AI and being a Writer in 2023

The New Age of AI

Anyone involved in freelance writing today has felt the chill of the coming winter of AI, led by faceless bots, threatening to take away writing assignments that were already few and far between.

We are besieged by news posts, social media feeds and even people we know IRL, asking, “Aren’t you afraid AI writing technology will replace you?”

It is a question that needs to be considered. I have used AI as a jumping off point when no other muse is willing to show up, as well as a way of proofreading and editing my work. What I haven’t done is the (shudder) total cut and paste, allowing a bot to write it for me.

Editors will already wrongly suggest submitted content is AI generated, and not original work. There are improvements that need to be made on that technology.

The Writer’s Voice

I haven’t done that, not because it feels a little like cheating, although writing is a business and all’s fair in this world of making a living, but because I have discovered AI robs my writing of my voice. It comes off a little stilted, more formal, and worse, ends up poorly written. If I can see it, anyone who knows my style can also, and new readers will never know me as a writer.

AI-powered content creation cannot replace a writer’s unique voice, not yet, although anytime I see a general post updating the world on the advancements in robotics, or deep fake videos on social media, I do admit I see that future racing towards us. It’s a hell of a struggle to not fight back with the tool’s others are using, getting published with, getting paid for. But, after I read over a chapter I was working on after Grammarly got hold of it, I was left with the realization that I couldn’t find myself in the work. Grammarly had taken my voice out of the creative process. I had vanished.

What Can a Writer Do?

I reduce the control Grammarly wields, reject dire warnings about clarity and context if I, the writer, feel what I am trying to convey is lost in the pursuit of perfection. I still find Grammarly and Rytr to be excellent tools when used as an accompaniment to my creative process, not as a replacement for myself.

Writers aren’t perfect, and they shouldn’t be. I will accept the shame of incorrectly placed commas and all other mistypes to preserve my voice.

In chasing that mirage, we end up with a reflection of what we already see on Instagram, Tik Tok, etc., everything overlaid with a perfection filter, auto tuned to a copy of what we think the world wants to see, what we believe the world wants to read.

I stay on top of AI developments, I research the tools, and I predict, as best I can, where it might be headed. I utilize AI tools, while struggling to make certain they don’t use me.

I believe keeping control over what we write needs to be added to keeping the faith in ourselves that we have always needed as writers in order to simply produce.

Have your own thoughts and opinion on AI and writing in general? Drop a comment or contact me directly.

I promise, I’m not a bot.


Characters & Target Audiences

“Writing is a little bit like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money.”


All those pure souls who insist they exclusively write for self-expression and art’s sake, please leave this post now. It isn’t going to get any prettier. I started with a quote comparing writers to whores, so don’t act so surprised.

Those who have stayed aren’t expecting writing fiction to make them overnight millionaires. Instead, they yearn for the day readers pay a fair price to receive a piece of fiction the reader already wants to read. Charging for your product and your service doesn’t cheapen it. 

Continue reading “Characters & Target Audiences”

Online Writing Groups

Find Your Tribe

Writing can be a solitary journey. Still, authors looking to publish their work eventually must face good and bad critiques. Generous, polished authors who recall what it was like when starting out may be happy to give constructive feedback. Writers will also encounter internet trolls, anyone who, although they have never written a single line themselves, wants to tell you precisely what is wrong with your work.

Continue reading “Online Writing Groups”

Antagonist and Character Traits

An antagonist is a character in a story who opposes the protagonist. They often have traits that directly differ from the protagonists and can be used to create tension and conflict in a story.

In tackling character development, the process is similar in all characters, positive or negative.


Antagonists can be human or non-human, such as animals, forces of nature, or even ideas. They are often portrayed as being selfish, power-hungry, or otherwise villainous. Writers need to create well-rounded antagonists with motivations and goals that readers can understand and relate to, as this helps make stories more interesting and engaging. The antagonist can start out seeming harmless, then revert to a truer nature, as can the protagonist. Take some risks, and mix it up. Readers like to be kept on their toes.

Some great questions for developing your protagonist/antagonist are:

Continue reading “Antagonist and Character Traits”


Protagonists are usually the most crucial character in a book or movie, and their actions can impact the story’s outcome. A good writer should create an exciting protagonist that readers can relate to and root for.

By understanding the protagonist’s motivations, desires, and fears, authors can craft compelling stories that draw readers in and keep them engaged. Protagonists can also be used to explore topics such as morality, justice, and even philosophy.

I suggest outlining the characters you create, giving them personalities, appearances, habits, and main motivations in their actions.

Continue reading “Protagonists”

Outlining a Story

Writing a book can be intimidating, but you succeed with the right approach and tools. 

Once the general idea, the “what if,” has been decided, an outline can be one of the most important tools a writer can utilize to stay on track. It helps to control ideas and plot points and ensure that all the pieces fit together in a way that makes sense. In the horror genre, the following can be one type of basic outline:

1. Choose a fear factor:

  • Supernatural
  • Cryptid
  • Alien
  •  Human

2. Follow the key elements of horror

  • Fear
  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Surprise

3. Set tone and predictive phrasing

4. Insert a plot twist

5. Twists and turns

  • Survive-let the protagonist suffer
  • Search- Truth? Identity?
  • Scare-kill your darlings

6. Save the secrets for the proper placement in story-to move it along, create a change, and conclude.

 An outline also allows the writer to track how much they have written and how much work they still need to do to complete the book. With an overview, writers can easily stay on track with their writing goals.

Outlining helps writers make changes to the story as they go along and keep track of ideas and plot points, making it easier for the writer to stay organized. With this tool, a writer can create compelling stories that readers will enjoy while helping them stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed by writing a larger piece of fiction.

Next post, “Protagonists”


Writing Personal Essays

Writing a personal essay can be a daunting task for many people. It requires you to express your thoughts and feelings creatively and meaningfully. But with the right approach, it can be a great experience, creating insight into your motivation to write in the first place.

Whether you’re writing for a client or yourself, it’s important to remember that you can make your essay as funny, creative, or personal as you want. Try not to limit your creativity out of fear of revealing too much about yourself to the reader. The very point of writing is communication, and exhibiting vulnerability can draw a reader in.

Photo by Kalpit Khatri

A good personal essay should capture readers’ attention and pull them into your story. It should also provide insight into who you are and what makes you unique. As a writer, you should want to stand out from the crowd.

Many sources of inspiration can help you develop ideas for your essay. Whether it’s pro tips from experienced writers, funny anecdotes from friends and family, or creative prompts from online sources, there is no shortage of source material to draw upon in writing. Anything, no matter how mundane, can be the starting point of a good story. With the right resources, you’ll be able to craft a piece that speaks directly to your account.

Knowing the correct word count for your essay is essential to effectively convey your thoughts and feelings. The length of a personal essay largely depends on its theme or purpose. For example, if you are writing a short story, the average length is between 1,000 to 10,000 words. A blog is usually effective at coming in at around 300 words. Similarly, if you are writing about a particular event or experience, you may need to adjust the word count accordingly.

In the end, the article or story should either wrap up nicely at the end or lead the reader into introspection, making them think about the piece long after they have read it.


10 Tips on Blog Writing

I’m at the point where I feel comfortable listing a few tips I have collected from various sources on producing a blog.

Of course, as soon as I began this entry, I saw an error on my website caused by editing on the fly on my phone. That leads me not to another tip but a gentle warning. Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes. Everything is a process, and the best writing is fluid and transformational for both the reader and the writer. Don’t discourage yourself; plenty of naysayers on the web are happy to do that for you.

Now on to some tips I’ve picked up over the last year:

Continue reading “10 Tips on Blog Writing”

Avoiding Burnout

When writing is your identity and life, finding the right balance between the professional and the personal can be challenging. Writing can be a demanding profession, and it’s easy to get lost in work and forget about other aspects of life.

Continue reading “Avoiding Burnout”

AI and the Art of Writing

What does AI (artificial intelligence) mean to writers? With Microsoft investing $10 billion in OpenAI, the model, ChatGPT, can interact conversationally. This is good news when we look at writing tasks that need a two-way discourse to succeed in communicating, such as emails, customer service chats, and bots. It frees everyone to utilize this in everyday business tasks to move on to something more productive and lucrative.

Continue reading “AI and the Art of Writing”

My TikTok Addiction

I first came across TikTok from cross postings of people leaping out of their moving cars and dancing alongside the vehicle as the driver filmed them for less than a minute. Now, videos can vary in length from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.

Continue reading “My TikTok Addiction”

Living on the Edge

I have worked for a psychiatrist and held crisis jobs where I regularly interacted with people with mental health issues. I understand some of the complexity of the problems of the unhoused, but obviously not all. I am more comfortable than most people in dealing with someone who is escalated. I also know better than some the danger of doing so.

Continue reading “Living on the Edge”

Writing for Mental Health


Every month, a news story flashes across our screens, reporting another death by suicide.

The rate of suicide is higher for writers than for the general population. One in four writers has contemplated suicide, and one in ten has attempted it.

Continue reading “Writing for Mental Health”

Giving Something Up

Sacrifice. “They sacrificed their life for another,” a phrase used to describe heroes. We often feel the need to exchange one thing for another. We accept something is terrible for us because someone tells us so out of guilt or a desire for healthier living. We sometimes forget that for an old habit to be extinguished, a new one needs to be ready to take its place.

Continue reading “Giving Something Up”


I’ve been thinking lately about perspective.

There is a popular book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It shook up the self-help industry, claiming that people attract what they think. The Law of Attraction, transforming your beliefs into reality. It had a lot to do with positive affirmations, getting back whatever you put into the world.

Continue reading “Perspective”

Lonely Hunter

Think about it, what’s the first descriptive phrase interviewed people state about the latest mass shooter/serial killer/cult leader, “He was a bit of a loner, very quiet.” What? Well, that’s not right. Charles Manson has been described as “charismatic” and a “social butterfly.” Some loners would never be able to take a group of followers to the great beyond if it meant they had to organize a party first. Mix all that the Kool-Aid, give a speech, nope.

Continue reading “Lonely Hunter”

Favorite Books

For years I collected hard-cover editions of newly published Stephen King.

The first book I ever read by King was the dystopian horror, The Long Walk, published in 1979 and borrowed from my local, small-town library the same year. My boyfriend and I had come back to our shared hometown for a joint semester off from college. I worked two jobs to afford a small apartment, my first rental. He stayed with his father.

Continue reading “Favorite Books”

Limits in Writing

I was thinking today about the limits we set and keep in all aspects of our lives. In writing, we have limits according to niches or genres, in ability or knowledge. But we have deeper, stronger limits that hold sway over us, setting up a consequence, or a quick correction.

Our minds warn, “Do this, and careful, this might happen.”

Continue reading “Limits in Writing”

Wattpad and Substack

I am deciding on a writing platform that will accomplish two things: build an audience and create interaction with other writers.

I will be recording here my path in the hopes that it may benefit others who are both beginning their craft and/or want successful marketing of the finished project.

Continue reading “Wattpad and Substack”

Creating Character Voice with AI

Creating a believable and distinct character voice is one of the most critical elements of writing. It helps to give readers an insight into the character’s personalities and emotions and provides a unique perspective on their story. AI can help with that.

Read more: Creating Character Voice with AI

AI in Writing

Hear me out. As much as AI has quickly become portrayed as an enemy to writing, AI can be helpful when used in specific and exact tasks like fleshing out a character.

Characters are the building blocks of any story, and creating them can be challenging for writers. Writing believable, engaging characters and having depth is essential for a good story. With the help of AI tools, writers can create characters more quickly and accurately. Such devices can suggest how to develop characters based on their traits, goals, and motivations. They can also help writers generate character descriptions that are detailed and interesting.

Everyone we engage with IRL has their own uniqueness, shown in their expressions and actions as much as their speaking voice.

Creating a character voice requires skill and creativity but can be done quickly with good techniques. By understanding how to craft dialogue, build a backstory, and use descriptive language, writers can create realistic and engaging characters. Anyone can create compelling characters that draw readers in and leave them wanting more.

Tips for Development

One thing that has proven helpful for me is reading the piece aloud or having text-to-voice read it. Hearing your work spoken eliminates all the tunnel vision we writers have when it comes to loving the sound of our inner voice a little too much.

Weak writing is often saturated with more words than necessary for compelling storytelling. We learn so much more about our characters by their actions and reactions — how they handle certain situations.

It is easy to fall into the trap of using dialogue to have your character tell the audience who they are. When a character tells the audience what is happening, who is where, why things are happening, and what could happen if those things keep happening, the reader can get bored quickly.

Show me, don’t tell me, and let me, the reader, expand the story with my own imagination.

%d bloggers like this: