I asked ChatGPT to “provide analysis and feedback” on the first scene of each of my books; Part 3: The Unicorn Heist

So in both Part 1: You Can’t Prevent Prophecy, and Part 2: Harald’s Adventure Wares, the A.I. left a lot to be desired. Maybe my second novel, The Unicorn Heist, isn’t too hard for ChatGPT to understand?

Go have a read of the sample on Amazon so that you have the first scene fresh in your head. Then follow along with the A.I. below.

Let’s see what it thinks of Galan’s briefing to Grog about what might possibly be their last ever heist.

The opening scene of your novel effectively establishes the setting and introduces the main character, Galan, and his companion, Grog. The description of the empty tavern and the conversation between the two characters helps to establish the fantasy setting and their relationship as members of a thieves’ guild. The dialogue between the two characters is well written and helps to reveal their personalities and motivations.

Just like the last two times, I’m impressed with how much the A.I. picks up. Just understanding what a scene is about is a marvel.

And like before, there’s that teacher-tone, telling me what I did well, before telling me what I did bad.

However, the scene could be improved by providing more context for the setting and the characters’ roles within it. While it is clear that Galan and Grog are members of a thieves’ guild, it would be helpful to know more about the world they live in and the specific types of crimes they commit. Additionally, while the conversation between the two characters is engaging, the narration can be a bit cluttered at times, with a lot of information being conveyed through descriptions of Galan’s actions and thoughts. This can make the scene feel a bit cluttered and distract from the overall flow of the story.

I don’t think anyone, even people who don’t read fantasy, would be unclear about the types of crimes members of a thieves’ guild commit. Again, I feel like there’s a reliance on tropes and… “shared social context” (I invented that phrase just now) that the A.I. doesn’t have.

That’s always going to limit it’s capacity to understand.

Yes… I’d agree, there’s a lot about Galan’s actions and thoughts. I needed to do this to really push the reader into Galan’s POV, something that the A.I. said was lacking in my first novel. I guess you just can’t please everyone. However, I wouldn’t call it “cluttered”.

But, it is useful, if subjective, and tangible feedback. Speaking of tangible feedback…

One way to improve the scene would be to focus on the dialogue between the characters and use the narration to provide necessary context and background information. This would help to keep the conversation flowing naturally and allow the reader to better engage with the story. Additionally, it would be helpful to revise some of the descriptive passages to make them more concise and focused, while still providing necessary information about the setting and characters.

This is almost like telling new writers to “show, don’t tell”. It’s rudimentary advice, that isn’t always applicable. Like all writing, it’s subjective. I can imagine an editor saying the above to me, and I’d disagree with them, but I wouldn’t accuse them of being a robot.

Funnily enough, this is the second time the A.I. has sort of contradicted feedback it gave about my first novel. Now there’s not enough focus on the dialogue, whereas there was too much in Part 1. Interesting.

Overall, the opening scene of your novel is a strong introduction to the setting and characters, but it could be improved by providing more context for the setting and refining the narration to better support the dialogue

Finally, a nice little summary. It’s a good little essay writer this ChatGPT. I would hate to be an academic tasked with grading papers in the coming years.

Little bit extra

The second scene of The Unicorn Heist is my favourite scene from all my writing. I won’t provide any of my own thoughts on what the A.I. says, but here’s what it thought about my all-time most bestest written scene.

This character introducing scene effectively introduces the main character, Lady Heatherdown, and establishes her as someone who is unhappy with her life as a druid and has a plan to free a unicorn from a vampire. It also hints at her skill in communicating with animals and her frustration with their behavior. The dialogue between Lady Heatherdown and the rabbit is engaging and adds some humor to the scene. The presence of the spider adds an element of tension and mystery, and makes the reader curious about its role in the story. Overall, this scene does a good job of setting up the story and the main character’s motivations.

Alright, next up is my third novel, and my most popular amongst readers, Old Wizards Home.

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