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Having won once (I think) vs. ChatGPT, I took it on again. How did I do?

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

In part 2 of “Me vs. ChatGPT” I had another battle with the AI that literally everyone can’t seem to stoptalking about.

The instructions to ChatCPT were: please write a story about self-actualization. In the mature writing style. It should be literary. Very creative. It should include two people 'Alex' and 'Sophia'. It should include the words 'seed' and 'destroy'. Be really dramatic and creative.

Story 1

THE TANKS CAME FROM THE EAST two days after my eighteenth birthday, metal pigs conjoined with human pigs. Spewing destruction from the mouth, dirty clouds from the arse.

My family urged me to leave, “Alex, they’ll kill you, or make you join them to kill us.” I wanted to stay, fight. “You’ll be bleached bones in a filthy field,” Aunt Sophia cried. She knows, her brother is bleached bones in a filthy field; transformed by fire from a work of God to a work of



The van that took us west had damage from an explosion; these were ten of us inside, silent and rigid. I waited for the moment we would be stopped by soldiers or run into a checkpoint. Would they take us prisoner, kill us just for sport? I prayed. I prayed for my journey. That my journey would return me home someday. That on this journey I would meet a wise man who would teach me about steel and death. That I would meet a girl in whose eyes I would see wisdom. So I might return with guns, and violence, and wisdom. A seed of hope.


The van slowed.

It stopped at a checkpoint.

Story 2

Alex and Sophia's love was toxic and destructive. They constantly hurt each other, both physically and emotionally. They were unable to escape their own demons and the demons they created in each other. Despite their love, they felt empty and hollow.

One night, after a particularly brutal fight, Alex left the apartment and wandered the dark streets aimlessly. He stumbled upon an old bookshop and entered, driven by a desperate need for answers. He found a book on self-actualization and took it home, reading it with a sense of hopelessness.

Sophia found the book on their coffee table and confronted Alex. "What's this?" she asked, holding up the book.

"It's a book on self-actualization," Alex replied. "I thought maybe it could help us, you know, fix things."

They both realized that they needed to change, but the process of self-reflection only brought up more pain and suffering. They delved deeper into their dark emotions and past traumas, tearing each other apart in the process.

"I can't do this anymore," Sophia said one night, tears streaming down her face. "We're just hurting each other."

"I know," Alex replied, his voice broken. "But I don't know how to stop."

In the end, their attempts at self-actualization only led to more destruction. They were unable to heal the wounds they inflicted on each other, and their love became a thing of the past. They were left with nothing but their own broken selves, trapped in a cycle of pain and suffering.

I leave it to you to guess which is by ChatGPT, which is by me – and where you see the differences, maybe even how you’d prompt ChatGPT differently.

At Effigy Press we offer a free service where we give a candid review of the first 600 words of your novel which will give you a good sense if you’re on the right track or not

– even if you’re ChatGPT!

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