5 reasons not to use AI software for your book project.
Automation is a wonderful tool. From online calendars to databases, from management software to the appliances in our homes, programmable processes make our work lighter and our daily routines smoother.
But technology can’t do everything. Some things require a human touch and can’t be replicated by a machine. Writing books is one of those things.
AI (artificial intelligence) writing programs started out simple. They were meant to help marketers and advertisers write promotional material like ad copy or blog posts. As these companies enhanced the software, they began to build processes capable of writing not just a blog post, but an entire book.
AI book writing software is often billed as a way to “help” you write a book faster. You give the AI software information about what your book should be like—the characters and how they talk, the setting, the genre—and the software generates plot, dialogue, and the text of the story.
The process can be a little more nuanced than this. Some AI software works with you, so that you write a bit and then the software writes a bit. In these instances, the AI will learn your preferred syntax, cadence, and sentence length, and attempt to produce writing that sounds like you. You can exercise more or less control over the finished product depending on how much information you give to the AI to begin with.
But the fact remains: the intent of AI writing software is to let the computer create a significant portion of your book.
Is AI writing software worth it for aspiring authors? The answer is a resounding “No.” Here are five reasons why.
5 Reasons Not to Use AI Software to Write Your Book
1. Faster isn’t better.
The software companies that produce AI book writing programs advertise it as the faster way to create your book. However, as we’ve covered in other posts, writing fast is not the goal of authoring a book, nor is it likely to give you a quality product.
Here at The Book Professor®, we have a saying: “While you’re working on your book, your book is working on you.” It means that the more you engage with your material, allowing your ideas to ripen and planning out the order of your material, the more your thoughts about the book will change.
You may begin to realize that the message of your story is something slightly different than you imagined, or that you need to be writing to a slightly different audience. You may realize which moments in your story were pivotal or profound and realize that other moments you thought you’d include are actually less important.
This marinating of ideas happens over time. If you rush your book out and let the computer do the thinking instead of you, all of these insights may be lost.
Many authors find that writing about personal tragedy helps them process grief and other emotions. Here again, if you let loose the AI software with your project, you leapfrog over that important process of coming to terms with your story.
2. It may feel inauthentic to readers.
AI book writing software may also drain your book of emotional authenticity. Readers ought to be able to sense an author’s personality and emotions coming through in the prose. That’s why we talk about the importance of vulnerability and actively fostering emotional connection with your reader. When a computer program pens the prose, no matter how much it mimics your syntax and word choice, it may not sound like authentic human emotion coming through. It won’t really be “you.” Your audience will sense this intuitively, although they may not be able to put their finger on exactly what it is about the book that leaves them feeling detached.
In the case of nonfiction writers, especially if you’re telling your own story, the AI can’t know how you personally experienced the events you’re writing about. You can tell the AI what events to narrate, but it can’t guess all the thoughts and emotions that were running through your head. It’s your story, and you’re the only one who can tell it.
3. The writing won’t sound as good as you think it will.
Although AI writing software is improving all the time, it has yet to reach the level of sounding “natural.” Software-generated content has a tendency to sound a bit stilted and formal, even when it makes logical and grammatical sense. A reader’s internal ear can detect an awkward or incomplete grasp of language from even small nuances.
Your best bet to create a book that sounds competent and intelligent is to write it yourself.
4. You won’t develop as a writer.
Tempting as it is to let AI make the hard work of writing easier for you, in the end, AI is like a crutch.
Writers become better writers through practice. Doing the work of writing every word gives you the opportunity to study the way you use language and improve your voice.
In addition, becoming overly-reliant on AI writing may encourage the belief that you’re not capable of writing yourself, that you need to lean on something to produce a good product. Conversely, when you finish an entire manuscript yourself, it boosts your confidence as an author and fills you with pride.
5. You’re selling your ideas short.
Given all these realities, it’s hard to argue that any book would be “the best it can be” if it were written largely by AI.
Your ideas are precious. Your story is worth telling. Why would you squander those things on a product that will be, at best, “good enough”?
And remember that AI services aren’t free. You’ll be paying for a service that will stunt your growth as a writer and leave you with a mediocre product.
Don’t sell yourself short.
The Real Way to Get More Written
If you’ve considered AI writing programs because you want to get more written, or have writer’s block about your book idea, there are other, more reliable ways to get help and create a fantastic book.
It’s important to find other writers who can help you along in your writing journey. The Book Professor® offers professional writing coach services that will help you make your book the very best it can be.
Contact us today and see how real, live, breathing humans can give you everything you need for your writing project.