(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), 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.
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 seems a little bland to me. The four sentences are almost all the same length, and I’m just kind of pitching info at the reader one after another. So I’d pick up this paragraph and drop it in Quillbot.
Quillbot is a paraphraser. Kindlepreneur has a more in-depth overview of the thing as it pertains to authors and yes, it does have some competing features with Sudowrite, but the only aspect of Quillbot I use is the paraphraser. (And yes, I have the premium version even though I rarely use it with anything longer than a paragraph.)
My favorite text style is “fluency”. I just want it mine, I want it clean, and I want it different than the thing that’s staring at me and being “not quite right.” I think Quillbot took care of the rapid-fire oddly even cadence of four sentences being almost the same-ish, but maybe I want to change individual words. With Quillbot, I can click on a word and get some options:
Or I can look at options for single sentences:
Quillbot is my second line of “Hmm, I don’t like how this sounds.” Sudowrite’s creativity is inherent in the tool. Quillbot is all about the structure, grammar, and so on. If Quillbot doesn’t do it for me, I have my third “OMG how do I say this right??!!” line of defense, and that’s Masterwriter, which is a thesaurus/rhyming dictionary on steroids.
And if I can’t find it there, I figure it is as good as it’s gonna get and move on. 🙂
This isn’t quite the end (just for completion’s sake.) Once I’m done adding and changing the prose I export the chapter into Microsoft Word and read it again, catching anything I may have missed. Then I run it through ProWritingAid, Wordrake, and PerfectIt with the Chicago Manual of Style add-on.
From here, the chapter is posted to my beta readers on BetaBooks. The read along with me as my books are being written and provide feedback as we go.
I don’t get any kind of $$ for any of these product recommendations listed above. This is stuff I really use.