I asked ChatGPT to “provide analysis and feedback” on the first scene of each of my books; Part 2: Harald’s Adventure Wares

In Part 1, I asked ChatGPT to provide analysis and feedback on the first scene of You Can’t Prevent Prophecy. Here’s what it says about Harald being a shifty shopkeep in the first scene of my free short story, Harald’s Adventure Wares.

Go read it – it’s free – so that you know what the A.I. is banging on about.

The opening scene of your short story does a good job of introducing the setting and the main character, Harald. The description of the shop and the interactions between Harald and the dwarf customer effectively establish the setting as a fantasy world where adventurers come to purchase equipment. The dialogue between the two characters is well written and helps to reveal their personalities and motivations.

Wow, again, it’s really interesting to see that the A.I. has successfully “interpreted” the scene and is able to parrot back what it’s about. It doesn’t seem like much, but for it to condense it down into a short sentence is impressive.

Also, same as last time, it can tell the genre. Easy considering some of the words used, like “dwarf”.

I like that it gives quite a bit of positive feedback here.

However, the scene could be improved by providing more context for the setting and the characters’ roles within it. While it is clear that the shop caters to adventurers, it would be helpful to know more about the world they live in and the specific types of adventures they embark on. Additionally, while the dwarf customer’s profession as a “Spelunker” is mentioned, it is not clear what this entails or how it differs from other adventurer roles. Providing more information about the setting and the characters’ roles within it would help the reader to better understand and engage with the story.

Hmmm… so… context and the setting. I think the context was pretty clear, Harald sells to adventurers. I suspect I’m relying on the trope of the fantasy adventurer a little more than the A.I. is primed to understand. At least, in my head it makes sense. No human who reads this would be confused by the context of the setting, at least I hope not.

But the idea of a “Spelunker” and how it differs from a normal adventurer… it’s in there. Albeit, there’s sarcasm that the A.I. would need to understand in order to see the explanation (hint: there is no difference, it’s just someone trying to sound fancy).

So I think the A.I. has failed a bit here.

One issue with the scene is that it feels a bit choppy, with abrupt transitions between descriptions and dialogue. This can make the pacing of the scene feel uneven and disrupt the flow of the story. Additionally, while the dialogue between Harald and the dwarf customer is well written, some of the descriptions, such as the one about the dwarf’s cloak playing in the firelight, feel a bit forced and could be revised for greater clarity.

I don’t know what to think of this. “Feels a bit choppy” is very subjective. Can I take a subjective opinion from an A.I.?

The specific example of poorly written description is curious. An actual example is provided of where to improve. Here’s that particular bit of writing:

Judging by how her green and brown cloak played in the firelight, she was a ranger. Her lack of steel amour was a little unusual considering dwarf-kind’s usual propensity for strapping sheets of metal to their bodies, but then again, she was an adventurer, so she needed something to set her apart from everyone else.

Harald’s Adventure Wares – D.G. Redd

Maybe “played” was a poor word choice. I was attempted to elude to the trope of rangers having an ability to almost disappear into the forest by means of their somewhat-magical-maybe-elven-cloaks. It does feel a little forced now.

Is it forced? Or is it that the A.I. is filling me with crippling self-doubt?

Overall, the opening scene of your short story effectively establishes the setting and introduces the main character, but it could be improved by providing more context for the setting and the characters’ roles within it and by smoothing out the transitions between descriptions and dialogue.

I supposed this is just reinforcing what it said before.

I’m not sure… this is better feedback than what it gave last time. But I still think it misses the mark often enough.

But maybe, just maybe, there’s some useful stuff here. Let’s see what happens in Part 3: The Unicorn Heist.

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