This fear could stem from past hurt and disappointment, or it could be a general fear of vulnerability and intimacy. Take some time to reflect on what might be causing your fear and either write it down in a journal or talk about it with a friend. It might be hard to admit it but knowing yourself is the first step.

  1. Realize your worth.

Self-love is the foundation of all healthy relationships. If you don’t love yourself, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to fully accept love from others. That’s because you don’t feel worthy of love. Realize that you are worthy and figure out the things that make you happy. Don’t worry so much about how you look to others. Surround yourself with positive people, do things you’re interested in, and speak kindly to yourself. Most of all, if you have faith in God, you know that you are so worthy that he gave the ultimate sacrifice to redeem your soul. He loves you unconditionally and entirely in perfect love.

  1. Learn to trust others.

If you’ve been hurt in the past, it can be difficult to trust others again. However, trust is an essential component of healthy relationships. Start small by opening up to people you already trust and gradually building up to those you’re less familiar with. Trusting isn’t blind, however, and therefore you need to always be discerning and prayerful about letting someone into your life. Give it time and go for the slow burn. As you become more discerning and yet open to new experiences you will trust your own judgment and intuition better and avoid being hurt.

  1. Be open and honest.

One of the biggest reasons why we struggle to accept love from others is because we’re not open and honest about our needs and feelings. When we keep our feelings bottled up, it can be difficult for others to understand what we need from them. We’re always telling our friends we’re fine and ignoring what’s bothering us. We want to go it alone and not ask for help. I’m not saying to be needy or clinging, but being honest about your feelings and needs goes a long way toward building a loving relationship with another human being.

  1. Be patient.

Allowing others to love you takes time and patience. It’s not something that happens overnight, and there will likely be bumps along the way. Be patient with yourself and others, and remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. It’s no wonder that 1 Corinthians 13 starts with: Love is patient, love is kind.

Did you find any of these steps helpful? My wish for you is that you are loved not only on Valentine’s Day but every day of the year. As a writer of over 80 romance novels and stories, I’m always conjuring up new ways for my characters to fall in love. Some are sweet and cute and others are out of this world. So have a Happy Valentine’s Day, and if you like, pick up Red Hexed: Ruby, on sale for 99c – an unlikely love story between a Viking sword-bearer bent on stopping Ragnarok and a modern-day beauty queen who was burned on half of her face.

Red Hexed: Ruby

The Magical Balm of Friendship #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Photo by Matheus Ferrero:

Why do we like friendship fiction so much?

Think about it. What would your favorite story be like if the hero or heroine had no friends? Think about Frodo without Samwise Gamgee, or Harry without Ron and Hermione. I’m betting your favorite romances have at least one friend character, either the hero’s or the heroine’s or one of each. I like to write romances with a friendship group, such as the Bumblebees in my Bad Boys for Hire series or the Girl Crew in my Not Mine romantic comedy series.

Having friends is one of the most basic joys of being human. A friend is someone who wants to be with you because he likes you and enjoys spending time with you. It’s a voluntary association and it makes you feel special and recognized. Friends help you celebrate the good times in your life as well as support you through the bad times. They provide you with social cues and help you understand yourself, and of course, they give you a chance to care about them too. They also reveal things about your personality, either directly through feedback and counsel or indirectly as a foil or contrast or comparison of how they would have handled a situation.

Having a group of friends provides even more feedback. The love and caring as well as fun times and sometimes, friction, bring out the best in group dynamics. That’s why books and TV shows about friendship groups are so popular. We enjoy the drama, the loving, the hijinks, and even the support during sad times. When we read about friends and relationships, we learn how to relate to other people and we can vicariously feel the love and emotion, as well as taste the strife that sometimes breaks up a friendship. Of course, we root for the characters, individually and as a group, and when they are back in harmony and celebrating, we get to go along and party with them too.

These are some of the reasons I enjoy friendship fiction. It invites me into the group as a participating member and also allows me to hone my friendship skills by experiencing the drama and angst the characters go through. Do you enjoy friendship fiction? If so, please check out my Bad Boys for Hire series, where my group of Bumblebees met in preschool dance class. They’re all grown up now and still dancing together, and as each one of them finds their bad boy, the others are there to support them and celebrate and give advice. The boys become friends too, but only after meeting the girls. Check out all seven Bad Boys for Hire.

Bad Boys for Hire: Complete Collection

The ENFP Writer by #RachelleAyala @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Photo by Elle Hughes:

You’ve heard it said many times that writers are mostly introverts. They like to spend long hours alone in their writing garret with imaginary characters. Going out in the real world distracts them from their careful plotting and woe to any writer who shows his first draft to anyone else. I’ve tried all the rules and advice. Wrote out plot points. Tried to generate an outline and didn’t get farther than “Setup.” I read books on planning and scheduling. Tried many “methods” including Save the Cat, and Lisa Cron’s Story Genius among others, and have purchased video courses from Rob Parnell and David Farland to name a few. I also tried marketing courses and hoarded more training courses than I could afford but I’ve finally given up and thrown up my hands at all of the scheduling, planning, word-counting, and results tracking that all these experts say would make me a star author.

It wasn’t until I took a test at that I realized why I didn’t fit in with most writers and the planning and tracking required to be a successful self-published author. You know, the ones who stick to a single genre, create a brand, do meticulous accounting on ad efficiency and sales metrics, plot their stories and stick to it, as well as sit down and write a certain number of words a day. I tried it all. Getting up early. Sprints. Timers. Martha Alderson’s plot planners, and Jami Gold’s beat sheets. Nothing worked for me because I am an ENFP personality type, which is extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive, better known as scatter-brained golden retriever who forgets about the ball she was running after when she spots a squirrel.

Here are some signs you might be an ENFP writer:

  • The complete inability to plot or even create an outline.
  • Jotting down plot points but when you go to write them, none of it pans out.
  • Going down the rabbit trail in the opposite direction you thought five minutes ago.
  • Letting your characters go off the rails to do their own thing.
  • Giving your rough drafts to friends or readers even though things might change.
  • No set writing schedule. Taking dares like starting a story for a boxed set that’s due in fifteen days.
  • Many unfinished story ideas littering your hard drive. There’s always that new, shiny thing.
  • Unable to stick to a single genre or sub-genre. Writing hot, steamy dark romance in one book while another one is clean and wholesome small town.
  • Mixing genres and adding ghosts, magic, violence, kidnappers, or Bible verses when the inspiration strikes.
  • Don’t even know who the real villain is as you’re writing. The reader is as surprised as the writer.
  • Have zero marketing plan as books, book covers, genres, blurbs, steam levels, and subject matter jump all over the map. Don’t want to miss out on anything.
  • Many series starters with one or two books. Takes forever to extend a series. Takes on too much.

Do these things sound positive or negative to you? To an ENFP writer, it is just the way it is without any value judgment. There aren’t many of us but if you’re an ENFP reader you just might like the surprises we have in store for you.

My latest book, Six Weddings and a Date, was as unplanned as an unintended pregnancy could be. As I finished Nick’s Christmas Ride, I got the urge to marry off six of my Christmas Creek couples. Having their ghostly relatives around would be fun, and everyone could use a big reunion. But, but, I was supposed to work on a creepy romantic suspense for the next Author’s Billboard boxed set. I can’t squeeze in a sequel, or could I?

I bit off more than I could chew and ran with the story. Holly Jolly was asked by every bride to decorate for their wedding but her reluctant groom, Gordon Gills, has never shown any interest in any of the bridal magazines she left lying around. Since ghostly helpers are always fun, I brought back Miss Marney Gills as well as Holly’s grandmother Ruby Colada Jolly. My own granddaughter [almost two] visited in November and treated me to an up-close interaction with a two-year-old. What happens as Ruby takes on human form to help her baby grandy get her greatest desire? Be sure to watch for the scene where Holly and her grandmother surprise Gordon with a tantrum and a nose wipe.

Six Weddings and a Date releases December 15 (tomorrow) on Amazon and will be available with Kindle Unlimited. I hope you enjoy the touch of the unexpected in your holiday reading.

Six Weddings and a Date, A Christmas Creek Romance #11

This story is fiction book #80 for me, which is quite amazing since ENFPs have a hard time finishing a project. My motivation to finish is to find out how the story ends, because until I’ve written the words, “The End,” and sometimes, even afterwards, I don’t know what actually happens to my characters. Publishing sets it in stone, and that’s what motivates me to finish.

Thanks for reading! What is your Myers Briggs Personality type? You can find out easily and for free at Email me on my website and let me know what you think.