Why Peruse When You Can Personalize?

Using AI to Generate My Own Mystery Novel

In the age of apps like Pinterest and Spotify, individuals are increasingly interested in controlling their own narratives. These apps are playgrounds for people, where they can choose what they want to see and listen to.  

The new kid on the block — Generative AI, has expedited the transition from seeking out engaging content to simply creating it. While the conversation surrounding Gen AI has the kind of intensity to drive nations apart, whether we like it or not, the revolution is still here.  

Personally, I enjoy the prospect of pushing AI to drive my imagination, not replace it. While I consider myself to be a creative person, I’ll admit that I have limits in certain areas. It’s both a blessing and a curse that we can now use technology to fill in our creative cavities.  

I wanted to test the ability of an AI platform to generate custom content. Considering that digital alternatives to print have become more popular over the past few years (e-books, audiobooks, etc.), I figured that it would be interesting to see if I could create a book that included the exact plot points and ideal tone I desired. As well as the quirky characters I tend to prefer in the things that I read.  

To achieve this dream, I used the platform Sudowrite – an AI-powered writing assistant that helps users draft creative stories based on provided preferences through prompts. It can auto-generate the continuation of a story, offer selections for guided writing (you choose the direction), and change the style to your desired voice.  

In using the tool, I wanted to determine the personalization threshold of a custom content generator (a.k.a. how tailored can we make the output), while also reminding audiences that creativity is still necessary and present, even when you’re using an external source to spark it. 

Initial Prompt

“Story of an older man who uses his retirement to solve criminal cases that have gone cold.” 

Select Primary Genre 

selecting a genre

Select “World Building” Option  

selecting a brainstorm option

Give Sudowrite Context via Prompts

providing context to Sudowrite

Like/Dislike Outputted Suggestions    

liking and disliking suggestions

Start the Story (the more initial words, the better the AI works)

first story output

There’s a number of features to add on and continue to build the story like rewrite and rephrase as well as guided writing

selecting directions for rewrite function

…and you can add a plot twist

requesting a plot twist command


While I really appreciated the different features of Sudowrite such as the Brainstorm, Rewrite, Tone Shifter and the ability to import your content (even though I didn’t use it personally), I wish there was an option to simply prompt the exact details a user wants to see. The platform tends to be framed through suggestions rather than concrete drafting, which I’d prefer.

Sudowrite ended up exceeding my expectations. I remember even snickering a bit when I read the generated output after prompting it to “add more humor.” While I was impressed by some of the output though, I did find that there still is a lack of creativity in what the platform provides in terms of storytelling and general story direction. There were a few moments where it provided very basic, cliché plot points. This outcome was expected though, as I was aware going into this experiment that LLMs are trained on publicly available data and information that is repeated often.

I would use the platform again and would take my story in a more streamlined direction, now that I have experience using the interface.

Ayanna Cox

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