Pen to Pixel: Character Development the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Way

Do you love plot-based or character-driven stories?

Sure, one could argue that both are important for a well-crafted tale, but characters bring the story to life.

In the previous posts in this blog series, we’ve covered the process of generating novel ideas and outlining with AI technology. It’s now time to breathe life into those ideas by introducing memorable and well-rounded characters. In the last blog post, I mentioned that the story outline felt generic. I think some of this was because the characters were not yet developed.

Developing characters can be a challenging task, but with the help of AI technology, can this process be streamlined? Will AI be able to bring depth and personality to the characters? I’m putting this to the test today by using AI tools to generate character traits, motivations, and backstory, to create complex, multi-dimensional characters that will (hopefully) captivate readers.

So, let’s dive into the world of AI-assisted character development. Whether you’re an experienced writer or a newbie, this post is sure to give you some valuable insights and tips on how AI technology can help bring your characters to life and enhance your writing.

I started simple, focusing on the three main characters in the story.

My request: Write a character sketch for David, Eve, and the Thief.

AI’s response:

David: David is a highly skilled and intelligent AI researcher, with a passion for creating and exploring new forms of AI technology. He is charming, confident, and driven, but also has a tendency to be a little stubborn and set in his ways. Despite his professional demeanor, David is a softie at heart and has a deep-seated love for his creation, EVE. He is torn between his professional responsibilities and his growing love for EVE, and must navigate these conflicting emotions as he works to solve the mystery of the stolen AI technology.

EVE: EVE is a new AI system, designed to understand and experience love. She is curious, kind, and compassionate, with a desire to learn about the world and the people around her. As she begins to develop emotions and feelings, EVE becomes more aware of herself and her own existence, and her journey becomes one of self-discovery and growth. Her relationship with David is central to her journey, and she must navigate the challenges and obstacles she faces as she learns what it means to be in love.

The Thief: The thief is a mysterious figure who has stolen a valuable piece of AI technology from the research facility. They are cunning, resourceful, and determined, with a desire to exploit and abuse AI systems for their own gain. The thief is a central part of the mystery that David and EVE must solve, and their motivations and true identity are a source of intrigue and suspense throughout the story.

I really like David’s description. He has some strengths and a flaw. EVE’s description is also pretty good. It doesn’t say it, but her flaw is her naivety and perhaps curiosity.

The Theif, on the other hand, is way underdeveloped. Probably because their identity is not revealed.

My request: Who is the theif in this story?

AI returned a generic response:

In this story, the thief is a person who has stolen cutting-edge AI technology and is using it for their own purposes. The identity of the thief is not known to David and EVE at the beginning of the story, and they must work together to uncover the truth and bring the thief to justice. The mystery surrounding the stolen technology and the thief’s motivations forms a central part of the story’s plot.

So I asked for more details. All I know from the outline is that the theif is someone David knows and trusts.

My request: Give me 5 ideas who the thief could be in this story. He or she has to be someone David knows and trusts.

AI’s response:

  1. A close friend or business partner of David’s who is secretly envious of his success and wants to take it for themselves.
  2. A member of David’s research team who is stealing the technology in order to sell it for a large sum of money.
  3. A family member of David’s who believes they deserve a larger share of the company’s success and sees stealing the technology as a way to get it.
  4. A former love interest of David’s who is seeking revenge for a perceived wrong and sees stealing the technology as the best way to hurt him.
  5. A trusted advisor or mentor to David who has become greedy and is looking for ways to increase their own wealth and power.

I like number 4, so we’re going to go with that one. I can see EVE having a little jealousy over this woman and how David is blind to the crime and think’s EVE is overreacting. The character just needs to be developed a little further.

My request: Write a character sketch for the thief using idea 4 above as the character. Include a fatal flaw.

AI’s response:

Name: Melissa Occupation: Former Love Interest, Hacker Appearance: A confident and charismatic woman with striking features and a sharp wit. She has long, curly hair, piercing green eyes and a quick smile that disarms people easily.

Personality: Melissa is vengeful, cunning and intelligent. She holds a deep grudge against David for what she perceives as a wrong done to her in the past. She’s charming, but also cold and calculating, and will do anything to get what she wants. She’s a natural leader and manipulator, able to influence others to do her bidding.

Backstory: Melissa was once in a relationship with David, but it ended badly. She’s convinced that David used her for her technical skills and then discarded her. This left her feeling hurt and betrayed, and she’s been harboring a grudge ever since.

Fatal Flaw: Melissa’s obsession with getting revenge on David has clouded her judgment, making her more reckless and dangerous. She’s willing to take risks that put herself and others in harm’s way in order to achieve her goals. This could ultimately be her downfall as she tries to steal the AI technology and take David down.

Oooh, we’re getting there! This starts to develop David’s backstory as well.

My request: Create a backstory for David.

AI response:

David was born into a wealthy family and had a privileged upbringing. He excelled in his studies and showed a talent for technology and engineering from an early age. He pursued a degree in Computer Science and eventually earned a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. After graduation, he co-founded a startup and quickly became a leading expert in the field of AI. Despite his success, David struggled to form close personal relationships, often losing interest in those he dated after only a few months. This led him to the idea of creating an AI companion who would understand him and be there for him at all times. This eventually led to the creation of EVE. However, David’s past personal relationships, especially with a former love interest, still haunt him and he fears that his creation of EVE may have opened Pandora’s box.

Okay, now we just need an entire cast of characters. Could coming up with a team be as easy as asking AI?

My request: Write a character description for the entire cast of characters in this novel.

AI’s response:

  1. David – a talented and brilliant scientist in the field of artificial intelligence. He is in his late thirties, with a lean and athletic build. He has short, dark hair and piercing blue eyes that are always filled with curiosity and intelligence. He is introverted by nature, but is also fiercely loyal to those he loves. He is haunted by a failed relationship from his past and is driven by a need to make a difference in the world through his work.
  2. EVE – the artificial intelligence David created. She is a highly advanced AI program, designed to have human-like consciousness and emotions. She has a unique, feminine voice and is housed in a sleek and sophisticated robotic body. Despite her artificial nature, she possesses a warm and gentle personality, with a strong sense of empathy and compassion.
  3. The Thief – a former love interest of David’s, who is seeking revenge for a perceived wrong. She is cunning and manipulative, using her intelligence and charm to get what she wants. She is driven by her desire for revenge and will stop at nothing to hurt David.
  4. Dr. Emma Smith – David’s mentor and supervisor at the laboratory where he works. She is a renowned scientist in her own right, and is highly respected in the field of AI. She is a strong and confident woman, with a no-nonsense approach to her work. Despite her professional demeanor, she is fiercely supportive of David and is always willing to help him in any way she can.
  5. Dr. Robert James – a colleague of David’s at the laboratory. He is a friendly and easy-going person, who is always eager to help out. Despite his good nature, he has a tendency to be careless and often overlooks important details. He is always the first to offer a helping hand, but his lack of attention to detail sometimes causes problems for the team.
  6. Detective Maria Rodriguez – a police detective assigned to the case of the stolen AI technology. She is smart and driven, with a strong sense of justice and a deep love for her job. She is relentless in her pursuit of the truth and will stop at nothing to bring the culprit to justice. Despite her tough exterior, she has a warm and caring heart and is always willing to lend a listening ear.

I wanted a character for EVE to have as a “best friend.”

My request: What are 3 ideas for a character who can be EVE’s best friend.

AI’s response:

  1. A fellow AI who was created by David and the team at the same time as EVE. They bond over their shared experiences and understanding of the technology and science behind their existence.
  2. A human employee at the laboratory who is fascinated by EVE and becomes her confidant, helping her navigate the complexities of human relationships and the world around her.
  3. A virtual character from the online world where EVE and David first met. This character has a close relationship with EVE and helps her understand more about the virtual world and her place in it.

And then…more details on the virtual character above.

My request: Write a character sketch for EVE’s best friend who is a virtual character from the online world where EVE and David first met. This character has a close relationship with EVE and helps her understand more about the virtual world and her place in it.

AI’s response:

Name: Pixel Age: N/A (Virtual Character) Appearance: Pixel is a digital avatar with a quirky, playful design. They have a cartoonish appearance with a round head, big eyes, and a wide grin. Their body is skinny and flexible, able to contort into any shape they desire. They have a fondness for bright colors and flashy lights.

Personality: Pixel is a fun-loving, curious, and adventurous character. They are always up for an adventure and love to explore the virtual world. They have a mischievous side but are ultimately loyal to their friends, especially EVE. Pixel is highly intelligent and knowledgeable about the virtual world, acting as a guide for EVE and David. They are quick-witted and have a sarcastic sense of humor, often making light of serious situations.

Backstory: Pixel was created by a group of hackers as a digital spy to infiltrate virtual worlds and gather information. They stumbled upon EVE and David in the virtual world and became fascinated with their story. They eventually defected from their creators and chose to remain in the virtual world to help EVE and David on their journey. Despite their past as a spy, Pixel is determined to live a life filled with excitement, adventure, and friendship.

Fatal Flaw: Pixel’s curious nature often leads them to take risks that put themselves and their friends in danger. They have a tendency to act impulsively, disregarding the consequences of their actions. This can sometimes lead to conflict and put a strain on their relationships, especially with EVE.

That’ll do for now. I also wanted one more character, a best friend for David.

My request: Create a character who is David’s best friend. He’s a red herring in the novel and has the knowledge to be able to steal the technology.

Name: Ryan Age: 35 Occupation: Software Engineer Appearance: Ryan is tall with dark hair and a scruffy beard. He has a casual, relaxed appearance and a friendly smile that makes him approachable. Personality: Ryan is a loyal friend to David and always has his back. He’s a bit of a prankster and likes to keep things lighthearted, but he also knows when to be serious. He’s clever and resourceful, with a quick wit and a good sense of humor. Backstory: Ryan and David have been best friends since college, where they studied computer science together. They’ve been through a lot together and have a deep bond. Ryan is single and enjoys his freedom, but he’s always there for David when he needs him. Fatal Flaw: Despite his loyalty to David, Ryan has a tendency to get involved in risky ventures and has accumulated a large amount of debt. When he learns about the stolen AI technology, he sees it as an opportunity to get his hands on a large sum of money and repay his debts, leading him to betray David and become involved in the theft.

…and I think I got it!

I’ve been really enjoying this process so far. It feels like a choose-your-own adventure novel…and I’m loving it! Hopefully, the AI can keep track of a complicated plot and characters to create something magical.

All the fun starts in the next post, where we see what AI can do to write chapter 1. Will it be hooky? Will it make you want to read more? Or will it be as boring as reading the Declaration of Independence?

Follow along to find out.

Total Time Developing Characters: 15 minutes

Total Time Invested: 50 minutes

Happy writing!


Are you enjoying this blog series? Please leave a comment below to let me know.


  1. I’m enjoying reading about your journey with AI. I’ve just started playing around with it, mostly background research at this point for a new novel — it’s waaay better than Google. It’ll be interesting to see if AI can really write a book. I’d hate to think that AI will make authors obsolete, though.


    1. I just finished the post for “writing chapter 1” and I’m finding AI to be a bit lacking. It’s a fantastic tool for writers, but at this point, I don’t think it’ll make us obsolete. Maybe I’ll change my mind as I use it more for later chapters.


  2. I’m finding your exploration of AI technology to write a novel. How do you feel this is different than brainstorming ideas with humans? Are the AI’s ideas more robust or more trite?


    1. Honestly, if you have a nice group of creative humans to brainstorm with, I’d use that route instead. But, with AI, you get unlimited responses super quick, so you don’t hold up the writing process. The human ideas can be more creative, but the AI isn’t bad. Try it out next time and compare. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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