Calling all writers: Using artificial intelligence tools to make your stories and books sparkle!
Do you know what makes some books page turners, while other ones sit on your nightstand collecting dust? Or what makes some authors top the best seller lists seemingly out of nowhere? From word choices, plot arcs, beats, and themes, using an AI can keep your writing on the money - and save you a lot of time in editing. While using and training an AI for manuscripts used to take years of academic research, authors can now use no code artificial intelligence tools like Metaranx to get similar results without all the heavy lifting. Here are a few areas where Metaranx’s no code artificial intelligence tools can help you understand and tailor your writing.
Emotional pace of your story is key
What makes books like Fifty Shades of Grey or The Da Vinci Code so popular? The research on bestselling books shows that it’s not just the overall storytelling, it’s the beat and the pace of the emotional twists and valleys that can come mid-paragraph and mid-sentence. Let’s see if the sentiment analysis AI thinks of a story's emotion when reading of a few paragraphs of Bridget Jones’ Diary, one of the highest selling books of all time, picks up on this:
Steps to entering text into Metaranx's console and getting AI sentiment analysis results:
- Log in to your Metaranx Console and navigate to the Canvas
- Click "Use an AI"
- Select "Language" then "Sentiment Analysis" task
- Paste the book sample or upload your own document
- Click “Get AI Results!”
- When you receive a notification that the analysis is finished, it's time to look at your results!
Check out Metaranx’s AI reading of the sample:
You can see that the writing pulls and tugs with alternating positive and negative sentiments, which is what you’d expect from a bestselling novel. While training your AI will get you more accurate results, even the most basic features of Metaranx can accurately show you the general idea of what you’re writing. Compare this example to a drier piece of writing - say, a textbook on algorithms. Using the same process described above, you can see the difference between the below block of text and Helen Fielding’s bestseller:
Even with no modifications, the sentiment analysis AI is picking up on the critical differences between the two pieces. Bridget Jones pops up and down, while the textbook remains fairly stagnant - positive, with a low magnitude.
Don’t mistake the AI’s reading of emotional pace for something to manipulate, however - plunking ups and downs into your sentences without the broader context of the story will only make your writing feel clumsy. Instead, use the AI to cut down on your editing time by pointing out where your work needs improvement so you can rewrite only the most pertinent paragraphs.
Tailoring your content for beats and plot points of a story
Writing with the help of an AI can help you set up the ‘beats’ of your story. Plot should twist and curve and arc like a rollercoaster! Gone are the days of ‘beginning, climax, and denouement’ you learned in English class - to write books that keep readers guessing, you need to be scooping and swirling your story up and down at fairly regular increments - and AI can help you make sure you hit your stride.
For example, the catalyst in a story should come in at around 10% of the story - the spot where the character gets hit with an unexpected surprise that sets them along the path of their journey. There are no rules about what this should look like, since this is something unique to each book. The catalyst mark should simply mark a departure from the world you’ve spent the first 10% sketching out. This can either be good or bad, but it needs to be big - take a look at this clip from 10% of Bridget Jones, when Bridget gets stood up by Daniel for a much-anticipated date.
While it’s still bouncing up and down (like any good bestseller), the sentiment analysis is picking up on the fact that this passage is heavily skewed to the negative.
Now compare this to the 20% mark - often where the character, having had their world rattled by the 10% catalyst, agrees to take on the journey and says ‘yes’ to the story. In Bridget Jones, this marks the happy resolution to her date with Daniel:
The sentiment analysis AI is picking up on as a big emotional swing. Keeping your beats on schedule is one reason why the best writers are the biggest readers - stories have a rhythm and your reader understands this, whether consciously or subconsciously. A seasoned author will be able to spot where their beats are out of sync pretty easily, but an AI can make the process a lot quicker and more user friendly - especially for beginners. It can also help you to see where you might have been ‘sidestepping’ the emotional pitch of a plot point that should have been bigger.
Telling the truth through writing is how you succeed
While an artificial intelligence tool, such as sentiment analysis, might be adept at showing you where your writing is the strongest, don’t get caught up in the mechanics. A good story is like a cupcake - the writing is the icing, but the story is the light, fluffy flavour underneath. You can’t have one without the other, and focusing only on the writing is like licking at pure icing - sugar sweet, but unsatisfying. Can you imagine sitting around a campfire, but instead of telling stories you’re quibbling about word use and worrying about making everything sound perfect? The same goes for nitpicking your writing, manufacturing characters, forcing plot turns, and any other means of using AI to attempt to manipulate the reader. Remember that when some of the best AI users tried to manufacture a bestseller, and it barely scratched the charts. Readers know when what they’re seeing is true. Your only job as a writer is to be honest.
AI can help you find the places where your story is singing a little less true than you’d like - and unlike a friend or a family member, the tools don’t lie. While the best writing comes from the heart, having a little unbiased help in your corner is never a bad thing - especially for a beginner. So test out Metaranx’s tools on stories of your own - you might be surprised at what you find!