I’ve had SudoWrite for awhile but only started playing with it today, using the new story engine feature. The first part I’m stumbling around, but once I figured it out, I write about 20,000 words in an hour (and that’s up to 100K words now from finishing my outline). Absolutely nuts, so I’m motivated to actually finish my dozens of story ideas, folders full of plots and covers I don’t have time to write myself.
Why it’s amazing: – you can train the style to get closer to what you want – you can guide exactly how the scene will play out and the tone or focus – it can kind of keep track of everything, but not quite, so it’s going to need editing. However, this is a clean draft so it’s not a ton of typos. It’s just a lot of copy-pasting sections around. It doesn’t get how to raise stakes and tension yet so all the scenes have the same style of emotion which can be melodramatic – high conflict. BUT that’s mostly about the prompts. If you want an eerie, subtle scene of long glances and intrigue, you can get that, just make sure your prompts aren’t doing the wrong thing.
Best GPT writing tools for AI books
AI can do a few things for you; it can generate new content in any style or form (for quick drafting of a story idea); it can brainstorm hooks, twists, detailed outlines, build character lists and locations (research); and it can clean up and edit your writing quickly, even revise it to make it stronger, or add in description.
And these tools work pretty well, right now. But some people are asking, when can I just press a button and get a whole book written in an hour? And the answer is, very soon. I tried it with “agentGPT” and it gave me 30,000 words in an hour, fully self guided with no prompts other than I want to write a bestselling YA book. It did all the research and brainstorming, all the plotting, worldbuilding, and character backgrounds. It figured out the process and prompted itself.
It didn’t keep track of the actually story well though, even though individual scenes were great – so most of it is unusable without heavy revision. But it was scary to see how close it got, and how smart it was.
Personally I’m waiting to something I can upload my full book1, it can learn my style and the story, and then keep track of everything going forward. That’s probably coming within a year. But the best thing right now that you can actually use, is SudoWrite’s story engine (watch the video above to learn why).
How to write a novel with chatGPT
I tried this earlier, on chatGPT v. 3.5 and GPT4, and they have some common issues; mostly it can’t keep track of long-form stories well enough, and you have to reprompt it with everything, all the time, to keep the same style. Your prompts would be so long it could only return 600 words of content at a time.
So like all things, the tech is hard to use at the beginning and limited. But then it’ll get easy, and common.
SudoWrite’s “Story Engine” solves these basic issues, because you fill out a short form about your story in the beginning, add a writing style, character list, and detailed plot outline that gets used for every new prompt. And then it follows the outline (I suggest starting from my 24chapter template); and THEN you can give specific commands for *that* scene, to change the pacing, mood, or just keep the series of events straight with a short list). If you get all of this right, and it isn’t hard to do, you’ll end up with very strong, usable fiction, in roughly the shape of a novel.
It has trouble with pacing and emotional build up, so you’d have to edit the prompts as you go to limit or unleash its tendencies, otherwise all the scenes will have the same tone or mood, and you need variation. Scenes build to maximum pain, trauma and conflict late in the book, so all the earlier stuff needs to be full of intrigue and suspense but not action.
Right now, you can write a whole book or novel in a day (I haven’t tested nonfiction yet but I expect it would work brilliantly for that also!). It takes a little work, but not much. And you’ll probably need to do some heavy moving things around, editing and writing later, to give it your unique edge and make sure the full story holds water. But it’s like working with a cowriter – if you love drafting and write fast, great; you can use Sudo to polish and edit; if you are better at story structure and editing, you can use Sudo to create a roughdraft so that you can really start getting to work.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.