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How to Write and Edit a Web Novel with ChatGPT

Recently, I did a detailed live stream demonstrating how to expand on an idea concept to outline using ChatGPT in this blog. However, as a curious individual, I wanted to know if the AI could take it a step further. After it demonstrated its ability to create independent speech patterns and dialogues in its generation, I needed to find out if the AI bot was able to write as well as a human or even better than one. Below is the live stream that I did to test one of the three ideas I generated for the Webnovel Nov & Dec Writing Prompt Competition in the ML genre. The theme was Overpowered Side Character and the ideas are up for adoption seeing as ideas have no copyrights but also because I'm too busy to write them into actual stories. The rules for adoption are written in the description in that stream so please read them first!

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For everyone else who isn't interested in a FREE 2-hour masterclass demonstration, don't worry. I'll summarise it in 2 blogs. This blog is specifically about using ChatGPT to write out your generated ideas and what sort of input perimeters you should be using. It will also cover the things you should be looking out for when editing. HOWEVER! I will not be covering the writing techniques used in an overhaul line-editing of ChatGPT's generated content. That will be covered in a separate blog, so stay tuned~

#1: Outlining

This part has to be done manually. I would suggest using the following information in the previous blog to plan your content details for the AI to develop. Remember that the AI can only develop on content it has been given. It is unable to consider factors outside of its input perimeters, so edit the outline if you find the drafts lacking at a later stage.

#2: Synopsis Generation

For this part, let ChatGPT do the generation work. You can edit, tweak and revise versions of the synopsis until you find the perfect version that fits the book in your mind. Remember that you don't have to keep all pieces of generated content. You could even develop this in parts without providing the AI an overload of information to refine a particular section with a suitable style.

#3: Book Pacing Outline by Chapter & Estimated Word Count

Refer to the previous blog for more details about what to input for the outlining of a novel. Please note that there are three levels of outlining, and this section should be level 2. More details can be found in this blog. You don't have to write out everything because ChatGPT will pace it for you. However, indicating the content direction for each arc is a must. It can fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle but is unable to introduce new elements. Hence, this part requires heavy lifting from the writer to create a great outline that sets the new book apart from a sea of tomes. If ChatGPT is unable to provide you with enough details in its outline, you might have to furnish them in a copied out version of the outline yourself.

#4: Breakdown of Content

After retrieving and finalising the outline, it's time to chunk the level 2 outline into a level 3 outline. I highly recommend writing the details out yourself as it will provide your characters with a more accurate personality than what ChatGPT can come up with. You can refer to this blog from me Free E-Course for character creation tips.

After fleshing out the details per arc, you should identify the details per chapter according to main course of events that entice. For instance, in the first chapter, you'd typically want to introduce the new world setting and main character with a few of their personality traits. Planning out the starting and ending point of a chapter is the most important part of a chapter breakdown. There are 2 ways to go about writing a chapter with ChatGPT.

Method #1

This is the method I used in the live stream demonstration. After finalising the contents of the chapter, tell ChatGPT what to include with a reference to the general direction it should proceed in using the synopsis as a guide. Guiding the AI with a set tone or writing style from the start would help you maintain consistency in your writing. However, the word count would not hit your targetted chapter word count. You'd need to heavily edit or write in missing scenes using this method.

Method #2

I did not demonstrate this method on live stream as it was more time-consuming. However, it is possible to use ChatGPT to generate a full-length chapter of over 800 words with minimal edits or rewriting. However, it would require the author to pre-create even more and flesh in the content for every scene instead of just the chapter alone. Using this method, remove the synopsis guideline and allow the AI to continue from the previously generated post and keep the chat thread data as clean as you can with little revisions. If you have revisions to make, always update the bot's data to avoid confusion and muddying its AI bias.

#5: Identifying Pacing, Consistency and Content Originality Issues

This step is required for method #1 but optional for method #2. After copying out the data dump ChatGPT has generated from your prompts, you can read the generated content and tweak this accordingly.

If you are using method #1, check for missing scenes and awkward pacing. ChatGPT will usually only develop 1 paragraph for 1 idea point. If there are no links mentioned between the first and next point, it will skip the development and transit immediately to the next plot point.

If you are using method #2, check for consistency and repeated keywords. ChatGPT isn't able to come up with an extensive variety of vocabulary and has a tendency to reuse high SEO keywords related to a prompt. Minor rewriting is required to add a touch of style and balance the vividness of the written piece. ChatGPT has a linear way of storytelling, so don't be afraid to inject more dialogues or monologues of your own!

#6: Rewriting Sections

Regardless of method #1 or #2 from above, when rewriting or line editing, you can use the following resources to assist you. Your objective is to create a distinct style and niche with the assistance of ChatGPT's professionalism.

  • Thesaurus

  • Name generator

  • Keep and update a Character Profile Sheet

  • Insert Onomatopoeia (sound effect words)

  • Use Deep POV

#7: Plagiarism Checker

This is the last step to ensure that your ChatGPT-assisted book is copyright-free so that you can proceed to publish it and own the royalties. ChatGPT and many AI bots do not claim copyright for generated content, so users are free to publish it under their name. However, as ChatGPT and AI bots often reference a similar source that appears in the top searches of the internet to find the best-trending results for creation, there is a slim possibility that your content might be considered plagiarised.

There are many free plagiarism checkers online, and even Grammarly has one. It is better to be safe than sorry, so don't say I didn't warn you! Once you're plagiarism-free, you can proofread and check your chapter for consistency errors, the things you normally do before you upload a chapter for publishing on webnovel or e-fiction platforms.

In conclusion...

It is possible to write a book in fiction for web novels and novels with the help of ChatGPT. However, the limitations of AI do not account for originality in concepts and choice of words used. Moreover, you require a great grasp of writing techniques and basics to know how to correctly judge if a piece of writing is lacking before you alter it. This is a high-level skill and not recommended for beginner writers.

You've been warned. Proceed at your own risk!

P.S. I don't know why my website blog is formatting hashtags into hyperlinks with a different colour, so please ignore it!

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