- Feb 2023
Wordcraft shined the most as a brainstorming partner and source of inspiration. Writers found it particularly useful for coming up with novel ideas and elaborating on them. AI-powered creative tools seem particularly well suited to sparking creativity and addressing the dreaded writer's block.
Just as using a text for writing generative annotations (having a conversation with a text) is a useful exercise for writers and thinkers, creative writers can stand to have similar textual creativity prompts.
Compare Wordcraft affordances with tools like Nabokov's card index (zettelkasten) method, Twyla Tharp's boxes, MadLibs, cadavre exquis, et al.
The key is to have some sort of creativity catalyst so that one isn't working in a vacuum or facing the dreaded blank page.
In addition to specific operations such as rewriting, there are also controls for elaboration and continutation. The user can even ask Wordcraft to perform arbitrary tasks, such as "describe the gold earring" or "tell me why the dog was trying to climb the tree", a control we call freeform prompting. And, because sometimes knowing what to ask is the hardest part, the user can ask Wordcraft to generate these freeform prompts and then use them to generate text. We've also integrated a chatbot feature into the app to enable unstructured conversation about the story being written. This way, Wordcraft becomes both an editor and creative partner for the writer, opening up new and exciting creative workflows.
The interface of Wordcraft sounds like some of that interface that note takers and thinkers in the tools for thought space would appreciate in their
Rather than pairing it with artificial intelligence and prompts for specific writing tasks, one might pair tools for though interfaces with specific thinking tasks related to elaboration and continuation. Examples of these might be gleaned from lists like Project Zero's thinking routines: https://pz.harvard.edu/thinking-routines
For instance, if the user selects a phrase, a button to "Rewrite this phrase" is revealed along with a text input in which the user can describe how they would like the phrase to be rewritten. The user might type "to be funnier" or "to be more melancholy", and the Wordcraft application uses LaMDA and in-context learning to perform the task.
- blank page brainstorming
- creativity catalysts
- blank page
- experimental fiction
- writer's block
- creativity techniques
- tools for creativity
- augmented creativity
- creative writing
- Project Zero
- Mad Libs
- Twyla Tharp
- user interface
- thinking routines
- sentiment analysis
- group creativity
- digital amanuensis
- cadavre exquis
- text editors
- freeform prompting
- Vladimir Nabokov
- tools for thought
- artificial intelligence for writing
- card index for creativity
- programmed creativity
Local file Local file
Ippolito, Daphne, Ann Yuan, Andy Coenen, and Sehmon Burnam. “Creative Writing with an AI-Powered Writing Assistant: Perspectives from Professional Writers.” arXiv, November 9, 2022. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2211.05030.
See also: https://wordcraft-writers-workshop.appspot.com/learn
A Google project entering the public as ChatGPT was released and becoming popular.
For additional experiences, see: https://www.robinsloan.com/newsletters/authors-note/
- Aug 2022
Digitizing and compressing notes - Question
reply to: https://www.reddit.com/r/antinet/comments/wv9hvq/digitizing_and_compressing_notes_question/
I've got a process I still use, though less frequently, that does both photos as well as optical character recognition (OCR) to digitize the words: https://boffosocko.com/2021/12/20/handwriting-my-website-with-a-digital-amanuensis/ The comments have some rich commentary with related ideas as well.
- May 2022
Are you scanning all your analogue note cards?
I do scan them, though in a somewhat different workflow than the batch processing that some might imagine. The broad outline and some of the specific details can be found here: Handwriting my Website with a Digital Amanuensis. The comments section of that post has some useful tips for folks on other platforms.