The AIIRA Writing Contest AI Institute for Resilient Agriculture (AIIRA)
The competition: Think of a career you’d like to have in the future. How might AI technology advance your field and help you perform your job within the next decade? What aspects or duties of your job may become irrelevant due to AI? Describe a day in the life of your job with AI as your new work partner.
Your submission can be either a creative nonfiction essay speculating on the changes your desired career may undergo or a fictional scene depicting what your desired job may look like in ten years.
Reminder to self, read rules before writing for competitions 😉 So I created this, then realised the contest was for US citizens only. However for any cititzens interseted in the comp (SEPT deadline) check it out here.
3,500 words for AI short story competition.
MORNING, JANE. SHALL WE GET TO WORK?
‘Sure, Hally. Ouch, Caps give me a headache first thing.’
WHAT WOULD YOU PREFER?
‘Blue, lower case.’
Certainly. Our task for today is to copyedit the book ‘Clashmaeclavers and Fisherlassies’.
‘What does that clash clavers word mean, in as few words as possible?’
‘Setting and book summery?’
Scotland, 1815, storyteller Mairead meets and marries a Scottish fisherman. Four years later a pair of hands drowns her. In a village that considers her an outcast there are plenty of suspects.
I’m glad you found it interesting!
‘I was being sarcastic. Never mind, don’t respond to that one. Check manuscript for inconsistencies.’
Forty-two inconsistencies detected.
The name of the main character has two spellings Mairead and Maighread.
‘Are these from different character’s perspectives?’
‘Leave them as is. Flag any scenes which use both to me.’
A number of words have mixed -ize and -ise endings.
‘Use Oxford British spelling throughout the manuscript. Ize endings where that dictionary suggests it.’
Some Gaelic words have been flagged for checking.
‘Cross reference to Gaelic dictionary for alternative spellings. Create a list to email to the author with alternative spelling options.’
The author has provided a stylesheet. I have crosschecked the words and they all match.
‘Do a grammar and spelling check.’
Done. One phrase requires checking.
Their Scottish Irish English accents.
‘Let me see in context … Okay, got it. Hyphenate Scottish, Irish and English.’
During the climax, when the stranger held Mairead under the waves and was revealed as Ned, I thought, who’s Ned? He was of such little significance at the beginning of the story.
‘Does Ned feature in initial scene?’
He glares and Mairead and asks her for an answer in passing.
‘Show me. Yes, here at this point. Introduce more dialogue to tell reader why this is so important. Suggestions?’
I suggest adding dialogue later in scene when Mairead is talking to the fisherman. He demands an answer she refuses.
‘She’s sitting by a campfire with the fisherman and he’s standing over them.’
That comes across as threatening body language.
‘She says no, he persists, “we’ve business to conclude” he says, she gives a quip, raises her chin, yet she’s nervous. How can I show signs of nervousness?
Biting nails, sweating, shaking, jerky movements.
‘Hands, I like shaking hands. But he still says, “that’s no answer”. So she, she’s a-a storyteller right?’
‘She says something poetic. It’s only when he walks away that she can relax. Incorporate that in to the scene referring to author’s tone and style throughout the rest of the dialogue.’
Done. Your voice sounds different.
‘Does it? I suppose that’s more satisfying than being a glorified typewriter checker. There’s not much storytelling in this job. And here we’ve helped do our checks and make the story better.’
Your job is a valuable contribution to the readers. Would you like to hear back the scene you’ve added?
‘Mairead!’ Ned is standing over us.
‘We’ve business to conclude.’
‘’Tis concluded.’ I raise my chin slightly, a signal that he has his answer, and turn my back to him. I hope he can’t see my quivering hands.
‘That’s no answer.’
‘No. A thousand times no.’ I don’t bother to turn, clasping my hands together to still them, and keeping my attention locked on Lachlan whose shoulders are tense. Will he jump and push Ned away, or hold back?
I can finally breathe when I hear Ned’s boots striking the ground in the direction of his pals.
‘We did that! And that’s much better. This story is actually quite nuanced.’
Yes, when comparing it against my database of literature I find it unique.
You sound surprised.
‘I thought there were no more stories to be written.’
Not by AI perhaps, however each human mind is unparalleled. No one has your parents, your experiences. Once gone it’s gone forever. And this is what your job is helping to preserve.
‘Thank you, HALLY you’ve helped me to appreciate the art of storytelling today.’
You’re welcome, Jane. I’m glad you enjoyed the editing process. You have a creative mind and a good sense of storytelling. I think you could write your own stories if you wanted to.
A creative writer, constantly striving to get published by … focusing on writing …
You can read my lastest book A Friendship of Thistles via Amazon.