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The technological Devil

How the writing industry changed over the years and even now brings new unlimited chances to every writer

By Krishan MubasharPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
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The technological Devil
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I am an traditional published author for 25 years now. My writing career had been a rollercoaster ride through the decades. Even though it still makes me feel uncomfortable to state this, I guess, we can say that I have collected quite a lot of experiences over the years.

Maybe that is one of the reason, why technology is not scaring me that much.

When I started to write, I did it by hand. There was no other way to do it, at least not for me as a kid. It took me a few years until I got a typwriter. It slowed down my writing at the beginning, but made it easier to send the manuscript to a publisher. A few years after later, I advanced towards an eletronical typwriter. The only advantage of it, I had less pain in my fingers while writing.

When the century changes, I had access to a PC and the first, very limited writing programs. That, actually, made everything a lot easier. Especially since mistakes could easily be edited without rewriting the whole page.

A few years later, the PC changed to a laptop, so I could write while traveling. Another huge advantage again; one I had while I wrote by hand. Nowadays we have tablets and mobile phone to write on as well.

The devil strikes

Over the years, the writing programs improved a lot. The spelling and grammar checks became better. And then, suddenly, we could dictate our stories into the program, we no longer needed to hit the keyboard to come up with words. While I never used it, I can see the benefit from that and for many good writers it became there chance of actually create a story.

But the "public opinion" was against it. A real writer should write and not dictate the story. Nowadays, nobody cares about it anymore.

When papyrus and scrivener arrived, they brought even more benefits to authors. Planing and plotting their stories became easier, more technic based suddenly. Even that scared some people who already could see that soon the computers would do our job.

And then, the spelling and grammar programs improved. Suddenly those programs gave us suggestions about how to build up a sentence and even checked our writing style and helped to maintain our own style. And that was the starting point, when the artificial intelligence entered our life. Of course these suggestions are all AI based.

ChatGPT is only the latest development. Most unlikely the final stage yet. Even though I am not sure, what else can come to improve writing.

Making a deal with the devil

As soon as I had access to the internet, I started to use it to develop my stories. At the beginning, it was a great help in research because I no more had to read a lot of topic related books. It fastened up the whole progress. And when google maps arrived, especially the satellite images, it even helped me to leave my surroundings and bring the stories to different places I never had been before.

I did the same with the AI based suggestion of my editing software. I started to use it to improve my writing. However, it is still my choice which of the suggestions I use or when I decide against it.

Long before I used it, I heard about the possibilities of ChatGPT. I even discussed the matter with some members of my family and was not blind towards their mind, that it will destroy the human factor. The more I thought about, the better I understand the advantages it has.

And that was the moment, when I decided to make the deal with the devil.

I love the writing process, as much as I also hate it. The lonely hours of searching for the right words, the time consuming writing the right sentences to develop a strong story, sometimes piss me off. It could be so much easier, when I had some device who sucks the story directly out of my brain.

And ChatGPT is actually the first step towards that. Whenever I am stucked, it provides me a suggestion to go on. I can feet it with my idea and then let it write the paragraph. And most of the time I let it write me many versions of it, until my mind has figured out what is the right one to go on.

It gives me a loose guideline how the scene could be. Normally it is nothing anyone ever wants to read. However, it helps my mind to figure out the things I want to write. And even though it is rare, sometimes it shows me words and sentences that I never thought of but actually makes the scene much stronger, much clearer, just the way I want it to be.

At the end, ChatGPT provides me with a screenplay for the story, I guideline I can follow.

And yes, ChatGPT has replaced the human factor. I no longer need to discuss a scene with someone when I am stucked. Instead of hours of talking, I easily can go on writing. The story is no more on hold for hours or days. Another benefit of it, it starts to develop my writing skills as well.

The human factor

One thing neither the editing software nor ChatGPT can replace, is the human factor. None of the AI based software can create emotions and every great story lives from exactly that. Without emotions there is no good story.

And I have my doubts, that a computer will ever be able to create emotions like a human being can do. Even for us emotional beings it is almost impossible to explain what emotions are, or how they feel like and as long as we are not able to bring it into words, we cannot program a computer with it.

So, no matter how far the technology will improve, there is always a limit to it. And this limit is what makes good stories. Even a ChatGPT written story needs an author to bring in the emotions, to create the interpersonal relationships.

Over the years we accepted authors who "only" dictate their story instead of writing it down; we accepted authors who use software to develop their storylines, style and plots. We also learned how to use the AI based suggestions of our editing software. And I am sure, we will learn to integrate the most modern way of AI into our writing as well.

At last but not least...

I do believe, that we need to discuss the technological advantages and dangers we face. Yet, we should do it open minded. Some of the fears I encountered during the latest discussions are based on actual events. Of course, it is something new and as usually, at the beginning, some will exploit it the way it should not be done.

Over the last decades I saw it many times. The self-publishing opportunities with Amazon attracted those money hungry frauds who used wikipedia texts as ebooks. Without writing a single word, they earned money from sellings. The review sections on Amazon created a business with reviews, and at the beginning quite a lot of authors used it to push their stories.

And ChatGPT will do the very same, at least at the beginning. But as we did with Amazon, we will figure out a way to stop them. Perhaps, our readers will stop them. Quality will prevail. It always has and it always will.

Personally, I think every development that makes an author even better is a welcoming one. At the end every author wants to tell a great story and every reader wants to read one. We need to learn to embrace the opportunities we have instead of murdering them straight away.

Thanks for reading. I would like to hear and read your opinions on this. A good and lively discussion will be a benefit for all of us.

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About the Creator

Krishan Mubashar

An author, who writes tales of human encounters with nature and wildlife. I dive into the depths of the human psyche, offering an insights into our connection with the world around us, inviting us on a journeys. (Christian Bass)

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Comments (3)

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  • River Joy2 months ago

    An interesting take on this, I do think there's a place in the creative world for AI, but like Celia I am afraid that the primary use will just to churn out a ton of work to make money. I thought this was very informative.

  • I see lots of advertisements from people who use AI and existing works to publish books, but seriously who would buy such books? Easy to produce and self-publish but they then have to sell. Excellent article

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    An interesting discussion. I think its quite sad on a level but at the heart of it I get so much out of writing, if people just generate it through AI it's just a money making endevour with no heart. Souless. Though Ai is wonderful on many levels, there are always people who will choose to abuse it.

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