In this article, we will explore how AI is changing the world of fanfiction and recommend some exciting AI tools to transform your reading and writing experience.
If you’re reading this, you are most likely familiar with fanfiction.
Fans of a particular work of fiction, celebrity, or genre create their own stories using the same characters, settings, and universe as the original work or concept.
Fanfiction is a way for people to share their love for a particular book, movie, TV show, etc., with others who are also fans.
It’s also a way to expand and enrich an existing story since there are often things left out of the original content that fans want to know more about.
How does AI help to improve fanfiction for readers?
Given the endless possibilities and directions that fanfiction writing can take, it’s no surprise that AI story generators have already had an enormous impact on this space.
Now that AI tools like ChatGPT are accessible to the general public, the limits for exploring new storylines, dialogues, and ideas are endless. Think of it as your personal, on-demand writer.
One of the great things about AI text generators is that they can help you develop ideas for your fanfiction that you might never have thought of on your own.
With an AI text generator, you can input a few pieces of information about your story (like the characters, setting, and plot) and then let the AI do its thing.
It will come up with all sorts of possibilities for you to choose from, and you can pick the one that you think is the best fit for your story.
Another advantage of using an AI text generator for your fanfiction is that it can help you to stay true to the original story.
With so many possibilities for where your story could go, it can be easy to veer off course and end up with something that doesn’t resemble the original work at all.
But using an AI text generator can keep your story on track and remain true to the source material.
Platforms for AI FanFiction
AI Dungeon (AIDG or AID) is one of the first popular AI-based narrative games.
While it has faced criticism on Reddit and other forums over censorship, advertisements, and microtransactions, AI Dungeon pioneered the AI narrative genre.
The game successfully provided players with a platform to craft their own stories and served as a creative inspiration and outlet for many fanfic writers.
Alternatives to AI Dungeon
NovelAI is a subscription service that is currently considered one of the best AI-assisted story applications.
Pricing ranges from $10 to $25 per month.
While it is the most expensive option, NovelAI has several strong reviews from both readers and authors of creative writing and fanfiction.
Holo AI is a more affordable alternative to NovelAI.
The product is structured with writers in mind, but some users have commented that the model behind Holo AI is less robust than NovelAI.
For fans of AI Dungeon, you can create a similar experience by enabling your own prompts in the settings.
Character AI is a generative AI chat platform.
It is designed to provide a conversational experience rather than a writing interface.
The service offers several chat options for AI representations of fictional characters and real people.
It is currently in beta and free to sign up for.
Get started with some Character AI tips.
ChatGPT is a more user-friendly interface of OpenAI’s GPT model.
The chat format allows users to communicate with the AI model rather than submitting one-way prompts.
The benefit of using ChatGPT over something like the GPT Playground is that the platform better remembers prior details and prompts mentioned earlier in the chat dialogue box.
Related: ChatGPT vs. Playground
We recommend using ChatGPT in a more conversational style.
The platform can help brainstorm character ideas, craft dialogue, and explore plot possibilities.
Benefits of using AI for fanfiction writing projects
There are many benefits to using AI for fanfiction writers.
Perhaps the most obvious is that it can help the creative process.
For example, if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your story, AI can help by generating ideas for characters and their world.
However, many writers would like to avoid relying too heavily on AI early in the creative process.
This is where an AI-generated writing prompt can be particularly valuable.
Below are some of the most popular types of prompts for fanfiction writing that an AI tool like ChatGPT or GPT-3 can help generate:
- OTP prompts (One True Pairing) – a fandom term used to describe a relationship between two characters that are considered to be canonically perfect, or ideal in comparison to other possible relationships
- OC prompts (Original Character) – a character created by the author, rather than a character from an existing work
- Whump prompts – a plot device often used in fanfiction in which a character is injured, usually seriously. This can be used to create suspense, drama, or angst.
- Alternative universe prompts (AU) – characters from a particular work are placed in a different setting or situation
The cool thing about generating writing prompts through GPT is that you can add additional context, or even a sample of your own writing, to tailor the prompt to your specific needs.
Downsides of using AI for fanfiction writing projects
Of course, there are also some downsides to using AI for fanfiction.
One of the main criticisms is that AI can’t really understand the nuances of human behavior, so that it might make some strange recommendations or decisions.
Often there is a degree of tolerable randomness in an AI tool’s output.
In GPT, this is called temperature and can be adjusted to alter the “creativity” of outputted text.
A higher temperature will generate more unpredictable output text, while a lower temperature a more consistent and factual output.
AI is also limited by the data it has to work with.
So, if you’re using AI to help with your fanfiction, it’s important to make sure that you’re feeding it good data.
In the case of fiction writing, it is helpful to include lots of context, including your own prior writing, to get an output that aligns with your vision for the piece.
Another concern is that writers can become too reliant on AI during the creative process. It is tempting to keep hitting the generate button on your favorite AI tool.
Beginner writers would benefit from using AI for generating writing prompts for practice rather than entire blocks of text.
A more seasoned fiction writer will have already developed their tone and style, so AI is more supplemental to the creative process.
However, writing is a skill that must be constantly processed, so there is always a risk that overreliance on AI will lead to subpar and unimaginative writing.
Opinions on AI-generated fanfiction
The overall consensus is mixed on this topic.
On the one hand, AI opens up unlimited possibilities for new storylines, exploration, and experimentation.
On the other hand, some readers are concerned that the writing will lose a sense of human touch.
Fanfic writers that expressed opposition to the idea felt that generative AI took away from the sense of pride and ownership of their work.
“I’d use it for one difficult scene that is taking me ages to write, but not a whole fanfic. Defeats the purpose of having it as a hobby.”Diana-Fortyseven
“Used properly, I’ve seen GPT-3 create work that far surpasses a lot of the writing in the traditional publishing market. But it takes patience and skill to understand how to engineer prompts that will give you good results… I created a preset for GPT-3 that has it acting as a chatbot, but with the personality of my OTC. Since GPT has access to everything available on the internet, it managed it brilliantly. This bot knows everything my OTC knows, and speaks exactly like him. This could be a huge benefit for fanfic, especially for people who struggle with dialogue. But there are character limits in the playground, so it gets to be a patchwork after about 1k.”isahumanbeing
“If I just gave an AI a prompt and it spilled the fic out I wouldn’t feel it was mine or be proud of it or feel like I had accomplished anything.”archaicArtificer
“As infuriating and frustrating as writing can be sometimes, it’s my writing, and I get to look back at all the things beautiful things I’ve written. A computer will never have the same style in writing as me”Honey_bee_melody9
Overall, there are mixed opinions regarding using AI for fanfiction.
However, apps like Character AI are starting to provide unique platforms for writers to explore their creativity in new ways.