Triumphs and Trials of AI Co-writing

A Deep Dive into Co-Writing Techniques with Claude AI

Transcript: June 26th Writing Session

Trying Something New with Claude AI

Alright, it's June 26th, it's a Wednesday and today's writing session was a, I tried out something new that I hadn't tried before.

I used Claude's, Claude just set up projects which is essentially like, basically it's like GPTs to where you can upload documents and you can work on a larger project.

So I set that up through Claude AI and honestly it didn't really, it didn't really make that much of a difference.

I mean I guess I was able to upload all the chapters I've done so far and give it context that way. But what was more interesting was the style of writing that I used.

Revisiting AI Co-Writing Strategy

So I used a style that I hadn't used for a while which is the AI co-writing strategy.

This is where I write a few paragraphs and then I hand it to the AI and see what it does to continue the story.

It starts with outlining the chapter, just giving it the basics of what I want to happen and of course where I see the ending going.

Then it does an outline, basically story beat by story beat. Instead of saying, hey you just write the chapter or write a draft chapter, I just start writing on my own in a Word document and then I stop and hand it to the AI.

Challenges with AI Co-Writing

Now as you can imagine this isn't the most efficient way to write. Of all the writing methods, it's probably the least smoothest of all of them.

Because it's just this going back and forth and then of course I find myself editing what the AI pumps out because I even had to scold it and be like, you're using too many damn gerund phrases, stop using that shit, I don't like when you do that.

This is a feature of AI writing if you haven't used it a lot. It'll be like, kneeling down, she picked up the plate or something like that.

And it just uses this ING structure all the time and it just gets really repetitive. It's like a default thing that ChatGPT does and Claude does by default.

So you have to tell it, stop that, get a slap to the hand and tell it, no just use regular past tense, don't do that.

First Impressions with 'Gates of Okinawa'

But anyway, this is really my first time trying it with Gates of Okinawa and I wasn't really too impressed with what the AI did.

Sometimes it just goes into AI mode to where there's a lot of fluff but it's not really saying anything new and so that editing aspect of it is annoying when I see what it pumps out and I'm like, ah, I don't really like that or I'll just overwrite it.

I used this tactic with Sync Whole and it basically went the same way. If I didn't like what it came out with, I would just write it myself and essentially that's what I did today.

Today's Chapter: Lily's Soul Trial

So let's get to content. What was today's chapter about?

This was Lily's soul trial and it went how it went and I'm not going to spoil the outcome of the trial but I think the trial was really good and I'm happy with Lily's chapters, this arc that basically finished with this chapter.

So this is basically chapters 50 through today's chapter 56 where it's Lily and Jordan but it really becomes Lily's show to where we get to see into her character and this final chapter, no matter how it turned out, she still did get a full narrative arc which I'm going to have to go back and insert into Ethan's because I don't think I did it as well with him.

Because like I said, I didn't really think about Ethan's character as much and Lily's the same way but she just developed organically in a way that I really enjoy when I write novels to where characters can really show you who they are and really take the wheel so to speak and kind of carve out their own destiny and be their own person basically.

It's a weird thing but it does happen and I feel like that happened with Lily despite how things turned out.

If you're wondering how things went for her then you'll just have to wait until the novel is out and see how it went but that's the biggest thing I was happy about is that we got a complete arc, we got to see she did go through a transformation,

she had a great realization around the end of the trial and I think readers who resonate with her character, especially there's a lot of young women who will probably relate,

she struggles with body issues, she's kind of an awkward, she's a little overweight, she's tall, she's just kind of an awkward type of person and I think a lot of young women struggle with those issues so I'm hoping that her character is relatable in that sense and then at the end we get a glimpse into the main plot of the story, we go away and we zoom out and prepare to end this arc.

Looking Ahead: Gate Five

So what's next?

Well that was the fourth gate and now we're moving on to gate five and so I have no idea how I'm going to start the next arc and I don't really even know who I'm, well I kind of have an idea which characters I'm going to focus on but yeah we'll shift back,

I need to shift back to Zena because I don't want to have my main character... I did this in Cereus & Limnic which in hindsight I wish I hadn't done.

Basically you don't see Jinhua, the main protagonist, she's basically the main protagonist, you don't see her for a while, you don't see her,

I think she's out for like, it's a ridiculous number of chapters, it's almost like 18, 17 or 18 chapters you don't hear from her.

It's like chapter 22, there's a big reveal and then all the way up until I think chapter 40 is when she comes back and there was a lot of other world building and things in between there but I don't want to do that for this book.

So I want to make sure, especially since I'm writing this to be more commercial fiction, that you know, the main character, you want to keep them around center stage as much as possible.


Yeah I think that's all for today, it was a good writing session, it took longer to get used to the AI co-writing thing.

I think I'm going to keep trying it because I do like, sometimes it does come up with some good lines and it might take the story in a different direction.

When it comes to style and presentation that's ultimately up to me or you as the writer to determine if the AI did a good job or not.

So ultimately it's your call whether you keep what you use and a lot of times I didn't keep what it generated.

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