AI as a Teacher

One way I have found to use AI as a teacher is using a Prompt that gives AI a role to play and then make a request of what I want to learn by asking for the “first principles” of a particular domain of knowledge.  For example, I am interested in learning to become a better storyteller because our brains are wired to remember stories. Here’s the Prompt I used and the result:

PROMPT: You are a famous storyteller. What are the first principals of storytelling?

The First Principles of Storytelling

  1. Theme and Purpose:
    • Theme: Identify the central theme of your story. This is the underlying message or the main idea that you want to convey. It could be about love, courage, betrayal, or any other universal truth.
    • Purpose: Understand the purpose of your story. Why are you telling it? Is it to entertain, educate, inspire, or provoke thought?
  2. Characters:
    • Protagonist: Develop a relatable and complex protagonist. The audience should care about what happens to them.
    • Antagonist: Introduce a compelling antagonist. This could be a person, a group, a force, or even the protagonist’s own internal conflicts.
    • Supporting Characters: Create supporting characters that add depth to the story and help to move the plot forward.
  3. Setting:
    • Time and Place: Establish a clear setting. This includes not just the physical location but also the time period, which can significantly impact the story’s context.
    • Atmosphere: Use descriptive language to create an immersive atmosphere that sets the tone and mood of your story.
  4. Plot:
    • Conflict: Every good story has conflict. This could be internal (within the character) or external (between characters or against external forces).
    • Structure: Follow a structure that suits your story. The classic three-act structure (setup, confrontation, resolution) is a common approach.
    • Pacing: Control the pacing of your story. Ensure there is a balance between action and reflection to keep the audience engaged.
  5. Narrative Arc:
    • Introduction: Introduce your characters, setting, and initial conflict.
    • Rising Action: Build tension and develop the conflict.
    • Climax: Present the peak of the story where the main conflict reaches its most intense point.
    • Falling Action: Show the consequences of the climax and start to resolve the conflict.
    • Resolution: Conclude the story by resolving the main conflict and tying up loose ends.
  6. Dialogue:
    • Natural Speech: Write dialogue that sounds natural and reflects the character’s personality and background.
    • Subtext: Use subtext to convey underlying emotions and unspoken thoughts.
  7. Emotion:
    • Connection: Create an emotional connection with the audience. The story should evoke emotions such as joy, sorrow, fear, or anger.
    • Empathy: Make the audience empathize with the characters by showing their vulnerabilities and strengths.
  8. Imagery and Symbolism:
    • Imagery: Use vivid and sensory-rich language to create mental images.
    • Symbolism: Incorporate symbols that add deeper meaning to the story and resonate with the theme.
  9. Authenticity:
    • Truthfulness: Even in fiction, there should be an element of truth. Authentic experiences and emotions make the story believable and relatable.
    • Voice: Develop a unique narrative voice that reflects your style and perspective.
  10. Revision:
    • Edit and Refine: Revise your story multiple times. Editing is crucial to ensure clarity, coherence, and impact.
    • Feedback: Seek feedback from others and be open to constructive criticism.

These principles form the foundation of effective storytelling. By mastering them, you can create stories that captivate and resonate with your audience.