Wednesday 6 March 2024

IWSG March 2024

Time for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Kristina KellyMiffie SeidemanJean Davis and Liza @ Middle Passages.

This month's optional IWSG question is: Have you "played" with AI to write those nasty synopses, or do you refuse to go that route? How do you feel about AI's impact on creative writing?

These are great questions. I feel like we covered AI quite recently - though my grip of what is "recent" is quite hazy, so it could have been anywhere up to a year ago. I'm happy to dive back in though. I'll restate the answer I will have given for that other question - I would never let AI near any piece of writing that I put my name to. No shortcuts here! No matter how dreaded the synopsis might be (and I do have quite a lot of dread), I'd fear the program would misrepresent what my work is all about and I'd have to do it all again anyway. Even if it produced a word-perfect summary, I'd probably feel there was something missing because it can't capture those emotional nuances that the human writer can - one of the hardest parts of the synopsis is producing a pocket-sized recap of your narrative while also transmitting something about the characters' emotions, and I definitely wouldn't leave that to a machine.

Talking of synopses, that ties quite nicely to my current insecurity, which has been for the last few months - you guessed it, querying. My journey is ongoing and I'm still hopeful, but I'm reaching that point where it might be due a rethink to change things up (leaving AI out of it though!). Over five months, I've sent 50 queries to agents, receiving 20 rejections, and a further 12 were closed with no response. I think only a couple of these rejections were semi-personalised. Everyone's journey is different, of course, but if you've been in the trenches, how many queries/rejections would/did you go before refreshing things? I'm still hanging in there, and in a lot of ways I feel like I've just started. Interested to hear any advice.

I'm also gearing up for #IWSGPit which is due to take place on March 27. Let me know if you're taking part, it would be great to see you there! Meanwhile, don't forget to check out other answers to this month's IWSG question here. See you next month!