Can ChatGPT Write a Novel?

Japanese light novel author Jougi Shiraishi (Twitter: @jojojojougi)

recently attempted an experiment using ChatGPT to write a novel. His conclusion, which you can read below, is essentially no.

According to Shiraishi-san, while ChatGPT can generate summaries and vague storylines, it is unable to produce either text that is detailed or is natural-sounding to a native speaker of a given language. Dialogue resembles text that has been obviously translated (i.e., unnatural-sounding), and prose is vague to the point that it is more similar to a synopsis one might typically find on the back cover of a book.

So it seems that ChatGPT will not be replacing human novelists for the time being. However, it can serve as a useful tool for turning a fragment of an idea into a prompt which the writer could utilize as a jumping-off-point for a proper story.

Thoughts on Manuscript Written by ChatGPT (translated into English)

  • Able to provide examples of character names, etc.
  • Specific details, such as character speaking style, is difficult to fine-tune
  • Dialogue resembles text that has obviously been translated into Japanese
  • User can propose interpersonal relationships among characters (for example: How about a yuri story about a “cool” type girl and an outgoing type girl?)
  • Multiple synopses can be generated based on interpersonal relationships among characters
  • If a generated synopsis is fed back into ChatGPT as a writing prompt, another synopsis is returned
  • The generated synopses are generally quite vague
Original Japanese text, posted by 白石定規 (@jojojojougi) on Twitter