Using AI to Write a Book: A Practical Guide for Authors

Writing partners are great.

They can offer feedback, help you explore ideas, play devil's advocate, and give you a much-needed reality check when necessary. But even the most patient, creative, and abundantly available writing partner can only do so much…

…which is why lots of authors are turning to AI.

In this Sudowrite guide, we explain our process for using AI to write a book—starting with ideation and moving all the way through editing and feedback. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to tools and features that we think will help you write with less stress and more flair.

But first…

Why Should You Use AI to Write a Book?

People have been writing books (okay, “codexes”) since the 3rd century CE. They didn’t need AI back then, so why should we use it now? This is a question we get a lot, and it’s something that we’ve put a lot of thought into.

Here are three of the top reasons (in our opinion):

  • Writing Can be a Slog: When you’re writing a book, there are moments where you’re on top of the world—words are flowing, characters are practically screaming their next moves in your ear, and you just can’t type fast enough. There are also moments when you question your ability to string together a coherent sentence. AI makes those lows more bearable by boosting your productivity and offering direction.
  • Fresh Perspectives: AIs aren't people—and they don't have perspectives, exactly. However, they can pretend to have almost any perspective you ask them to. That makes AI great for brainstorming and generating new ideas when you don’t have a writing partner or team to bounce ideas off of.
  • Writing Can be Elitist: Everyone has the capacity for creativity… but not everyone knows how to write a book. That means (traditionally) we’ve relied on the 0.01% of people who do to produce 100% of the books we read. So, if you’ve ever wanted to write a book but feel like you can’t, AI is a powerful tool. AI helps anyone tell their story—it doesn’t care if you have no idea what “falling action” is or if you can’t identify a character arc to save your life.

What Are the Potential Limitations?

AI is powerful, but it’s not perfect. There are a few limitations that you should be aware of before you use it to write your book:

  • Boring, Robotic Prose: This is largely a tool-specific limitation. If you use an AI writing tool that wasn’t designed for writing prose, the result is often boring, robotic, and ChatGPT-esque. We’re talking long, tedious sentences with no variation. Luckily, AI creative writing tools like Sudowrite offer models that are fine-tuned for storytelling.
  • Consistency Issues: AI writing tools can only remember so much at a time. For ChatGPT, it’s something like 3,000 words—if you write more than this, it will start to forget key details like character traits and plot points. Purpose-built tools like Sudowrite get around this by adding key details to persistent memory banks that the AI can pull from throughout the book.

How to Write a Book Using AI

There are all kinds of tools you could use to write a book with AI (see our article on writing a book with ChatGPT, for example). However, there aren’t many AI tools that were designed for writing books. For that reason, we’re going to show you how Sudowrite can help you write a book (from start to finish) with the help of AI.

Let’s get to it.

1. Conceptualizing Your Book

Every book begins with an idea. Already have one you’re happy with? Feel free to skip ahead to the next step—this one is for anyone struggling to find inspiration.

Sudowrite’s brainstorming tool is perfect for ideation. We have dedicated tools for things like dialogue, objects, places, etc., as well as an open-ended brainstorming tool for anything not covered by the specific categories.

That last one is what you’ll want to start with. Enter any details about the book that are swirling around in your head—things like:

  • Setting
  • Time-period
  • Themes
  • General vibe

Then, hit “Start” to begin the brainstorming process. Sudowrite will come up with a list of story ideas for you that you can then save to your “Keepers” list. You can expand these ideas by adding details or plug them back into the brainstorming tool to have Sudowrite refine them.

Once you have a theme or topic, we also have a tool for brainstorming characters. Enter a synopsis into your Story Bible, and then scroll down to the “Characters” card.

There, you can either hit the “Generate All Characters” to brainstorm all your book’s characters at once or the “Generate Character” button to do this individually. Don’t worry—you can edit any or all the info Sudowrite generates whenever you’d like.

In the worldbuilding section of your Story Engine, you can do the same for things like:

  • Items
  • Settings
  • Magic systems
  • Technology
  • Creatures

2. Structuring Your Narrative

Once you’re happy with your initial idea, it’s time to get practical with a rough outline.

To kick this process off, scroll down to the Outline section of your Story Bible. This is how you clue Sudowrite into the whos, whats, whens, and wheres of your story through acts (larger plot arcs) and chapters (smaller plot arcs).

For example (ahem):

  • Act 1: Leaving the old world
  • Chapter 1: Sihnion Yinjyre is exploring the Old Forest and discovers a strange artifact
  • Chapter 2: Sihnion meets a seemingly friendly creature who abandons him in a cave
  • Chapter 3: Shinion follows the sounds of water until he emerges into a strange world
  • Act 2…

Want to write this yourself? Be our guest. But you should know our Outline tool also has a generate button that will pull in details from your Story Engine (characters, worldbuilding, synopsis, etc.) to take a stab at the acts and chapters.

Not happy with something our AI generates? Edit it by hand or ask Sudowrite for a

re-gen—we promise we won’t get offended!

3. Writing Your Draft

Finally, we’ve reached the “ink to paper” stage.

This is where AI really starts to become helpful, but quickly, we should mention that Sudowrite also offers some great non-AI organization features. You can create documents and folders within a project to organize notes, chapters, sections, and more.

Documents can also be “linked” to sections of your outline. This basically means that Sudowrite will try to generate text that fits within the scope of the section you’ve defined.

Moving onto our AI writing features, there are a bunch of different tools available to you:

  • Match My Style: Match My Style gives you a ton of control over how your AI sounds. It’s the last thing the AI looks at when generating prose (so it’s very influential), and it helps you fine-tune things like word choice and sentence structure. We recommend uploading a piece of writing that really captures your style so that the AI can understand how you write.
  • Write: This one’s probably pretty self-explanatory. Whenever you want to take your hands off the wheel, hit “Write,” and Sudowrite will generate 300 words of text. It picks up wherever you left off in the story, and you can customize the AI model, tone, and more.
  • Rewrite: This tool lets you highlight sections of text and rewrite them with AI. You can use this to add tension, highlight aspects of a setting, mix up the wording… or make any other adjustments you can think of.
  • Describe: This tool generates vivid, creative descriptions of any thing, character, or place you highlight. You’ll get one for all five senses—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.

And now for the piece de resistance—Chapter Generator.

This is a feature our users adore. As you’ve probably gathered from the wonderfully descriptive name, this tool generates chapters for your story.

Start by writing Beats—instructions for Sudowrite to follow when it generates the chapter. Each Beat should be descriptive and specific enough to help Sudowrite generate about 200 words.

For example:

  1. Vividly depict a crowded city marketplace teeming with sights, smells, and sounds that immerse the reader in the vibrant atmosphere. Introduce the main character, a skilled young pickpocket adeptly navigating the bustling throngs while stealthily relieving tourists of their valuables.

If you’re writing a looooong chapter, you’ll need a lot of Beats. But don’t worry—Sudowrite can help you generate these.

Then, it’s time to choose your AI model. If you don’t know what you’re looking for exactly, our “Balanced” model is probably your best bet—it’s cost-effective but still writes like a pro. If you have a specific tone or goal in mind, we also have other options, like:

  • Most Accurate
  • Best Prose
  • Fastest
  • Unfiltered (for NSFW content)

And on the off chance that’s not enough for you, we also let you play around with 9 experimental models ranging from Claude 3 Opus to Goliath 120B.

Finally, hit “Generate Chapter” and watch Sudowrite execute each Beat in turn.

5. Editing and Refining

At the editing and refining stage, you can pause to bask in the overwhelming sense of achievement and relief that comes with nearing the end of your book. But the work isn’t done just yet—as they say, editing is where the real writing happens.

Sudowrite has several features for helping authors with editing and refining their books, including:

  • Feedback: Our Feedback tool is a great way to get high-level developmental feedback on your entire book (without forcing friends to sink hours into reading it before it’s ready). It instantly generates suggestions, critiques, and observations—all designed to be thought-provoking and actionable.
  • Plugins: Plugins are mini-tools that extend Sudowrite’s features. Some are created by our team; others are created by authors who use Sudowrite. There are tons of plugins designed for editing—from Dialogue Distinctifier to Find Cliches – Then Kill Them.


Writing a book can be a lonely process. With an AI tool like Sudowrite, you always have a judgment-free writing partner to call on for support. With tons of tools for every stage of the book-writing process, we’re here to help you write better, faster, and more confidently.

Want to see for yourself? Try Sudowrite for free today.