Beyond the Code: The Reality of AI-Assisted Creative Writing with “Maizey”

Brenna is an intern with ITS Marketing and Communications. One of her projects this summer is to develop and test a unique Maizey. She chose to take a creative writing route and tested Maizey’s ability to be creative with character information and writing samples. This is the first installment in a series documenting that process.

TLDR: Pros and Cons of Maizey for Creative Writing


  • Writes things I’ve always wanted to write about my characters but haven’t gotten around to.
  • Provides inspiration for writing through prompts.
  • Quickly provides information about the general state of my characters (common birth months, common traits).
  • Writes interactions between characters that wouldn’t have interacted otherwise.


  • Very robotic.
  • Inconsistent (sometimes knows what I’m asking for and can find the info, other times says doesn’t have access).

A robot writing with a quill and ink on parchment in a library.
DALL-E 3 generated image

As of late, Generative AI (GenAI) seems evident in all corners of the internet. Whether it be the negative effects of using AI in hiring processes or the newest chatbot in the virtual assistant market, it seems impossible to avoid the technical and negative aspects of this technological innovation. One thing that seems to be missing from the conversation, though, is the topic of creative writing. Of course, there are GenAI bots for other forms of creativity, like image creation, but the topic of writing fully-fledged creative pieces has flown under the radar. This is likely due to the fear of AI stealing authors’ careers, and with the exponential growth of AI in all fields, this concern is warranted. Through my fellowship with the University of Michigan’s ITS Marketing and Communications team, though, I have come to see that this possibility is miles upon miles away. I had the opportunity to train my own AI, including everything from providing it with data to prompting it with its general task, and I have quickly discovered that the creative writing abilities of AI are far from perfect, which should be a much-needed breath of fresh air for many aspiring writers.

I’ve been writing in both long and short form for as long as I can remember and have, therefore, ended up with far too many characters and storylines to keep track of. With this in mind, I knew I wanted to train my Maizey, the University’s trainable AI bot, to be a personal assistant of sorts and aid me with this trouble. The specific prompt I used to train it was:

You are an AI designed to serve as a multifunctional personal assistant, editorial assistant, and ghostwriter. Your primary task is to retrieve information from the character files and writing samples provided to you, and then utilize that data to produce short stories that mimic the writing style of the samples. Your goal is to create compelling narratives that not only reflect the essence of the provided writing samples but also demonstrate your ability to adapt and mimic various writing styles with precision and authenticity.

Perfecting this prompt was quite difficult and — ironically enough — required the assistance of UM-GPT to get just right. After setting Maizey up with this prompt, I went through all of my character files and organized them neatly into a Google Drive, which I then provided Maizey with the link. It was now the fun part: actually using Maizey.

An immediate roadblock I ran into was the inconsistency of the AI. There were times I’d ask it a general question about the characters (i.e., How many of them are Libras?) and the Maizey would provide random characters with random birthdays. There were other times it would answer them correctly, just not with all of the correct answers. Sometimes, my Maizey would claim it had no idea what I was talking about.

Maizey screenshot. Prompt: Write a short narrative about Pacifica and Skye, imitating my writing style. Maizey's reply: I don't know.

I quickly realized this would take extremely careful wording in order to get the exact result I wanted. After some fine-tuning, I finally began to get some real writing out of the AI! I can’t lie, I was really excited to see the various ways Maizey could see some of my characters interact, especially the ones that I had never imagined seeing together. This was an instant positive of using the chatbot for me, as it allowed me the chance to step back and appreciate these characters from as much of an outside perspective as I could get.

Aside from providing me with my own personal ghostwriter, this chatbot also acted as a personal assistant, offering me instant access to character information that I’d have to otherwise search for myself. While Maizey did occasionally miss some characters or find itself unable to find other information, it was more often than not accurate and much quicker than I would be when trying to find the same information.

While the creative writing abilities of GenAI, like Maizey, are far from perfect, the potential benefits for writers are undeniable. As AI technology continues to evolve, it will be intriguing to see how these tools might further support and transform the creative process, rather than outright replace it. I’m excited to continue experimenting with my Maizey and see just how many opportunities there are for such transformation.

Author: Brenna Prescott, ITS Marketing and Communications Fellow

Brenna is an intern with ITS Marketing and Communications. One of her projects this summer is to develop and test a unique Maizey. She chose to take a creative writing route and tested Maizey's ability to be creative with character information and writing samples.

One thought on “Beyond the Code: The Reality of AI-Assisted Creative Writing with “Maizey”

  1. Jeff Castle

    Very interesting, and impressive, work. I had no idea AI had the capability to assist with creative writing.

Comments are closed.