Hey, so some of you might have noticed this, but I suspect most have not, (I mean, who looks at the copyright page? lol), but for the books I've been putting out recently, there is some new language in the copyright area.
I don't think I've corrected all of the old books yet, but I'll be putting the same language in all of them as soon as possible, and the same language or something similar will be in all of my future books, too.
The language specifically pertains to artificial intelligence ("A.I.") the somewhat misleadingly labeled new large language models / software programs that are now being used by some writers. Those writers aren't always disclosing that they are using A.I. (in fact, a lot of them are deliberately NOT being transparent about that). They are using the A.I. programs in various ways including to draft their books, generate ideas, or in some cases write the entire book in chunks. Since these programs are still pretty new, I have zero doubt that the market will be flooded with A.I.-written books that are written from beginning to end this way.
So, the short version from me... I'm not going to be doing that.
Since writers who ARE doing that aren't being transparent in most cases, I thought it was important that I be really REALLY transparent about the fact that I WON'T be using those programs to draft or write my books.
So here is the new language I'm adding to all of my stories and novels (making it a slightly different color so it's clear which part is actually in the books right now):
No Generative AI Training Use.
The Author expressly prohibits using the Work in any manner for purposes of training artificial intelligence technologies to generate text, including without limitation, technologies that are capable of generating works in the same style or genre as the Work. The Author reserves all rights to license uses of the Work for generative AI training and development of machine learning language models.
Author’s Note: No artificial intelligence (A.I.) or predictive language software was used in any part of the creation of this book, nor will it ever be for any of my works.
(end of note added to copyright pages)
So, I'm not sure if this is the place to go into detail as to WHY I felt the need to add this to my novels. There are a few big reasons, so I guess I'll say a little about that.
The first big reason has to do with the unethical and pretty anti-artist (and anti-human, frankly) way these "large language" models were created, and the unethical way they plagiarize and basically steal the hard work of tons of artists and writers... so yeah, that's a big reason right there. There is a lot of handwaving around this and attempts to obscure that this happened, everything from pretending it's "just how humans learn" (uh, newsflash, it's not), to "well if we didn't do it, China would have," etc. Yeah, not good reasons, basically. I honestly think these companies know that, which is why they're flooding the market with this stuff as quickly as possible in the hopes that they will get away with it simply by normalizing it.
The other big reason, and the one my readers probably care about more, has to do with how I write, why I write, why I enjoy writing, and the process of writing and creating for me more generally.
Suffice it to say, I have absolutely NO INTEREST in outsourcing my creative process in any way, whether to a ghost writer or to a software program. To me, that completely defeats the purpose of being a writer in the first place. For one thing, I'm selfish enough with my creative process to not want to share any aspect of that with someone else. For another, I honestly don't think someone else could do what I do, and if they could, well then I don't need to be doing it at all, now do I? I seriously don't see the point in having something / someone else write something that's "in the style of" me, just so I can slap my name on something I didn't actually create.
The entire point of writing is because I love it. I love the characters. I love immersing myself in the worlds. I love the interactions and the unfolding of mysteries and timelines. I seriously love it. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say it makes my life worthwhile. It gives me meaning and purpose. It keeps me sane. It also gives me a great deal of joy, and deep feelings of connectedness to other human beings.
I really don't give a crap what a software program (or frankly any other person) thinks I should be writing about. And because of the WAY I write, there's no possible way I could outsource that for "just a draft" or "just a few chapters" since so much of the emotion and character pieces get worked out in the actual PROCESS of writing, particularly those early drafts.
The WAY I write is completely wrapped up in what I end up with as a finished product, and who the characters end up being as people. I'm not an outliner. I don't plot out my books. I don't study other books for the purposes of hitting "beats" and I don't pay a ton of attention to tropes, frankly, apart from the ones I personally like, or that fit with my characters.
I'm an intuitive, feel-as-you-go writer who lets her characters tell the story by getting into their heads, lights, souls, and their whackadoodle personalities as much as I possibly can. This is a highly personal process for me. There's no possible way a software program could replicate it (nor another person, frankly), and if they could, well then my writing frankly couldn't have been very good to begin with.
I was failing, if my stuff can be replicated, because the whole point is that it's me expressing my unique voice, vision, and light into the world.
So yeah, no... I won't be hopping on the A.I. bandwagon.
Frankly, I would quit writing before I did that.
For the same reason, because I support visual artists, I won't be using A.I. images for my cover art or my advertising images, either.
And while I (in my ignorance, frankly) played around with some of the image programs when they first came out and even used a few for ads and promotional visuals, once I learned more about the process of how these programs were created, and the massive amount of art theft that occurred to make these programs function at all, I immediately cancelled my subscription to Midjourney and I haven't used it or any other image-creation software since.
So... there it is.
I thought my readers should know where I stand on this, since so many writers seem to be adopting these programs as part of their publishing "strategy."
I realized I never made a formal statement on here about any of this, so it felt like I should. I will likely share some form of this statement with my newsletter subscribers, too (or maybe just link them to this one so they're aware of it).
And that, as they say... is that.
In other news - hope you had a lovely Easter weekend, especially those who celebrate! I was sick, unfortunately, here in my last week in Europe, but it was still really beautiful here in Bruges, so I can hardly complain. I don't think it's Covid, by the way... just a head cold... but I'm still trying to be cautious so I don't get anyone else sick. For the same reason, I've mostly been isolating and watching movies and even doing a tiny bit of writing. :)
Have a lovely week, and a lovely Spring!