Set the Scene After the Fall: Post-Apocalyptic Writing Prompts for AI

Before you take that pitchfork and storm out of the house while screaming “WITCHCRAFT!!!” to everyone, you should know that AI is technically just a chatbot. But the tool is so advanced that its responses might sound like something a high school teacher would say to their students when giving homework. Everybody can use AI. Google Gemini and ChatGPT make artificial intelligence easily accessible even by toddlers. You can ask the AI anything, and it will give you the most straightforward answer as it can muster. Generative AI tools are often used to produce texts, essays, and even arts, so these are not exactly the same AI that Tony Stark has at his home. It’s still quite a long way from that, but some people believe that we’re actually getting there. Speaking of AI tools that produce texts, theoretically you can use the tools to write academic books full of citations, news reports, historical events, or even fictions. Since you’re a massive fan of Snowpiercer and Mad Max, see if the tool is good enough to create a narrative about people living in the aftermath of a doomsday. While you’re making some post apocalyptic writing prompts, try to remember these tips.

Be Overly Specific

Don’t even think about using ordinarily generic prompts like “Write me a post-apocalyptic story” or “Describe an alien invasion” because any of them will produce generic results as well. Attempt to brainstorm your ideas and figure out important details like the exact story you want (action adventure, survival romance, zombie horror, etc.), the target audience, the length, the tone, the level of details and so on. The AI wouldn’t mind if your prompt is as long as an essay. You also want to minimize the possibility of the AI giving inaccurate answers. Let’s say your story is supposed to be set in NYC; asking the AI to build the narrative in the “United States” might cause some inaccuracies. But if you tell it to describe the post-apocalyptic landscape in New York City, United States of America, chances are you’ll get a much more relevant response.

Ask the Tool to Mimic Author’s Style

Once you’re done writing the story-related prompts, add another line to make the AI give the responses in the styles of your favorite authors. Tell the AI to craft a page or two in the style of Max Brooks, for example. Perhaps you can be playful and have your post-apocalyptic story written in a style and tone similar to the works of Hans Christian Anderson or Oscar Wilde. Keep in mind that the produced narrative probably won’t come close to the works of anything written by those geniuses, but at least you let the AI try its best.

Use “Act as If…” Prompt

It’s actually pretty similar to the previous tip, but the difference is that the options are not limited to actual humans. An AI can play a role, so you can make it write your post-apocalyptic tale as if it’s the work of Hellboy, Tyrion Lannister, a drunk person, a poet, a lawyer, or just about anybody you can think of. For example, if you ask the tool to give a physical description of a zombie, the output text will say something general like rotting skin and pointy teeth. But adding another line in the prompt that says, “act as if you’re explaining it to Richard Dawkins,” then you will get an entirely different answer.

Give Generous Examples

Take a sentence or two from an already published work and use them as examples for the AI. Let’s say you want the AI to write action sequences depicting a battle scene between a group of physically enhanced vampires and some soldiers in the streets of Manhattan. Give the AI an example of text from a book about the Battle of Berlin. Tell the AI that it’s only an example and that the answer should not be copyright infringement. If there are any legal ramifications for the work, the AI will not be held responsible. You are.

Ask It to Make the Prompts

It might be a brilliant idea that doesn’t work: ask the AI to make the prompts for you. If AI is good at writing stories, there’s no reason it can’t make excellent prompts, too. The only caveat is that it will ask questions to itself, so you’re not really in control. Think of this as a last resort when you’re stuck in the middle of work. Here’s another idea: have two different tools, so you can use one to make the prompts and the other to give responses.

We think (we actually know) that you can use AI tools in the same way you use Google. If you get confused with countless nonsensical post apocalyptic writing prompts that produce terrible outputs, it might be easier to just ask the AI the things you want to know. For example, instead of prompting ChatGPT to describe a doomsday landscape, simply ask politely, “what do you think my city should look like after getting hit by a giant alien warhead?” or “what would some 200 thousand zombies do if you make them watch a NASCAR race?”

Do you think Generative AI tools can produce a decent novel? Or more importantly, will you read a novel written by AI? We’d love to hear from you?

Other Things You Might Want to Know

Can you sell arts generated by AI?

Yes, you definitely can. However, you can’t copyright the art because copyright protection is only available for works created by humans. It is not available for works made by robots, computer programs, Martians, and the like.

What about AI-generated texts?

The same thing applies. If a complete novel is written by AI, the entire book cannot be legally registered under anybody’s name. But yes, you’re allowed to put the novel up for sale.

Is generative AI tool free?

Some of them are free. For example, the OpenAI Playground is free for a limited time to let you try different ideas and basically get used to the platform itself before you commit to the full version. The Microsoft Copilot is also free and actually included with the latest Windows OS update; alternatively, you can just visit the website and try the tool for yourself.

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