Carla King interviews Derek Murphy on how to use ChatGPT prompts to help plot your creative nonfiction book.
Nonfiction Authors Association Podcast | June 21, 2023
“If you just make a bullet point list of your life history events, and then say [to ChatGPT], ‘I need to write a bestselling narrative memoir, what’s the best way to structure this? Could you turn this into an outline that would be popular?’ It can just do some of that work for you by organizing your content.”
About Derek Murphy
Derek Murphy, has been featured on CNN for his nomadic lifestyle renting castles, but mostly leads a quiet life helping authors publish better books and succeed faster. Derek has a PhD in Literature, he’s a ghostwriter, a developmental editor, and a book designer, and founder of https://www.creativindie.com.
Got feedback on our podcast? Want us to consider a guest or topic? Please let us know on our feedback form here.
- The plot outline we discuss: www.creativindie.com/plot-outline/
- Free Resource: The Plot Dot: An eight-step visual guide to plotting unforgettable fiction and writing a book readers love
- Book Marketing Is Dead (Free Resource: Kindle or Audiobook)
- More Publishing Tools and Resources for Authors
- Derek Murphy’s Video Library
In this episode…
- Why it’s important to identify the critical components that will build your creative nonfiction story or memoir.
- How AI can help us organize content to build stories quicker and more effectively.
- Why it’s important to strategize backstory and flashbacks when writing creative nonfiction.
- How to prompt ChatGPT to give you an outline that follows the hero’s journey.
- How many scenes or episodes you should include in creative nonfiction or memoir.
- Tools you can use to dictate words and create text.
[00:00:00] Carla King: Hello and welcome to the Nonfiction Authors Podcast. I’m Carla King, your host, and today we’re talking with Derek Murphy about how to use AI prompts to help you craft each stage of your story.
But first, I want to let you know that this podcast is brought to you by the NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com. And that’s where you can find this and all our other podcasts, including full transcripts, links, and show notes. So head over and subscribe to our email list to get notified about upcoming guests and past guests. You can also take advantage of our free resources and explore membership options. We’re here to help make your writing and publishing journey an enjoyable and successful one, and connect you to a community of nonfiction authors like you.
Now, I’m thrilled to introduce our guest, Derek Murphy, who has been featured on CNN for his nomadic lifestyle renting castles, but mostly leads a quiet life helping authors publish better books and succeed faster. Derek has a PhD in Literature, he’s a ghostwriter, a developmental editor, a book designer, and founder of https://www.creativindie.com/, and he’s really into AI. And during this talk, we’re going to reference his one page plot outline chapter by chapter at https://www.creativindie.com/plot-outline/. This is a plotline for a novel but remember that a memoir needs to read like a novel.
We’re not going to go through every single step but go ahead and reference the plot outline if you want to follow along.
Hey, Derek . So I don’t know–where do you want to start?
[00:01:30] Derek Murphy: Well, we were talking–just before we started–about plot outlines in general. Because most memoir writers just want to tell their story, so they have a bunch of episodes. Maybe they’ve had a cool life and they have a lot of stories, but a bunch of stories altogether isn’t really a memoir.
Most memoirs are written like novels. So it’s a narrative nonfiction where there’s a story. And that needs to follow some kind of a template. Which means stories that are successful–they build momentum. So you kind of start to sympathize with the main character–the protagonist. There’s a lot of scene description, but then more and more conflict happens until a final turning point that forces the protagonist to change, or have some kind of moment of awareness.
Which is something you can do either at the beginning with planning and plotting, or you can do it after you’ve kind of organized all your episodes on a timeline.
But you’ve gotta identify those critical pieces that you’re building towards. That’s just about taking your story and turning it into a successful product. Because books are products, and they fail or succeed depending on whether people finish them–whether they got something out of them.
So that’s what I do as an editor. But I’ve also put out templates, because I wanted to get better at writing my own books. I had to figure out–how do I make this work? It took me a long time. So I put out 24 chapters for fiction, and I think I have two different 10 chapter outlines for memoirs that I think work pretty well.
It’s something so that you have some structure that you can begin with–to start filling in the blanks. I think it’s really useful. But I have gotten into AI more–not from the ‘How to write a book with AI,’ which is what everyone is talking about right now, but just from a standpoint of–I have too many projects. I’m a one person shop. I don’t have the funds to outsource everything. So for the first time ever, AI is allowing me to finish some products or projects that I never could before, just because it’s like having a co-writer, or a researcher, or an editor that can help me to do things that I don’t have time to do myself.
So that’s kind of why I am excited about it, even though I know it’s obviously controversial and it’s going to change a lot of things up in every industry. I do think it’s a very useful tool for writers.
[00:03:53] Carla King: So you mentioned you have–your novel plot outline that I’m looking at is 24 pieces, or chapters. And you mentioned the memoir outline is 10.
[00:04:04] Derek Murphy: I think most memoirs are shorter. But it kind of depends. If you’re writing narrative nonfiction–like a story–I do think 24 chapters–I write about 2000 or 3000 words per chapter, so it turns it into 60 or 70,000 words. But another type of nonfiction–that’s more like the self-help, how-to type stuff that maybe isn’t just narrative nonfiction memoir, but it’s a little more, ‘I have knowledgeable advice that I want to share.’ So it’s more of that kind of a book, I think.
[00:04:34] Carla King: And you know, even in prescriptive nonfiction–self-help, etc–the authors who write them tell stories to illustrate their points all along.
[00:04:44] Derek Murphy: And it’s important, because nobody remembers information. So if you just give people a bunch of information or advice, they won’t care about it, they won’t remember it, because you can’t visualize that. So the idea with stories is that you need to put pictures in people’s heads and make them feel things, which you can only do with stories. So it’s a really good idea to start a chapter with a story–like an unfinished story. Like, you start and build up to the point of crisis or conflict, but you don’t resolve it. And then you give all the advice and information. And then at the end of the chapter, you end that story, and then start a new story leading into the next chapter. Because if it’s just information, people just can’t get into it. So by bridging it with pictures, people visualize the scene and they feel the setting a little bit, and then they’re more able to remember, or identify with, the information.
[00:05:36] Carla King: Yeah, it brings to mind–the one that I can remember is this psychologist, Esther Perel–which I think she’s such a bestseller, and a great voice for psychology and marriage and family.
She always uses story. And I remember her advice, because I remember the stories and the evolution of the couples that she’s talking about. She even does that on television now – she has a television program. So I think that’s a good example.
So let’s get to how we can get AI to help us with these. And maybe we could just start with the broader structure, which is act one, two, and three.
[00:06:11] Derek Murphy: The easy thing I like to do when I’m outlining–that I’ve been doing recently with ChatGPT–is I’ll just put in my 24 chapter outline and say, ‘I have a story idea. This is the story I want to tell.’ Like I’ll give a one paragraph summary, and then I’ll give it my 24 chapter outline and say, ‘Can you convert my story into this suggestion.’
So that doesn’t quite work if you’re writing a memoir, because you probably already have your own stories. So ChatGPT will just make things up, which aren’t going to be applicable to you. But you could have, ‘Here’s a hundred messy episodes, which of these would fit better on this 24 chapter outline? And can you organize it for me?’ That’s one way to do it. Or you could say, ‘Here’s my mind dump. Here’s five pages of my mind dump of my entire story–my life history.’ If you just make a bullet point list of your life history events and then say, ‘I need to write a bestselling narrative memoir–what’s the best way to structure this? Could you turn this into an outline that would be a popular bestselling nonfiction book?’ And it can just do some of that work for you–of organizing your content.
So act one is–before you get to the really big stuff, you have to sympathize your character. And it’s difficult with a memoir, because typically the protagonist goes through a learning curve where they will become a better person. So a lot of people start off with an unlikeable character on purpose, because they think, ‘But he’ll be redeemed and it’ll make sense later.’ But if you start off with two unlikable protagonists, people aren’t going to enjoy any of the story, because they have to like the person enough to go through these changes to stick with it.
They realize the person they were at the beginning is not who they want to be. And I don’t think that all authors really build their memoirs that way to get to that point. And that could be very therapeutic, but it’s not really very enjoyable, necessarily for the reader. So if you’re going to write a memoir for yourself, just to process your feelings, it doesn’t matter how you write it. But if you want to write a memoir that other people enjoy enough to talk about and share, it becomes a bestseller.
[00:08:24] Carla King: So how do you get ChatGPT to help you with that?
[00:08:28] Derek Murphy: With narrative nonfiction, there’s always a balance of momentum. So you start off with small things, and you build to the really big things. If your first couple chapters are all violence, and chaos, and shouting, and screaming and stuff, then there’s nowhere to go anywhere in the story. Your emotion is at a 10 in chapter one, so then when you get to that final crisis point, there’s nowhere for you to go. You’ve already shown your max emotions. You want to show interesting stuff without showing the internal emotional outbursts. So you want to hold it in and try to contain yourself as the situation gets more and more impossible, until you reach a point where the emotions become a highlight of your culmination of your final dramatic instance–your lowest point.
It’s actually not–if you look at my 24 chapter outline, there’s two final battles which can be metaphorical in memoir, and there’s the final battle where they completely fail because they had the wrong idea about what they wanted. They had flawed information. So they fail. That’s the dark knight of the soul, or the lowest point. Then they have the other final battle, which, in the heat–in the middle of the battle–they figure out their fatal flaw. They have their flash of inspiration–or insider epiphany–mid-battle. Maybe they don’t figure it all out yet, but they see what they haven’t seen before, and they choose to resolve this situation differently than they’ve ever done before.
And that’s how things get resolved in that final peak. But something that can work really well is–you start off with what’s going to be right before the dark knight of the soul–your most dramatic, crazy entertaining story. The biggest one you’ve got–the craziest thing you’ve ever done. You start there in the first chapter of the preface, but you don’t finish it–you don’t resolve it. You get to that moment of conflict or crisis, and then it’s something like, ‘But let’s go back to the beginning,’ which they do all the time in movies. They start with that hook. That’s the big thing. Then they go back to, ‘This is the way it started. Here’s the whole story.’ Building up to that point of crisis, you give the resolution–that’s the dark knight of the soul. You take a pause, you reflect, and then you have a few more chapters that get to that second big final conflict scene, where this time you have the awareness to see differently and choose differently. I think that’s a format that can work pretty well.
[00:10:57] Carla King: So a couple things come to mind for me here, and I just want to refer to Stephanie Chandler and Cristen Iris talking about outlining a memoir in nonfiction just a few weeks ago. And Jordan Rosenfeld talked to us about flashbacks and backstory and how to insert that.
I was also thinking, also, about Cheryl Strayed. She was definitely a flawed character at the beginning of her memoir, Wild. Her mother had died and she was having random sex, she was doing heroin, and all of that. So you open with that. But somehow she was a sympathetic character. I think because she was so deeply flawed, and she had a reason to be going down that dark hole. And so we connected with her, because we wanted her to feel better, you know? Because she was deeply hurt.
[00:11:46] Derek Murphy: Entertaining. The crazy stuff–it can be more entertaining, especially in the beginning. Somebody said that description is like pasting over the plot holes, because if you keep them distracted with big description, big scenes, they’re looking at the pictures–they’re not really thinking, does this story hold water? And the backstory–you want to start with the big scenes, and keep things moving–and then the backstory, where you figure out why their behavior is justified, why they’re so messed up, why they’re acting out, that you get to the full reveal, that stuff usually happens much later in the book. It’s not the stuff that you start out with.
You start out with the exciting visual episodes where things are happening. You don’t want to just be in the protagonist’s flashback. Because the problem with flashbacks, in general, is that it’s concluded action. It’s already happened–the result is known, there’s no suspense or intrigue. We don’t know what’s going to happen or, ‘How is this going to work out?’ Because it’s all concluded. It’s all happened already. There’s no, ‘What could happen next?,’ which is what keeps people reading.
I would just try to take out all your flashbacks and just go into episodic time-based narrative, until you reach that point where–like in the middle of the most dramatic final conflict that they have to face, that they’ve been avoiding their whole lives–that’s usually where the backstory happens. It’s mid-final battle scene. So in Netflix, or in movies–even Marvel movies–they have this thing where–at the maximum point of crisis, where the final battle is happening and you have to show the heroes winning, they stretch that moment out as long as possible. It’s that moment usually like where the heroes and the antagonists are head-to-head pushing against each other. The metaphor is depicted visually. Like they’re pushing with force or they’re pulling with force.
It’s like a tug of war. And then in that scene, before it gets resolved, there’s long flashbacks where they dig into whichever character resists it the most. Whoever this challenge is the hardest for–that’s whose story it is. And that’s when you have to show, why is this challenge impossible for this character? A good story is always an impossible challenge. So the character always has to be met with a personal challenge that mirrors their personal flaw or their backstory–a shard of glass–whatever they can’t handle. So often–like at the beginning–you’ll show something they’re afraid of– like a minor incident that hints at the thing they can’t do, but it isn’t all spelled out. And then at the end you see they have to do the thing that they absolutely cannot do, because they’ve been afraid of it their entire lives because of their childhood history.
So when they’re forced to do that one thing, that’s the time to finally reveal the full deep backstory narrative, as brutal and painful as it is. Because then they’re finally facing it. But I do think you want to be careful about–even if it’s an interior monologue, inspirational awakening–you’ve gotta show it on a stage. Like–what would this look like as the Netflix show, if your memoir got turned into a movie? How do you picture this? Is it just someone in their room? Even if it is, they’re probably going to dramatize it with demons, or ghosts, or earthquakes, or big events.
[00:15:14] Carla King: And going back to Cheryl Strayed–very little of that memoir is her walking the Pacific Crest Trail. Most of it is in her head and it’s very, very dramatic. So what I’d love to get to is–the memoirists, we have our stories. I have a story, and I have the beginning and the middle and the end. But I’m having trouble figuring out how much to tell, and in what order? How do I–you mentioned before feeding a five page summary or something into ChatGPT. How do you prompt it, again, to give you an outline that follows the hero’s journey? The act 1, 2, 3.
[00:15:57] Derek Murphy: There’s a lot of different writing tools, and ChatGPT 4 is probably the best and the easiest. It’s like having a chatting co-writer buddy. So, it remembers the thread. And you can just prompt it with something, and if it doesn’t do it right, you can say, ‘That sucks, try it again, do it differently.’ Mostly you just tell it the role you want it to be. So I’ll usually say something like, ‘You are a developmental editor who works with a New York Times bestselling memoirist. I have a story idea. I want you to be my writing coach.’ And it will adopt that personality. You can either give it specific styles. Even if I just say, ‘In the style of a bestselling memoir or book.’ But I could feed it specific author names or passages. Or if I really like my own writing, I can give it a few pages of my writing and say, ‘Learn this style. This is Derek’s style. We’re going to use this from now on.’
[00:16:46] Carla King: Now you’re talking about actually having it do the writing for you.
[00:16:51] Derek Murphy: Even if I’m just fixing my writing. Like maybe I’ve got all the stories and I’ve written a rough draft, but it’s just not as pretty as I’d like it. Yeah, it is good for both parts.
[00:17:01] Carla King: I think where a lot of memoirists–that I know of–get stuck is how to structure it. And they’re not following the hero’s journey, which is the typical story structure. So you just really just put a five page summary in there, and see what happens? Or what do you do?
[00:17:23] Derek Murphy: I’ll say, ‘Make this better, make this tighter, make this more engaging, more entertaining.’ I would even, if I don’t know what order, I’d probably do act one, act two, act three. ‘Here’s my 20 episodes for each act, but I don’t know how they should be arranged.’ And then I’d say, ‘Can you organize this content in the most dramatic and entertaining way?’
Or I think my 24 chapter outline works pretty well. So if I just gave it, ‘Here’s my three acts and my episodes,’ and it’s basically like 24 chapters in a one sentence prompt for that kind of thing. It’s not what happens in the story, it’s just the kind of thing that could be happening at this point in the story.
[00:18:02] Carla King: And so you are saying episodes–so would they be scenes, or mini stories? What would those episodes be? Something that a director could make a movie scene out of, or a TV show scene from?
[00:18:14] Derek Murphy: Right. So my chapters will probably have two scenes, and then I’ll separate in the middle. So you can do a scene break when there’s a transition. It’s gotta have a starting point, an ending point. and you want to start just before the action and cut off mid action–before it’s resolved. And then the next chapter, probably, you’ll continue it or resolve it.
Anyway, if you’re doing cliffhangers–it depends if you want to do that. But if you resolve every story, then there’s no point in pushing it forward. I’d say with a memoir, I’d be careful of the meaning–like, ‘These are my feelings.’ I would stick a lot closer to what actually happens–what events happen. And then later, like towards the end, you can get into some deeper reflection, theorizing self-awareness.
In the beginning. I think most people just don’t have time to self-reflect on the episode. Focus on telling it like a novel, in terms of–things that should always be happening that move the story forward, and everything that you put in should matter. So that if you took it out, the next section wouldn’t make sense because it’s necessary–this piece was a necessary domino to get to the next scene. Even if we don’t see it all until later, it’s the sequence of events that were all necessary to get to that moment of crisis or change that actually happened. You only got that epiphany because you happened to go through all those other episodes so that you were prepared to act differently this time. Because almost everybody–normal people handle crises well. And most of us wouldn’t become someone else, or destroy our consciousness or ourself, because we can handle crises.
But then sometimes, like you might have crazy entertaining stories you just want to tell. Or maybe you have some name dropping you want to tell. I know people who have met famous Hollywood stars or whatever. If you’ve met those people, name dropping will probably help the book be more successful, but it may not be a relevant story to get you to where you need to go towards the end. Sometimes there can just be entertaining scenes or episodes.
[00:20:15] Carla King: I’m glad to hear you say that, because my books and stories–it’s a travel memoir. So I’ve got all this travel stuff. And you’re a traveler too, so you know. So there’s all this stuff happening that people want to know about, and it’s valuable, but it doesn’t create any epiphanies for me. There are things that happen that create that epiphany, but I want to keep them in there. Is that okay?
[00:20:37] Derek Murphy: No, that’s fine. Especially with travel writing, because I think travel writing’s more about the entertaining stories. People don’t expect that this is all leading somewhere–to a transformative event. I think that–as a fiction writer–to make a very satisfying, emotional novel, there should be this kind of a structure.
You can apply that structure later if you just have all your episodes in order. And the book is all your fun, cool episodes. You can still apply some of that structure on top to just give it a little bit more depth and drama. I think the problem with entertaining episodes is that it’s not building emotionally.
[00:21:14] Carla King: So what I’m hearing you say is that nonfiction authors–whether you’re psychologists, or sports, or travel, or whatever–you should have 24 scenes maybe, 10 to 20…
[00:21:24] Derek Murphy: …might be more than that.
[00:21:25] Carla King: … 30 scenes. And you can feed those into an outline. And can you ask ChatGPT to structure it with the hero’s journey? But it doesn’t know the backstory around each of these stories.
[00:21:37] Derek Murphy: Yeah. You’d have to give it the scenes. You could just do a massive brain dump, basically. ‘Here’s a hundred cool episodes I want to turn into a book. How can I structure this?’ It’s pretty smart. And if it doesn’t get it right, it’s probably the prompt.
I also think, right now, it’s limited by character. So you can’t put in 50,000 words, 100,000 thousand words. But it will be at the end of the year. By the end of the year, there’s going to be a bunch of tools that can do that–where you could put in 100,000 words and say, ‘This is a mess. Can you just read this and then turn it into a bullet point outline for me?’ And it can do that. It’ll be able to do that.
So I think it’s going to be pretty useful. Right now you’d have to say, ‘Here’s a hundred things that happened to me–funny, cool things that happened to me.’ And it’d be like a one sentence or one paragraph summary of the scene. And that’s probably what you’d have to do. And then you’d say, ‘Organize this.’
There’s a lot of famous screenwriter structures, too. So if you just say, ‘Use this structure. I want to turn this into a movie.’ Or, ‘I want to turn this into a bestselling memoir,’ or whatever. It’ll just use the public history of knowledge to turn your content into something more organized.
It depends if you have already done a lot of writing, too. Or if you’re like, ‘I just have an idea for a book, but I don’t know how to write it.’ And then I’d really focus on organizing your episodes. People who don’t have $5,000 to spend on a developmental editor can now find a very cheap tool that can help process that information and organize it, or critique it, which is something we’ve never really had before. So I think it’s going to make it easier for people to tell their story.
The other thing we were talking about earlier, which I’ve been using, is for people who can talk a lot, but maybe aren’t used to writing things down. I’m not very comfortable on video, but I got into YouTube because I want to build my nonfiction channel, basically. And I’ll stall, and mumble, and go around in circles. So my videos are not great content, because I’m not a great public speaker. But I can pull those youTube videos into tools that turn all of my speech into words. I have an hour long video–it’ll turn into 20,000 words, which is crazy. So I could make my list of 100 episodes and just tell the story, tell the anecdote, videotape it, or record it, and then put it into one of those tools first to get the wall of text, which is going to be just messy with no punctuation.
It’s a nightmare to edit, but that kind of content ChatGPT does really well with editing. You can say, ‘Okay, here’s me telling this story. Now I want you to pretend you are a developmental editor for a New York bestselling publisher. I want you to organize this, and clean it up, and fix it, and rewrite it to make it dramatic, and engaging, and entertaining.’ And it can do that for you. You could train it in your style first if you want, or you could test out a few different things to see which style is going to be the best.
I know some writers who just want to write their own words, and they want their style. And I know some writers who just want to tell their stories, and they just want someone else to fix the style. They hire a ghostwriter, they hire an editor to just make it sound better. That’s the kind of thing that was extremely high skill and very expensive last year, even, which right now is being threatened because I think–even if these tools aren’t there yet, by this year, they really will be. I think people have more options, and they’ll be able to produce better quality books than they could before.
[00:25:11] Carla King: What tools do you use to dictate your words and create text?
[00:25:16] Derek Murphy: I’ve got one that’s called Anthiago. It’s a Spanish site, but for some reason I found it and it works really well. It’s free. You just say, ‘Here’s the link to my YouTube video.’ And then instantly gives you the whole text and the quality is pretty good, even though I don’t speak very clearly.
So I know there’s a lot of others that people use–certain apps for just dictating or dictation, but I’ve been using that. And then I’ll put that whole thing into ChatGPT and just say, ‘Clean this up.’ And then I need to write a lot of blog posts to build my traffic so I can sell books, but I don’t really blog very much. I don’t have anything to talk about. YouTube’s easier for me, because I can sit down and make a 5 or 10 minute video instantly and put it out there. But that could be a 2000 word blog post, like immediately. Where I just make a video, put it on YouTube, I’ll turn it into a blog post and put my YouTube video on my blog post. That’s really good for platform building and it’s so much easier than sitting down to write.
[00:26:19] Carla King: It is. And you know, don’t sell yourself short, Derek. You have a great following on YouTube, and I actually love to listen to you and watch you on YouTube. I remember you did I think a year of YouTube videos at one point–as a personal challenge.
[00:26:27] Derek Murphy: I did a hundred brain dumps about all the topics–publishing and writing. They’ll come up sometimes in my feed, and I’ll see myself 10 years ago just looking like crap, talking about crap. They’re embarrassing. I think there are other passive ways where if you’re not an extrovert, you can still sell a lot of books. But it was something that I wanted to do for my platform. They could be so much better if I had an editor, if I did fancy stuff.
But there’s value in doing it the easy way, even if the quality is less good, because I basically focus on content. I put out a lot of content. The value is really good because it’s good information, even though the production quality is really low because I don’t invest in making good looking videos. I would do a lot better if I did, but I don’t make a lot of money from YouTube–that’s just something I use to drive traffic.
[00:27:17] Carla King: I think that the authenticity that you put forward in those videos was refreshing to your viewers. I wish we had time to talk more. So where can we find you, and these videos, and your main site, and some of your books, and are you blogging on AI tools?
[00:27:37] Derek Murphy: I’ve been getting a lot of traffic for Midjourney, because my creativindie.com [site] is my blog where I talk about everything, but it’s not really directly focused on one thing. So people try to find me and my books and courses, and they can’t even find it on my main blog. But I also talk a lot about book design and cover design.
So I get a lot of traffic for book cover templates. Midjourney art stuff is getting a lot of traffic right now. I have a lot of free books about publishing and writing. The Plot Dot is a free book about plotting, which is–we mentioned the 24 chapter outline–The Plot Dot is just a simple nine step framework. So even if you’re just starting with that, that’s a pretty useful beginner’s guide to, ‘How do I make my story build momentum?’ It’s simple. And I want to turn it into a real workbook or something. And then Book Marketing is Dead. It’s free. That’s a marketing book. I’ve done a lot of books about books and publishing.
I’ve been working on a nonfiction book proposal about creativity and AI, which I’m kind of excited about. And I’ve been using ChatGPT to build the proposal. And this is a project where–I’ve got a brain dump file I’ve been working on for 10 years that’s just a mess. I don’t want to look at it. I would never have the energy to, except with ChatGPT, I can get help just cleaning it up, organizing it. So that’s been useful for me because I have so many projects that I could dust off and turn into something pretty quickly. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
[00:29:04] Carla King: Great. Thank you. I think that’s very inspirational to a lot of experts who have a lot of experience, and a lot of notes to organize that are just sitting there on a hard drive somewhere. So thank you for being with us, Derek. And I look forward to your travels and more castles and travel adventures as well.
[00:29:24] Derek Murphy: Sure. It’ll be fun.
[00:29:26] Carla King: And thank you to our listeners for joining us today. You can find the full transcript of this and every episode along with links to what we talked about today at nonfictionauthorsassociation.com.
And please also subscribe to the Nonfiction Authors Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. And until next week, remember, keep writing. The world needs your experience and expertise. Thank you.
Quotes from our guest
- “If you just give people a bunch of information or advice, they won’t remember it because you can’t visualize that. So you need to put pictures in people’s heads and make them feel things, which you can only do with stories. So it’s a really good idea to start a chapter with an unfinished story.”
- “By the end of the year, there’s going to be a bunch of tools where you could put in a hundred thousand words and say, ‘This is a mess. Can you just read this and then turn it into a bullet point outline for me?’”
- “If you just make a bullet point list of your life history events, and then say [to ChatGPT], ‘I need to write a bestselling narrative memoir, what’s the best way to structure this? Could you turn this into an outline that would be popular?’ It can just do some of that work for you by organizing your content.”