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Revolutionizing Editing: Using AI To Streamline Writing Projects

Editing a 600,000 word transcript in a few days using Claude 3




I discovered a method that can save hours during any editing process.



The Project


A Kentucky Holy Land book that features the highlights of all the primary texts, some written first-hand, all being now in the public domain but not of interest to a modern audience.


Manually and meticulously, I arranged sections from 5 entire books into ordered chapters, such as a chapter about the Dominicans in Kentucky. This particular chapter makes about 40 pages total, but the chronology is all out of order.


The Bigger Problem


This huge transcript is not only out of order, but formatted horrendously as it was copied over from scans of old books.


The sentences usually look like this (having spaces and typos): "This is an e5ample ."





The Question


Now this is a mountain of a task: put the transcript in order and format it properly.


How can I use new technologies to speed up a process that may take months?

Solution 1 / AI Workhorse


Firstly, I made blank documents for each chapter.


One by one, I put my raw chapters into the AI tool Claude 3 Opus.


With a simple prompt,


Format this transcript in chronological order, in paragraph form. Don't remove or change any words. Keep footnotes where they are

I then copied this perfectly formatted transcript back over to my blank document.



It looks good, and is formatted near-perfectly, only needing some fine polishing, but a bigger question remains—did the AI remove any parts of the text or do anything strange?


Solution 2 / Review


Google Docs has a "compare documents" tool that allowed me to compare the new document with the old one.


It produces a highlighted version of the first text, showing if any parts were moved, indicated by a pink line through the paragraph.





Results


My worry was that AI would either delete precious parts of the original texts or place paragraphs out of order.


So far, Claude has not deleted any words, instead fixing typos caused by the original faulty formatting.


It also excels at putting together all of the texts in a cohesive narrative.


Now, it only needs some fine polishing from me—and that is what I enjoy!


Conclusion


This is awesome! The potential to tackle huge writing projects is now easier. Repetitive and grinding work is becoming an option.


Now is a time to work smarter and not harder.


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