Time and Talent

Heaven hath no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned

AdobeStock_130629499 pngThat’s the full quote, from William Congreve, a popular playwright from the late 17th-early 18th centuries. Specifically, it’s from his 1697 play, The Mourning Bride. (It’s also the play with the quote “Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,” frequently misquoted as “beast.”) Suffice to say, Mr. Congreve knew a little about human nature. “No rage like love to hatred turned” is well understood by every divorce lawyer in this country, if not the world.

We count on playwrights and fiction authors of every genre to tell us tales we can relate to, even if they’re set in some sort of alternate reality. It takes time and talent to develop those skills. Each author has his or her voice, or a collective voice when there are multiple authors. It’s not something AI can duplicate, as I’ve discovered through my writing group.

We did some experimenting with AI, and the results surprised–and pleased–me. While the same story might have been told, it wasn’t with the same voice. It was flat and, frankly, sounded like a mass market novel, not something original. Now, I know AI can be tweaked to come closer to that reality. But there is still room for the talented writer.

I understand, however, why the screenwriters are so concerned. So much of their voice is subject to interpretation by actors anyway. AI may come closer to mimicking their work with some skill. But it can’t truly do the job. Not yet. After all, AI pulls from work that’s already been created. Can it create plot twists? Political satire? I don’t know, and to a great extent, I don’t care.

As a writer myself, I sympathize with the screenwriters and wish them well in their negotiations. It’s more than just AI, of course, and I believe they’re trying to get ahead of the game with that one. The other issues they’re dealing with are apparently numerous, including fair pay.

AdobeStock_284900920 [Converted] smThe next time you watch TV, send a silent thanks to the writers and recognize their worth in the world of entertainment. The good ones will be quoted for a long time, because they know what makes us tick. And like I said, that takes time and talent.

Image Credits: Broken Heart © Galyna_P–stock.adobe.com; Television © Irene–stock.adobe.com

4 Replies to “Time and Talent”

  1. I wish them well, also, as do the many late night talk show hosts. From what I can understand, with all the streaming services out there, their revenues are less. I realize AI has nothing to do with that, but this ‘modern age’ is taking a toll on way more things than I ever thought about. From self-checkouts to automated phone service (can I just speak to a human, please!!) I wonder how many people will be forced to ‘retire’ from jobs before their time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scary thought. The world is moving so fast that the skills people had just ten years ago are outdated. At a certain point, it becomes really difficult to keep up. I joke about my print journalism degree being out of date (and much of it is), but I just heard about a woman who’s about to graduate with a degree in social media. If she doesn’t find a job quickly, she’ll fall behind, and she knows it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad that you posted this. I personally don’t understand why man is never satisfied with the human touch. Everything does not have to be robotic, manipulated, and controlled to the point that what makes our work special is just that, the human touch. I do perceive the motivation for making things better is what motivates some creativity. However, do we keep improving so that the increased cost for the consumers is not just financial? Do we keep “improving” so that what once was enjoyment for many (creator and consumer) is no longer joy for anyone? Just asking.

    Liked by 1 person

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