Novel AI is one of the most intuitive and flexible story-writing software using artificial intelligence.
So, of course, I tested it to see how good it was for writing fiction. I looked at everything from ease of use to pricing to content quality.
This ultimate guide for 2023 will help you to determine if this software is relevant and worthwhile for you.
Novel AI Review (Big Picture)
|Ease of Use
|Free Features (Trial)
|Premium Features (Subscription)
|Pricing (Monthly Subscription)
|Security (Data Encryption)
What Is Novel AI?
NovelAI is an AI story generator available as SaaS (software as a service) for a monthly subscription fee. Novelai uses artificial intelligence algorithms to write like humans, such as stories, plots, dialogues, etc. Also, Novel AI has tools for text-to-image and text-to-speech.
Here are the main AI-powered software services of NovelAI:
- AI-assisted authorship
- Text Adventure
- Text to Image
- Text to Speech
Novelai has a plethora of features, including customizable functions, for each of its key services.
You can use every service and the various settings in myriad ways to serve your storytelling and writing objectives, but let me first highlight how the AI story generator works.
Launched in 2021, Novel AI gained 10,000 paying subscribers and 40,000 registered users in a short period.
How Does Novel AI Work?
Deep neural networks, a subset of machine learning, enables NovelAI to process information like the human brain.
Natural language processing, including generative pre-trained transformer or GPT, uses available data online and from other sources to generate text.
The Novel AI story generator, whether the Storyteller feature or Text Adventure, uses these advanced algorithms and models and real literature to expand on supplied inputs.
Thus, you provide a prompt, and Novel AI will auto-write a portion to take the story forward.
After you provide the first input or initial prompts, you can continue using the AI story generator to build the world you want to create and take the plot forward.
Novel AI expands your ideas and text, but you can control the process and modify the written content as and when you wish.
Here is an example of using the Novel AI story generator.
- Open Novelai Storyteller, provide a prompt and select “send” for the AI generator to write a story. Your prompt may be a few words, a sentence, or a paragraph. Novel AI will use the provided idea or information as its input to write the story.
- You can opt for “send” again for the AI story generator to continue writing or select “retry” if you are unhappy with the content. Also, you can provide new input to steer a plot forward in the way you want if you like the AI-written story up to any given point.
- You can use a combination of retry and send, depending on your goals and what Novelai delivers, to write a complete story. You can write a novel, novella, short story, or any type of fictional text you need for your storytelling objectives.
- Novel AI uses the key elements of your input to write distinct stories every time. The retry feature doesn’t just change the wording. Novel AI will write the deleted portion afresh with a different take on the plot or story.
- The AI story generator maintains provided contexts, perspectives, and your writing style to deliver a coherent story, plot-wise and thematically. You can use Novel AI to write a little, a lot, most of the story, or the entire creation.
This straightforward utility of Novelai is only the beginning.
The real fun begins when you use Novel AI to its utmost potential because the probable outputs and the quality of the story written by the software depend on your inputs and interventions.
Novel AI has two sets of key features. The first set comprises the major products or services.
The second set includes all the customizable and pre-programmed settings, which you can use for each tool. Let me elaborate on the main features that include the following.
- AI Storyteller
- AI Text Adventure
- AI Chatbot
- AI Image Generator
- AI App
Novel AI Storyteller
One of the flagship services of the Novelai software is its Storyteller. As I have briefly described above, you need to write a prompt to get started with the AI story generator.
However, the input doesn’t have to be only a line, sentence, or paragraph. You can use a much larger foundation.
For instance, you can import a file that can be anything from a blurb to an incomplete epic saga.
You can then pick and choose portions of what you have written and use Novelai to expand the plot, story, etc. Novel AI will draw heavily from the material available in its memory.
Here are a few features that strongly influence the output of the AI story generator.
- Author’s Note: A brief description of characters, plot, setting, story, time, etc.
- Context Viewer: Novel AI can use current and last contexts to write the story.
- Memory: A broader description of the story and type of creation, including genre.
As a result, the output won’t be irrelevant or tangential text with little or no value for your story.
The Novel AI Storyteller uses keys, just like Google uses keywords for its search engine optimization algorithms. You can use these keys to further enrich the output.
Suppose you want to write a fantasy novel. You may use the following ‘keys’ for Novelai to keep the progression focused and highly relevant.
When you have such information in Novelai’s memory and provide a prompt to write in a specific context, the AI story generator will use these ‘keys’ to determine the output.
Then, you can edit or retry the generated text if it isn’t what you want. You may also edit bits & pieces and progress.
Novel AI Text Adventure
The second major product of Novel AI is its Text Adventure, which is essentially a GPT-powered sandbox that you can explore for interactive experiences.
The Text Adventure isn’t about writing a story, as you can play an interactive game and engage in conversations.
Novelai’s Text Adventure facilitates the following actions.
- Do: You enter a prompt and decide on an action, after which the AI story generator will take the adventure or gameplay simulation forward.
- Say: You can interact with the story through dialogues while having the option to do anything you want within the progressing story.
- Story: This version is more like the Storyteller feature with a distinct interface to combine the ‘do’ and ‘say’ elements.
You may be familiar with AI Dungeon, a text-based fantasy simulation using artificial intelligence algorithms and models.
The AI-generated interactive simulation of Novel AI is even better.
If you can imagine something, you can simulate that in a text-based environment within Novel AI. And that’s pretty dang cool.
Novel AI Chatbot
Novel AI doesn’t have a chatbot per se, but the Text Adventurer is a turnkey alternative.
You can only use the ‘say’ option to initiate a dialogue with the AI story generator. Don’t use ‘do’ or ‘story’ when you want virtual companionship in the form of a chatbot.
Similar to how you can use Novelai’s Storyteller with plenty of keys, the Text Adventure lets you infuse distinct attributes about your conversation or dialogue with it.
You can decide on the attributes or characteristics of the AI responder to have a bespoke and even unique chatbot.
Novel AI Image Generator
The Novel AI Image Generator produces pictures for the prompts you enter as texts.
Also, using the image generation tool, you’ll be able to use photographs or other visual media as the base to create animated or graphic pics.
This feature, albeit only available to paying subscribers, has numerous customizations.
- You can enter a prompt for the program to have the first image, such as an intergalactic spaceship.
- You can work on the image using different toggling settings, including distinct angles of view, focus, etc.
- You can modify the image with edits, new inputs, and other appropriate changes to get what you want.
All images are generated using AI.
They aren’t reproduced or sourced from any other place. Nor are they run-of-the-mill creations because you can tweak every image in innumerable ways with custom settings.
You can use this feature for your book cover image, pictures scattered through your book, and for book marketing.
Who Is It For?
Novel AI is for anyone working with fiction, regardless of the form or type of content, like authors, game developers, illustrators, novelists, screenwriters, and story writers.
It’s for anyone who deals with:
Apart from creators and professionals, anyone can have a lot of fun with Novel AI, especially with the Text Adventure serving as an interactive simulation of games and stories.
Pros and Cons of Novel AI
Novel AI has quite a few valuable features for anyone dabbling in fiction writing.
For example, here are the 4 AI models used by Novelai.
Krake and Euterpe are more advanced or evolved than Calliope and Sigurd.
Apart from these models, Novelai has many AI modules, including but not limited to the following:
- Genre: Everything from drama to fantasy to sci-fi.
- Style: Emulating famous writers, such as Arthur Conan Doyle.
- Theme: General (cross-genre), Christmas, dragons, Mars colonization, etc.
Novel AI will tick the checkboxes for all the beats based on your selected settings while writing a story or taking your prompt forward.
You also get to play around with other key aspects of the software:
- Output length
- Repetition penalty
Plus, there are advanced options to steer your story with the help of this AI story generator. But there are some cons, too.
|Novel AI Pros
|Novel AI Cons
|Advanced AI models
|Limited trial features
|Not for nonfiction
|Ease of use
Novel AI isn’t for nonfiction as there is no fact-checking whatsoever, and a few settings are a bit sensitive.
Be careful with the sliders for context, randomness, or output length. Changing these settings a little can have a titanic effect on the output, which may or may not be desirable.
Novel AI uses XSalsa20 encryption, which is secure. Your creations and interactions are reliably safe.
Ease of Use
On the positive side, Novel AI isn’t just easy but effortless to use.
Everything within the interface is convenient due to easy and quick access, including the following.
Plus, there is a ton of training materials and support for beginners.
Is Novel AI Free?
Novel AI isn’t free, but a trial version with limited features exists.
You don’t even need to register to use Novelai’s trial version. The access is useful because you get an idea of what the AI story generator is capable of.
Let’s do a deeper dive into pricing.
Novel AI costs about $10 to $25 dollars per month, depending on the plan you choose.
Novelai’s free trial offers you 50 text generations if you don’t create an account. You get another 50 text generations after signing up for free.
However, you still don’t get access to the following:
- Image Generator
- Krake AI model
- Latest Features
50 or 100 free text generations may not be sufficient for everyone to decide if Novel AI is truly worthwhile.
The other issue is the monthly subscription policy.
The policy isn’t a problem if you don’t consider the limited availability of Anlas.
Anlas is the currency for custom AI module training and Novelai image generation. You get a refill every month, but only 1,000 unless you go for the most expensive plan (in that case, you get 10,000).
Novel AI App
Novel AI offers all its software services in one web app with a simple user interface.
One login will provide you access to all the products and their features, including Novel AI Text to Speech.
There isn’t yet a mobile Novel AI app per se that you can download. However, like all progressive web apps, the Novelai interface is accessible on all devices with a browser and active internet.
Novel AI Examples
When I test drive an AI writer, the most important thing to me (besides the price) is how well it generates content.
That’s why I wanted to include a section with real examples.
After feeding Novel AI some prompts, the ai writer produced these pieces of writing for a character, setting, and dialogue.
The man stepped out of the shadows, his tall frame imposing and his piercing blue eyes sharp as a hawk’s. He was a former Navy SEAL, but he had left that life behind to start a new one. Or so he thought.
As he walked down the dark alley, his senses were on high alert. He knew he was being followed, and he was ready for whatever was coming his way. His name was Jack, and he was the kind of guy who never backed down from a fight.
Jack had a troubled past, but he never let it define him. He had seen things that most people couldn’t even imagine, and he had survived against all odds. He had a scar above his left eyebrow that he had gotten during a mission in Iraq, and a tattoo of an eagle on his bicep that symbolized his love for his country.
He wore a leather jacket, jeans, and boots, and he carried a concealed gun in his waistband. He had trained for years to be able to defend himself in any situation, and he was always prepared for the worst.
As he reached the end of the alley, he turned around and faced his attacker. It was a group of men, armed and dangerous. But Jack didn’t flinch. He raised his fists and prepared to fight.
He was a man of action, and he wouldn’t let anyone stand in his way. He was determined to protect the innocent and fight for what was right. And he would stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
On the planet of Xalax, the sky was a deep shade of purple, and the sun was a brilliant orb of golden light that shone with a fierce intensity.
The landscape was dotted with towering trees, their branches reaching up toward the heavens, and lush green vegetation that thrived in the rich soil.
In the distance, mountains rose up, their jagged peaks piercing the sky. And beyond the mountains lay a vast ocean, its turquoise waters shimmering in the light of the sun.
The cult leader sat in his throne-like chair, his eyes fixed on the intruder who had dared to infiltrate his compound. He wore a flowing robe of deep red and held a scepter in his hand, the symbol of his power and authority over his followers.
“You don’t belong here,” he said, his voice low and menacing. “This is a sacred place, and you have no right to be here.”
The homeless vet, a scruffy man with a grizzled beard and a mischievous glint in his eye, chuckled. “Sacred? Looks more like a loony bin to me.”
The cult leader bristled at the insult. “We are not crazy,” he said, his voice rising. “We are enlightened. We have found the path to true happiness.”
The vet clucked his tongue. “So what’s the deal here, anyway? Brainwashing? Mass flashmobs? Some weird ritual?”
Sneering, the cult leader said, “You have no idea what you’re talking about. We are a peaceful community, dedicated to the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. And we will not be swayed by your idle threats and baseless accusations.”
“Yeah, peaceful. That’s why you have armed guards at the gate and barbed wire on the fence.”
My Experience With Novel AI
Novel AI is one of the most versatile story-writing software I have come across.
The outputs are interesting and useful for authors.
I found the user interface to be a breeze. The interactions are easy, and the extent to which you can control how you use Novel AI for fiction writing is probably unprecedented.
As someone who occasionally dabbles in short stories and novels (I have several published on Amazon), I can see myself using Novelai.
Here is a good video with another person’s first-hand experience trying out Novel AI:
Novel AI Alternatives
There are several good alternatives to Novel AI:
The closest competitors of Novel AI are ChatGPT and Jasper AI, although the two alternatives don’t serve identical purposes.
Jasper AI is costlier per month, but it also offers far more services than just assisted fiction writing. ChatGPT produces better content and is cheaper but offers only the chat feature.
Other alternatives are WriteSonic, Sudowrite, INK, and Rytr. However, none of these are as good as Novel AI at writing stories.
Final Thoughts: Novel AI Review
You should try Novel AI for free if you create fiction, especially if you encounter writer’s block or procrastinate.
The trial should give you enough access to see if it’s the right fit for you.
On that note, I’ve tested and written about many other ai writers over the years. I’ve put together a curated list below that I think you’ll enjoy.
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