How Writers Use AI to Write Books

Writer Lynn Leeds used Sudowrite to speed up her work by 25%, but soon ran into problems.

US resident Jennifer Lepp has used artificial intelligence to create and sell novels. Her story became known to the website

Jennifer Lepp has been using Kindle Direct Publishing for six years, which allows writers to publish their work and sell it to readers for prices ranging from $0.99 to $200. The woman taught herself to work on a schedule and release one book every 49 days under the pseudonym Lynn Leeds. She is in such a hurry because she noticed that after a few months of inactivity, readers switch to other authors, which are very easy to find.

Of course, in such a short time it is impossible to create masterpiece novels, but Jennifer put quantity over quality, perceiving her work as a business, and not as creativity. For this approach, users of the Network reward it with fees, which together can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hearing about new artificial intelligence technologies capable of generating texts on their own, the writer became interested and decided to use them to speed up the process.

Jennifer Lepp got into the beta test of the Sudowrite program, created on the basis of the GPT-3 model – it can add text based on ready-made fragments or help make a synopsis. An American uploaded a 500-word excerpt about the confrontation between a detective witch and a gang of fairies. The writer named one of these creatures Nutmeg and asked the neural network to describe it.

“Nutmag’s hair is red, but her light eyes speak of her being more closely related to nocturnal creatures than daytime ones,” the program wrote. Jennifer Lepp was surprised, because Sudowrite realized that events take place at night, and fairies in this fictional world are characterized by blond hair.

At first, the woman used AI only as a source of inspiration and did not insert generated passages into her novels. Probably Sudowrite was trained on fantasy works, because he often handed swords to the characters, and also arranged fight and bed scenes that did not at all correspond to Jennifer’s style. Over time, she increasingly used the program, and at some point decided to add the fragments she created to books sold to readers. Jennifer Lepp lightly edited the text, directed the plot, and re-uploaded the edited version to Sudowrite for improvement. Thanks to the technology, the author speeds up work and increases productivity by about 25%. When, after such a procedure, Jennifer handed over fragments of the novel to the first readers to search for errors, they could not find anything, and most of all they liked the moments created by AI. Because of this, the writer doubted her talent, because the program learned to write exactly like her, or even better. At the same time, Sudowrite does not know how to add ideas, moral messages, as Jennifer Lepp usually does. This problem cannot be solved by ordinary editing, because history has to be radically rewritten. The woman came to the conclusion that the program imposed its style of writing on her, although it should be the other way around. Then Jennifer decided to use AI more carefully, asking him to write descriptions of some objects or add small fragments of text. She believes that she has found a balance, and continues to work in this format. The literary community was ambivalent about this approach to writing novels. Some believe that AI will flood stores with books without a soul, while others are sure that the writing profession must evolve along with the rest of the world. Writer Joanna Penn supported her colleague and even launched online courses on the use of artificial intelligence, and later, together with Orna Ross, created a “code of ethics” – rules for working with generator programs. Among other things, it states that it is the writers who are responsible for the content of their books, and therefore must edit the generated text, removing discriminatory or erroneous fragments.


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