December 2022 Update

I waited for what felt like an eternity for “Owl About You” to drop on Audible and Amazon. I’d been holding off on posting a new update and praying to the Audiobook Gods (also known as Audible Quality Control) that it would happen in time for you guys to get at least a month before Christmas to listen. I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. And I waited some more. And I waited some more. And I month after I thought it would be out, it’s out! “Owl About Yule” is out in time for Christmas! (Yes, by the skin of our teeth, but let’s be optimists here, why don’t we, and just appreciate the Christmas miracle?) Our lovely narrator, Naomi Rose-Mock, has begun production on Book 6, “Owl Melt with You,” and I’m plugging away at the new midlife cozy series Silver Circle Cat Rescue Mysteries. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Sudowrite: How much WRITE costs in words.

(Please note these tips and tricks assume you are familiar with/a user of Sudowrite.) Stepping away from the creative for a little, one of the most common things I see are questions about words, the cost of words, how fast they run out, and so on. This is a fair question since it’s not super straightforward. Currently, the prices for Sudowrite are as follows: I have the Max account. I’m writing this on 11/25/2022, and my plan flipped over on 11/16/2022. At this moment, I have 269,562 words left to use in my plan month. That means I’ve used 30,438 words in 10 days. And to be fair, that’s probably a little low since yesterday was Thanksgiving. Now, GPT3 (the thing that underpins Sudowrite) charges by tokens, not words, and tokens are pieces of words. I could explain what these things are but, to tell you the truth, I don’t really know and I don’t really care. I’m a writer—I’m not a super technical person, and I’m betting a lot of the people wandering into Sudowrite won’t be, either. (If you are and you care, you can check out this KB article from OpenAPI.) All I want to know is what this is going to cost me. And I wish I could tell you. But it’s not as straightforward as you’d think. Instead of trying to explain this to you, I just want to run through some examples of WRITE so we can see how many words I get eaten up, and we can compare that to the number of words we actually see. Following me? Write:Auto I am cutting and pasting 2862 words in my document. I’m not using any key details, I’m asking for 3 cards with 150 words each. My creativity is set to 2 (1 Least –> 5 Most). I run Autocomplete plus magic. Sudowrite output 356 actual words (as counted by Scrivener) onto the three cards. The words I have left in my account are 269,186, which meant I was “billed” 376 words to run that action and get those 3 cards of goodies. (The 356 actual words it gave me and 20 other words for…um, stuff.) If I hit it again changing nothing, I get 3 cards with 398 words on it, and I’m left with 268,776 words in my account—the second button click burned 410 words. (This time it charged me for the 398 actual words it generated for me and 12 other words for…um, stuff.) Note: Keep in mind the “stuff” could just be differences in how it counts words and how Scrivener counts words. Words used: 774 (2.58% of Hobby/Student, .86% of Pro, .3% of Max) Write:Guided With the same 2862 words in my document, I switch to Guided. I’m not using any key details, I’m asking for 6 cards with 250 words each. My creativity is set to 2 (1 Least –> 5 Most). I allow Sudo to make 3 suggestions, and I choose one. According to Scrivener (again) Sudowrite …

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WRITE+ Part 2: End of my Workflow (by request)

(Please note these tips and tricks assume you are familiar with/a user of Sudowrite.) (Part 1 is here) I was asked: I would love to understand your basic workflow. So something that provides examples of a hypothetical scene/short story to how much content you think should be placed into Sudowrite before beginning. How you work with Sudowrite (favorite tools so far), and how you take the content into Quillbot. Once I’m done writing the chapter (see: this) I go back over the whole thing manually, and mechanically. As I explain this, keep in mind I have two monitors at all times (well, I have three, but I only use two of them for writing.) The right (or center) monitor always has Scrivener maximized, and the left monitor has three tools pinned. I use them all the time, but they become important during editing. Sudowrite Quillbot Masterwriter Yep, Sudowrite is not my only tool at this stage, and this goes back to what GPT3 does, and what Sudowrite is tuned for. GPT-3 is a language prediction model. This means it has a neural network machine learning model that can take as input text and transform it into what it predicts will be the most useful result. (This is accomplished by training the system to detect patterns in a large body of internet text.) The folks at Sudowrite take that basic neural brain and further train it on narratives so that we fiction folks don’t have to use the plethora of marketing copy bots out there to get help with a love scene. So, during writing? Almost exclusively Sudowrite. During editing? Sudowrite and a lot more. When I edit, I’m looking to do several things: Make the text descriptions richer. Make the text itself more interesting. Get rid of any repetitive sounding sentence structure. Get rid of or change any overuses/echoes. (Overused words and phrases are words that people use too often in their writing or speech. A word echo is basically a repetition of the same substantive word in proximity.) Clean up the chapter as best I can. Sudowrite makes it easier for me because it introduces unique structures, words, and beats that I would not have thought of on my own and that I incorporated during the writing process. But the first self-editing stage (which I do chapter by chapter) will uncover a bit more that needs to be changed, and I add about 16% of the words in the chapter in this stage as well. The common advice for Sudowrite is to keep a good amount of text in there so the AI has information to glean from and build on. While editing, I don’t do this. I take everything out. I don’t want the AI to come up with ideas for the story. I want it to work just with the information I’m giving it, and only that, so I just paste in what I want it to work with. So, let’s start with this paragraph: It just …

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WRITE+: My Workflow (by request)

(Please note these tips and tricks assume you are familiar with/a user of Sudowrite.) I was asked: I would love to understand your basic workflow. So something that provides examples of a hypothetical scene/short story to how much content you think should be placed into Sudowrite before beginning. How you work with Sudowrite (favorite tools so far). This page will try to answer that—and again, I cannot stress strongly enough that there is no right answer. This is how I do it. This may not be how you do it. How I do it may not work for you. Sudowrite is a tool, and this information should be taken to inspire you to find your own way with the tool (if at all.) My schedule. I write every other day, and I edit every other day. Each day involves working with/completing a full chapter. And at first, I write—and I write relatively simply. I don’t get very hung up on description or nuance at this stage. I concentrate on dialog and quick descriptions to sketch out the action. An example: I swung my leg across the mat and pounded my fist. The blow hit his chest like a rock on granite. He fell motionless after flying 10 feet backward into a wall. His body slamming into concrete drowned out all other sounds. I cocked my head and grinned. Dave wheezed, then coughed. After catching his breath, he looked up and raised an eyebrow. “Next time, plant your back foot.” I rolled my eyes. I put him down without putting my back foot down. “It worked well enough,” I told him as I popped up out of my stance and ripped the Velcro off my wrist brace. And I cut and paste this into Sudowrite. (I write in Scrivener exclusively.) Usually I’ll start by running WRITE(AUTO) just to see what it comes up with. My settings are 4 cards, 200 words, and I may or may not include key details. It depends. I use just one dot up from least creativity because I tend to want to keep a tight leash on Sudowrite. Sudowrite did a great job picking up on what was happening in the scene without my explicitly saying it. The AI realized this was some type of martial arts class, and so it introduced discussions of a brabo choke. The problem, of course, being that the protagonist struck Dave, and the brabo choke is an arm triangle choke performed by threading an arm under an opponent’s neck. Without context, the AI just grasped for something vaguely martial arts-y—in this case, Brazilian Jujitsu—and threw it in there. But I wouldn’t re-run this. I would poke around and see what I could use and incorporate after modifying it. But Leanne, you could have just written those two sentences faster (and cheaper) than the time and money it took you to run those cards. So, yes, but I do it anyway. And I’ll tell you why—all writers have repetitive tics, word …

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October 2022 Update

Happy Halloween-flavored fall! Owl in Due Curse will be out in a few weeks (November 17th) and this one is going to be vaguely holiday themed. Last year, Owl About Yule veered heavily into cozy fantasy with Astra and Emma finding themselves in the middle of the Greek gods issues. This season, we’ll be revisiting the mythological again. I will definitely give you something to figure out, but I think the holiday books will continue to dance among the divine and lean a bit further into cozy fantasy. Just a reminder, Silver Circle Cat Rescue Mysteries, a new midlife cozy due out in 2023, is available for pre-order now as well. And finally, our first Audiobook Boxed Set is out on Audible! Have a great Halloween!