I'm sure most, if not all of you, are at least conceptually familiar by now with ChatGPT. If you have avoided reading any and all news sources for the last several months and this is the first you're hearing, ChatGPT is a nifty software that will take a writing prompt and run with it. A man "wrote" a novel using this software in ONE DAY. It'll do anything from obituaries to advertising copy.
Naturally, I was most curious to see if it could write decent romance! So I wrote a little prompt based on my current WIP. And here it is!
Prompt: "Write a romantic scene that takes place in Regency period London in which a bluestocking and a Corinthian finally realize that they have been secretly corresponding with one another for months."
Full ChatGPT response:
The sun had set over the city of London, casting a warm glow across the streets. In a small room on the top floor of a grand townhouse, a young woman sat at her desk, her quill scratching away on a piece of paper. She was dressed in a simple gown, her hair pulled back into a tight bun, and her eyes focused on the task at hand.
She was a bluestocking, a woman with a love of learning and books, and she spent most of her days poring over texts in her father's library. But tonight, she was writing a letter, a letter that she had been composing for months.
As she finished the final sentence, she sighed and set down her quill. She folded the paper carefully, sealing it with a dollop of wax, and then rose from her desk to cross the room to her window.
Looking out over the rooftops of London, she wondered what her correspondent was doing at that very moment. They had been writing to each other for months, sharing their thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. She had never met him in person, but she felt as though she knew him better than anyone else in the world.
Just then, there was a knock at her door, and her heart leapt in her chest. She knew who it was before she even opened the door.
Standing in the hallway was a tall, handsome man, his hair artfully tousled, and his clothing impeccably tailored. He was a Corinthian, a man of leisure and fashion, and he had been corresponding with the bluestocking for months, under a pseudonym.
As their eyes met, they both knew that their secret was out. The bluestocking felt a blush rise to her cheeks as she welcomed him into her room, and he took her hand in his, holding it gently.
For a moment, they stood there in silence, just looking at each other, and then he spoke.
"I know this must be a shock to you," he said. "But I couldn't help myself. Your letters were so fascinating, so full of wit and intelligence. I had to know more about the woman behind them."
The bluestocking smiled shyly. "And I, too, was curious about the man who could write with such passion and insight," she said.
They talked for hours, sharing stories about their lives and their interests. They laughed and teased each other, and as the night wore on, they grew closer and closer.
Finally, as the clock struck midnight, the Corinthian took the bluestocking's hand and kissed it gently.
"I know we've only just met," he said. "But I feel as though I've known you forever. Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
The bluestocking felt her heart skip a beat. She had never dreamed that this could be possible, that a man like this could fall in love with a woman like her.
But as she looked into his eyes, she knew that she had found her soulmate.
"Yes," she said. "I will."
And as they embraced, the bluestocking knew that she had found the one thing that she had been searching for all her life - love.
[End of transcript]
As you can see, ChatGPT has an impressive, even uncanny, ability to write correct, natural-sounding prose. I don't know what your expectations might have been, but it definitely exceeded mine! I was expecting it to be dull and lifeless and it was to some extent, but not to the extent I'd thought it would be.
I don't feel like novelist is one of the careers facing an imminent existential threat from the likes of ChatGPT, but it's certainly fun to play with the software in the meantime. What you do you think?
who am I?
My name is Mary-Celeste, but my friends call me M.C. I am a writer, wife, mother, amateur gardener, sourdough bread baker, n00b video gamer, Austen enthusiast, tabletop gamer, Trekkie, and generally cheerful human being. I write Regency romances and I post about it here (among other things). Thanks for stopping by!