When I write, I utilize two monitors. One is maximized with Scrivener, and the other monitor is my reference monitor. I keep a Calibre library open with writing reference books at the ready like the fabulous ones from https://writershelpingwriters.net/. I also have a copy of DocFetcher Pro that’s indexed the text of a few thousand books I’ve read over the years (thank you, Gutenberg Library & my husband, who never complained how much of our budget went to books) so I can quickly look at examples of how other writers turned a phrase I am stuck on. I’ve just always made copious use of reference materials to try and negate my own ticks, get me unstuck, and polish up my story.
Recently, I read The Computers Are Getting Better at Writing by Stephen Marche in the New Yorker, and practically salivated. I wanted that tool. Oh, man, I wanted it—so I applied for the beta and heard…nothing.
So I followed the developers and tweeted and heard…nothing.
One developer asked for first lines to get AI-created poems, I tossed one out on Twitter and got my poem…but no beta invite.
I kid you not. I was a bit miffed.
Yeah, okay, I have only a few hundred Twitter followers, but I’m a full-time book writer! Sure, I’m pushing fifty and way out of the “cool LA writer” comfort zone the devs seem to be in, and, sure, cozies aren’t cutting-edge literary masterpieces, but…but… come on! I was on the verge of writing a heartfelt letter explaining why I would make a GREAT beta tester:
- Originally, I was in tech, so I’m old, but I’m a little techie. A little.
- I used to have developers report to me, and they didn’t burn me in effigy because I was a jerk.
- I know agile is a process and not just a noun. I’ve even used Jira!
- Did I mention developers from my old job actually still speak to me? No?
But on the day I was to write the letter begging, Wordloops hosted a presentation, and everyone who attended would get beta access.
Finally. I was in.
I’m writing this the day after I got in when my enthusiasm is still high. There’s been very, very little written about authors using this technology—whether that’s because no one is, or no one is willing to admit it? I have no idea. Frankly, I’m not that precious about my own writing that I’m embarrassed to share credit with Skynet. I’m perfectly willing to admit that while the story itself is mine, I utilize whatever legitimate, ethical tools I can to goose productivity, get unstuck, and to move forward. One book every two months is not the easiest thing in the world.
So, I’ll be documenting the process on Twitter/posting observations. First, because I barely use my Twitter for anything. Second, because I suspect a lot of people may not want to openly talk about it and someone besides the developer should. Finally, because I’m curious to see how it goes and whether any readers notice a tone change, improvement or devolvement or writing, or nothing at all.