• Stuart Wakefield

How to Use AI to Brainstorm a Novel’s Plot!


What is an artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that deals with the creation of intelligent agents, which are systems that can reason, learn, and act autonomously. The first AI was created in the 1950s, and the field has since seen tremendous growth and progress.


What is GPT-3?

GPT-3 is an example of an artificial intelligence and can be used by writers for content generation. GPT-3 is a machine learning platform that enables developers to train and deploy AI models. It is also said to be scalable and efficient with the ability to handle large amounts of data.


Some things that GPT-3 can do that other AIs may not be able to do as well include:

  • Learning from very little data.

  • Generating high-quality text.

  • Understanding and responding to natural language queries.

  • Reasoning about complex situations.

"That's all very well, Stu, but how can it help me?"


GPT-3 can help you brainstorm a novel's plot by suggesting possible plot points, characters, and settings based on the information provided.


GPT-3 in Action

Here's an example of me bouncing ideas around with GPT-3, especially asking questions about why some things might happen. My questions/typing is in bold.

Human: Hello, who are you?

AI: I am an AI created by OpenAI. How can I help you today?

Human: I'd like you to help me write a romance novel.

AI: Sure, that sounds like fun! Let's get started. What's the basic plot of your story?

Human: My story is about a male model who falls in love with the man who discovered him. The model's career gets off to a shaky start, but he gets more and more work. In the meantime, the man who discovered him gradually gets out of his abusive relationship so he's free to start a relationship with the male model.

AI: That sounds really sweet! What's the model's name?

Human: His name is Olly.

AI: And what's the name of the man who discovered him?

Human: His name is Freddy.

AI: Okay, got it. So, Olly is a male model and Freddy is the man who discovers him and falls in love with him. Olly's career is off to a shaky start, but he gets more and more work. In the meantime, Freddy gradually gets out of his abusive relationship so he's free to start a relationship with Olly.

Human: Yes, that's right.

AI: That's a really great story! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Human: Can you help me work out what happens in the book?

AI: Sure, that sounds like fun! Let's brainstorm a bit and see what we can come up with.

Human: Okay, so I'm thinking that Olly might be reluctant to get into another relationship. Do you have any ideas about that?

AI: Maybe Olly is worried that he'll get hurt again or that he won't be able to live up to Freddy's expectations. Perhaps Freddy will have to work a little harder to convince Olly that they're meant to be together.

Human: Can you think of a reason why Olly wants to get into the modelling business?

AI: Maybe Olly wants to be famous or make a lot of money. Or maybe he's just naturally talented and good-looking and people have been telling him he should model for years. Whatever the reason, it'll be interesting to see how Olly's modelling career unfolds.

Human: Can you think of a reason why Freddy is unhappy in his relationship with his boyfriend, Phillip?

AI: Maybe Freddy feels like he's not being appreciated or that he's not free to be himself. Phillip might be possessive or controlling, or maybe Freddy just doesn't feel a spark anymore. Whatever the reason, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy's relationship with Phillip develops.

Human: Can you suggest a moment when Freddy realises his relationship with Phillip will never work?

AI: Maybe Freddy has a heart-to-heart talk with Phillip and realises that they want different things in life. Or maybe Freddy sees Phillip cheating on him or treating him badly and finally decides that he's had enough. Whatever the moment is, it'll be a turning point in Freddy's relationship with Phillip.

Human: Phillip is a dancer. Can you suggest the type of person Phillip would have cheated on Freddy with?

AI: Phillip might have cheated on Freddy with another dancer, someone he met at a club, or even a close friend. Whoever it is, they'll be someone who Phillip feels a strong connection to and who can give him the attention and appreciation he feels he's lacking in his relationship with Freddy.

Human: Can you suggest a reason why Freddy doesn't give Phillip the attention Phillip thinks he deserves?

AI: Freddy might be busy with work or he might be preoccupied with his own problems and issues. Or, Freddy could simply be a bad communicator and not realise how much Phillip needs him. Whatever the reason, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy and Phillip's relationship develops.

Human: Freddy is Cuban. Can you think of a reason he left Cuba and never returned?

AI: Freddy might have left Cuba to pursue his modelling career or to escape the violence and poverty of his homeland. Or, Freddy could have been forced to leave Cuba by his family or the government. Whatever the reason, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy's relationship with his homeland develops.

Human: Freddy is a model scout. Can you suggest a reason why Freddy wanted to get into that line of work?

AI: Maybe Freddy has always been interested in fashion and wanted to work in the industry. Or, Freddy could have been a model himself and discovered that he had a talent for finding new talent. Whatever the reason, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy's career as a model scout unfolds.

Human: Olly is sexually assaulted by a photographer during a modelling shoot. Can you suggest what kind of emotional wound Olly develops?

AI: Olly might develop trust issues, feel disgusted with himself, or become paranoid and afraid of being alone. The emotional wound will be deep and will take a long time for Olly to heal. It'll be interesting to see how Olly's character develops over the course of the story.

Human: How do you think Olly's characters should develop?

AI: Olly's character should develop in a way that is believable and realistic. He should go through a lot of trials and tribulations, but in the end, he should come out stronger and wiser.

Human: Can you suggest a way for Olly and Freddy to get together at the end of the novel?

AI: Olly and Freddy could get together at a fashion show or after a photo shoot. Alternatively, they could meet by chance and realize that they're meant to be together. Whatever the case, it'll be a happy ending for both characters.

Human: What kinds of challenges do you think Olly and Freddy might encounter while they're falling in love?

AI: Olly and Freddy might have to deal with public scrutiny, jealousy, and insecurity. They might also have to deal with family or friends who don't approve of their relationship. Whatever the challenges are, they should be believable and realistic.

Human: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being famous?

AI: The most challenging aspect of being famous is dealing with the public's constantly changing opinion of you. You never know when someone is going to take a photo of you that makes you look bad or say something negative about you in the press. It can be hard to keep your public image in check and to stay positive when there is so much negativity surrounding you.

Human: If Olly becomes the best male model in the world, how do you think that would affect him?

AI: If Olly becomes the best male model in the world, he'll have to deal with a lot of pressure and public scrutiny. He'll also be in demand constantly and will have to travel a lot. It'll be a lot of work, but it'll also be a lot of fun.

Human: I was wondering whether Freddy should suffer from performance anxiety in bed. What do think might be the cause of that?

AI: Freddy's performance anxiety in bed could be caused by a number of things. He might be worried about pleasing Olly or he might be afraid of being rejected. Alternatively, Freddy could simply be nervous about sex in general. Whatever the cause, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy deals with his performance anxiety.

Human: How do you think Freddy might overcome his sexual performance anxiety?

AI: Freddy might be able to overcome his sexual performance anxiety by communicating with Olly, seeking professional help, or by doing some research on the subject. Whatever the case, it'll be a process that requires time, effort, and patience.

Human: Freddy's father has fathered a lot of children. Ho do you think that might affect Freddy?

AI: If Freddy's father has fathered a lot of children, it's possible that Freddy will feel like he's competing for his father's attention. He might also feel like he's not good enough or that his father doesn't love him. Whatever the case, it'll be interesting to see how Freddy's relationship with his father develops.

Human: Olly's brother is famous but not very talented. Do you think jealousy might be a good reason for Olly to get into the modelling business?

AI: Jealousy might be a good reason for Olly to get into the modelling business, but it's not the only reason. Olly could also be interested in modelling because he's naturally talented and good-looking. Whatever the case, it'll be interesting to see how Olly's career unfolds.

Human: How do you think Olly's relationship with his brother might change if Olly becomes more famous than his brother?

AI: If Olly becomes more famous than his brother, their relationship might become strained. Olly's brother might feel jealous or threatened, and Olly might start to feel like he's better than his brother. Whatever the case, it'll be interesting to see how their relationship develops.


There was much, much more conversation than this, but I hope it gives you an idea of what GPT-3 can do.


How to Use GPT-3 for Novel Planning

It's as simple as heading on over to the GPT-3 "playground" and asking questions. (If you have any problems, get in touch. and I'll do my best to help.)


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while there are many ways to brainstorm a novel's plot, using artificial intelligence can be an extremely effective way to come up with ideas. By inputting specific parameters into the software, you can generate a variety of plots that you may not have otherwise considered.


Will you be trying an AI to help you with your novel? If so, tell me in the comments below—and don't forget to like and share this post—but if you'd prefer to work with a friendly human on your story's development, check out my service that does just that!

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