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How I Use Artificial Intelligence as a Conversation Partner to Write Poetry
It’s a dialogue, not an automation.
Artificial intelligence can be a great to tool for creative writing poetry… and I’ve been doing it for months now.
It’s like having a dialogue with your prompt.
At first, I was skeptical about using Ai to write poetry. After all, poetry is such a deeply personal and creative form of expression. I wasn’t sure that a program could really capture the nuances and intricacies of my writing style.
But as I started experimenting with different Ai-enabled writing platforms, I saw the potential for creativity and innovation in this new technology. Slowly but surely, I got more and more drawn into creating poems with Ai.
It’s a conversation, not an automation.
It is almost like having a conversation with my prompt — one that is full of surprises and wonder.
At first, it was daunting; trying to understand the logic behind what was being offered to me. But that’s not how Ai works for creativity. You aren’t looking for logical … you are looking for the absurd or the innovative.
As I’ve gotten more comfortable with how my Ai works, it’s become easier and easier to use its suggestions as inspiration for my own creative ideas.
I start with a prompt, usually provided by Move Me Poetry, that evoke a particular feeling or idea, and I let the words flow from there. This is my conversation starter and provides input for the Ai, so it can understand what I am trying to write.
The Ai doesn’t write the poem for me, but generates all kinds of language that might get me started. The Ai helps to guide my thoughts, suggesting different word choices as I write and offering feedback on how my verse flows.
Usually, I spot words, images, or ideas that will spark an idea. Sometimes it even provides entire phrases and lines that are perfectly suited to the themes of my poem.
But, yes, there are a lot of unused words! Poems don’t just happen by themselves.
You can also leave a line or sentence unfinished and the Ai will try to guess what comes next. Often, it is a cliche or meaningless, but I often get ideas by doing this.
In this case, I took what I liked, but decided that the sentences could finish in more interesting ways, so I left the sentences unfinished. I also added a title, line breaks, and stanza breaks.
It is important to play around with your input and Ai settings with multiple generations to see what comes up. Sometimes it takes some tweaks or iterations to find something useful.
I sometimes take images or language from different sentences or even iterations of Ai text and mash them together in new ways. Here is what I did with this generation above.
Even if I don’t use the words generated by Ai, reading its output gives me ideas or images to work with. I am still the writer of the poem.
Ai-Sculpting & Frameworks
Once I have a wonderful poem drafted, I usually paste it into Typeshare … a great app for posting Twitter poetry… and edit it down to 280 characters. I even experiment with the formatting and space.
It is amazing how much more powerful a poem is when you carefully edit and shape the text. I call this sculpting.
Typeshare is one of the best tools for posting poetry (or any kind of writing) in social environments. Check it out if you are interested! (affiliate link)
The best Ai tools allow writers to create frameworks, which helps you tailor how Ai understands your input. A framework is simply a collection of sample texts that “teaches” Ai about a kind of writing.
For example, I now have a framework for all my #MMPoetryBattle poems. Each time I add a new poem, the Ai learns more about how I write these keyword prompts and makes better guesses each time.
I’ve even started a few frameworks for my favorite poets or styles. One of my favorites is my Federico Garcia Lorca framework. These frameworks continue the conversation in specific ways.
At first, I was skeptical about using Ai for this purpose, but once I gave it a try, I quickly realized just how much potential it has.
Though Ai does not automatically write good poems (usually), it does help me generate new ideas, images, and language. After having a 30 minute conversation with my Ai, I finished this small Twitter poem.
And now, whenever I sit down to write something new, I turn to Ai to help me create something new and unexpected.
An Ai conversation is only as good as the Ai tool. Closers Copy is one of the best I’ve used. Even though it is marketed for copyediting, the ability to create frameworks allows users to create new and interesting conversations with GPT-3. Check it out if you are interested. (affiliate link)