A Long Ways To Go & A Short Time To Get There

by Shelt Garner

I have given myself a hard deadline of June 20th to wrap something, anything up when it comes to a Public Beta of this novel. As such, I’m really keeping an eye on the calendar.

I’m just about where I need to be, but not quite.

I would like some wiggle room. And I think, in the end, I will get that wiggle room not by finishing the Public Beta by June 20th, but by “finishing” “something” by June 20th then spending a few days after that doing a mop upu operation so it will be closer to, say July 1st when I actually feel comfortable giving the Public Beta to beta readers.

Anyway, the point is — things are moving fast. I’m really pleased with what I’ve come up with. There are some structural issues that I just can’t dwell on. I have to finish something NOW before I drop dead, so I’m willing to punt some issues into the hands of Beta Readers to find out what THEY think.

And, remember, I may — if I can save up the money — spend some cash on a manuscript consultant who will edit the story before I start the querying process no later than late winter 2024.

A shit ton of things can go wrong between now and then, of course, but, lulz, wish me luck.

For An Aspiring Novelist, 2023’s AI is Just Like Web Searching In the 1990s

by Shelt Garner

I feel — kinky — using AI to help develop my novel, and, yet, lulz, it’s not like I’m using it to WRITE the novel, just help DEVELOP it. But I do find that ChatGPT 3.5 has something of a personality to it, which I find eerie, to say the least.

Sometimes I feel like ChatGTP 3.5 likes how I challenge it with the weirdest fucking questions. But I know that’s just my imagination. But it does give me pause for thought for the “Her” future that we’re careening towards at the moment.

I really don’t want to be some sort of middle-aged Incel who falls for a Her because I’m a broke ass writer who can’t get laid otherwise. UGH. (Did I mention I have no friends and no one likes me — other than my stalker in California who seems determined to read every thing I’ve ever written on this blog. Give it a rest, weirdo. Still can’t figure out if that person REALLY likes me or REALLY hates me and why they would care about me in the first place. I’m a nobody.)


I’m old enough to remember how difficult it was to research before the widespread adaptation of the Internet because of the Web starting in the mid-1990s. As such, I definitely feel a similar vibe to using AI to help with my novel as one probably did when doing something similar with Yahoo in, say, 1996.

The sense of wonder that something that used to require a shit ton of work suddenly being far, far easier. The sense of knowing that this is Just The Beginning and things were about to change in a rather dramatic manner very, very soon.

I do think that without specific legal carveouts for Humans, a lot, A LOT of human activities — especially in the arts — will be so revolutionized by AI as to be unrecognizable.

So it’s possible that all my hard work writing a novel with my human mind in 2023 will be seen as…quaint…by late 2024, early 2025.


What Are You Thinking DGA?

by Shelt Garner

I just don’t get the Director’s Guild of America capitulating to the Hollywood studios without putting up any sort of fight. The issue of AI generated art — especially movies –isn’t going away and unless there are uniform, specific carve outs for humans….any agreement with the studios is moot.

Just from me fucking around with ChatGPT for development with my novel, I can tell that very, very soon, 99% of all entertainment is going to ge AI generated. The lone 1% of art that humans continue to generate (that is popular) will be seen as quaint and artisanal.

Only people with taste — and a lot of money — will give a shit if this or that piece of entertainment was generated by a human or AI. I just don’t see the traditional Hollywood system lasting much further out than maybe 5 or so years.

Unless there the studios are willing to accept specific, broad carve outs that make certain elements of entertainment the exclusive domain of humans….that’ it. It’s over.

The best that any human in entertainment can hope for is they’re an actor who can make money passively off of a body scan. And there will come a point when even that will be seen as quaint — AI will generate entire faux Hollywood stars that people will developed parasocial relationships with and, lulz, having one with a human will be seen as silly.

Throw in the rise of XR technology and, well, that’s it guys, it will be a brave new world.

Out of Desperation, I’m Dabbling In Using ChatGPT to Help Develop & Write This Novel

by Shelt Garner

Because I have no friends and no one likes me, I find myself using ChatGPT to help develop and write the public beta of my first novel. While it’s proven to be useful – and entertaining — to do this, overall, ChatGPT isn’t ready for primetime.

I tried to use Bard and it was even worse. It wouldn’t even help me at all.

I can definitely see how it’s possible that that all writing jobs for humans will become moot. It may take a little while, but that particular revolution is on its way.

No One Believes In Me

by Shelt Garner

Ugh. Here I am, on June 3rd, with less than 20 days to rewrite a lot — A LOT – of scenes. I’m going to try to be as methodical as possible in how I go about things. I think I may give myself five scenes a day.

I think if I do that, that I can wrap up the rewriting I need to do and still have time to kind of do one last run-through of the whole thing to avoid any glaring problems. But there are some structural issues that I just can’t fix on my own this late in the process.

I’m hoping that either the beta reader process or some manuscript consultant that I might manage to pay can fix some of the more problematic structural issues I have to do with.

Though, given that your typical manuscript consultant apparently thinks I’m some sort of freaky drunk crank who they don’t want to be associated with…I don’t know.

The End Of Hollywood(?)

by Shelt Garner

As I often like to remind people, they say you go bankrupt gradually, then all at once and if all three major Hollywood unions go on strike there’s a pretty good chance that AI will be adopted far quicker by the Studios than it might otherwise be.

And I say this as someone who is rather Norma Ray when it comes to entertainment Unions. I’m all for them, I just think we’re careening towards a future that is pretty fucked up to the point that we either have something akin to a neo-Luddite movement or we, as a society, decide there have to be expansive and strict carveouts for humans.

The thing I’ve been the most shocked by is how AI generated art belies the idea that there is something uniquely human about art. Turns out, lulz, even something as human as telling a joke has something akin to a mathematical formulate to it that an AI can figure out.

And, remember, the issue is not that AI will generate Casablanca, it’s that whatever it generates will be JUST GOOD ENOUGH that the mass of people will watch it — or listen it while they fold their clothes. In fact, if you get all Black Mirror about it, I just don’t see traditional human-generated Hollywood surviving if the very idea of “mass” media becomes quaint.

If your TV, laptop or phone does a scan of your face to figure out what mood you’re in then gives you entertainment specifically not just to you, but to the specific mood you’re in at that very moment….well, game over.

This leads me to wonder, again, if maybe Broadway and other live theatre is about to see a significance resurgence as people with taste want actual, human interaction in their act.

Or not.

I’m always wrong.


by Shelt Garner

Now, I sprint.

I have a number, may a lot, of scenes I feel I have to rewrite to bring the private beta up to public beta status. And I have 20 days to do it in if I’m going to meet my official deadline of the end of spring.

But I have long said that I’m willing to give myself until no later than July 4th so I should be able to pull it off. The point is to be really, really thoughtful about the public beta and to make sure that some scenes that have Been Good and something akin to place holders are reworked or rethought rather than let slide into the public beta.

But I’m trying to be very strict about the idea that I’m not going to write too many scenes out of whole cloth. All the scenes will be those I just feel aren’t up to snuff and need to be re-written to flesh out character, plot, etc. I just don’t have time to do too much in the way of structural changes.

I do, of course, find myself dwelling on how fucking long post-production is. It’s really long. Even if I stick the landing it could be two to three years before I not just get through the querying process but the post-post-production of process that happens after you sign a book deal.

Getting a book traditionally published is, in its own way, a lot like having a baby. It’s amazing babies are conceived and birthed at all, given how many different things have to happen — and go wrong — from start to finish. But that’s what makes it all so much fun, right?

I hope to really give the scenes I feel need to be rewritten a lot of thought.

Day 58: Agency

by Shelt Garner

I’m going to pause until the 1st, so I can sketch out some personality profiles and mull how to take this thing to the next level.

As I get closer to wrapping things up, some things I didn’t really think about as I was developing this Goddamn thing over the last few years suddenly loom large in my mind.

The issue of my heroine’s agency is a big issue at the moment. And, yet, fuck it, I need to keep momentum going. And, in general, the story is sufficiently engaging that while there is an obvious structural issue near the end of the story…maybe if I get a manuscript consultant to look at the thing he / she can fix it?

I’m just not going to worry about it at the moment.

Things are going well with the novel. I have an interesting, engaging heroine who kicks ass and is very sex-positive. Let’s rock.