GPT-3 story process

I had an ah-ha moment last night with GPT-3, chronicled below.

A few things I’m learning.

  1. It’s a back-and-forth, iterative process. Pressing submit once and being done isn’t as fun as re-running the prompt as it grows, feeding the completions back as part of the prompts.
  2. Edit the completions however you want as you go along. The improv comedy “yes, and” rule is good to follow.
  3. If the completions are starting to feel repetitive, introduce more human-generated text to throw it a curveball.
  4. When you reach what seems like a good stopping point, remove the original prompt and give it a title.

That’s more or less how I write as well! Some of the things I’m doing when I write fiction:

  • if I want some major new ideas in my text I use DaVinci, otherwise I stick to Curie (much cheaper :wink: )
  • I keep track of the “deleted” parts in a text-file called “cut scenes”; those scenes can come back later in the story in the form of dreams, memories or anecdotes in dialogue
  • I write three short chapters per writing session, keeping them all in the same playground until I reach my token limit. In this way, there’s a strong coherence between the parts and a higher chance of really insane and genius plot twists

I tried something different today. When I ran up against the token limit, I just removed the first few paragraphs before hitting Submit again. I did this a few times and my story about a cult meeting in a grade school cafeteria kept growing and getting weirder.

I keep thinking about how musicians must have felt when first encountering a Moog synthesizer or drum machine. I was telling my son about this today and he said, “It’s like you’re inventing hip hop for books.” He reminded me that when hip hop came out a lot of people even refused to call it music.

All this is tremendously exciting to me. Thanks for your tips. I’ve been using DaVinci mostly but will give Curie a try too.


Good luck with the exploration! Looking forward to more of your texts.
Don’t forget that the engine is somehow doomed to “make sense” of whatever elements are in the playground, so the more random elements it accumulates, the weirder it gets.
Don’t get thrown off the bull’s back and show the engine who’s the real master :wink: