The skill is enhanced by having the Sim inspired or focused, or by having the aspiration Bestselling Author under the creativity category. Other emotional states can benefit writing, which will result in higher quality books and larger royalty payments. Sims with the Expressionistic trait from the Painter Aspiration can write all types of emotional books, even if they are not currently experiencing that emotion.
Whenever a new book is started, a pop-up dialogue will appear, asking the player to type a book title and the description of the book's content. The title field will already have a randomized title, which the player may choose to overwrite, and the default description is always "This is a (Genre) Book." After the book is finished, Sims may publish them by clicking on the mailbox and selecting either Self-Publish, Sell to Publisher, or Submit to a Literary Digest. The publishing method chosen directly impacts how much a Sim will earn in royalty payments. New publishing methods are unlocked by progressing in the writing skill.
Some traits can aid the writing process and raise the quality of the finished product:
- Genius: Genius Sims can randomly be focused for four in-game hours. This is an opportune time for them to be writing.
- Creative: Creative Sims can randomly be inspired for 4 hours. This is an advantageous time for them to be writing.
- Bookworm: Bookworm Sims will become happy after reading or starting a book, and inspired or focused after reading a book.
- Muser: This trait is available only if a creative aspiration has been selected. Musers get better boosts to their skills when they're inspired.
- Poetic: This trait is available after completing the Bestselling Author aspiration. Poetic Sims can capture life itself in a book, and wield it to bring back someone they've lost.
Traits bought from the Satisfaction points Rewards Store:
- Creative Visionary: (2000 Satisfaction Points) Sims with this trait have a 20% higher chance of making bestseller books.
- Great Storyteller[TS4OR]: (500 Satisfaction Points) Sims with this trait will be happier when writing books and will gain moodlets for certain emotions after telling a story to another Sim. These emotions can be efficiently utilized to create better books.
- Inspired: Inspired Sims can write better quality books.
- Focused: Focused Sims will write better quality books and be less distracted.
- Flirty: Flirty Sims will write better quality romance books, especially when they're Very Flirty.
- Confident: Confident Sims will write better motivation books, especially when they're Very Confident.
- Playful: Playful Sims will write better playful books, especially when they're Very Playful or Hysterical (However, it is very ill-advised to have a Sim Hysterical as they are at risk of dying from laughter).
- Energized: Energized Sims will write better Workout Guides, especially when they're Very Energized.
Sims can create a variety of books of several genres as well as do many other things with the writing skill itself:
Writing Skill Level Unlocks
While raising a Sim's writing skill does not reduce the amount of time it takes to write a book (in-game 4 hours), as a Sim progresses through the writing skill they can unlock interactions such as new book genres or writing other forms of literature:
- At Level 1, Sims can practice writing, and write Children's Books.
- At Level 2, Sims who are sad can write sad books, and Sims can Self-Publish their works.
- At Level 3, Sims can write Short Story Books, write Excuse Notes for Sims in school or work, read non-fiction Books for reference (reading will make your Sim Inspired). Sims can Discuss Favorite Book/Author with other Sims, and Sims can write Motivational Books while confident or write Playful Books when playful.
- At Level 4, Sims can write Love Emails to other Sims and write Poems. They can also write Romance Books while Flirty and Workout Guides while Energized.
- At Level 5, Sims can write Non-fiction Books, unlock the ability to Sell to Publisher and Recite Love Poetry as a Social Interaction.
- At Level 6, Sims can write Screenplays.
- At Level 7, Sims can write Fantasy Books.
- At Level 8, Sims can write Science-Fiction Books.
- At Level 9, Sims can write Mystery Books and unlock the option to Submit to a Literary Digest.
- At Level 10, Sims can write Biographies and Mentor Sims in writing.
The Book of Life
See full: Book of Life
The Bestselling Author Aspiration under the creativity category is an aspiration path made especially for writing books and becoming a famous author.
Once the Bestselling Author Aspiration is complete, Sims with a Level 10 writing skill can write The Book of Life. The author may bind a Sim's life to the book, which will allow them to be summoned or even brought back to life. If a Sim has bound the Book of Life to themselves, only other Sims who have completed the aspiration and have a Level 10 writing skill can resurrect the Sim. A Sim can become Very Focused if they read the book bound to themselves.
Starting a Book
Sims can start a book at any writing level, but specific genres aren't available until the writing skill increases. The full list of books Sims can create are:
- Science Fiction
- Short Story
Emotional Boosts and Genres:
These are the book genres that can be created only when a Sim author is experiencing a particular emotional state (unless the Sim has the Expressionistic trait from the Painter Aspiration):
- Motivation Book (only if Confident)
- Romance (only if Flirty)
- Playful Book (only if Playful)
- Sad Book (only if Sad)
- Workout Book (only if Energetic)
Authors can write books of varying quality levels, depending on the skill level and mood of the author. A completed book will be Normal, Good, Excellent, or Bestseller. If a Sim is experiencing a "Very" emotion (e.g Very Inspired), this will help increase the quality of the book of the appropriate genre being written.
Publishing a Book
There are three ways of publishing a Sim's book: Self-Publishing, Selling to Publisher and Submitting to Literary Digest. All of these methods of publishing are available through the mailbox, however, not all forms of publishing are available right away.
Self-Publishing: This is available at level 2. Self Publishing is the fastest and easiest way of publishing a book; however, it produces the lowest amount of royalties.
Selling to Publisher: This is available at level 5. Selling to a Publisher gives the Sim author a moderate amount of royalties. Selling to a Publisher will produce 50% more earnings than Self-Publishing.
Submitting to a Literary Digest: This is available at level 9. Submitting to a Literary Digest is only available once a week, but allows for the Sim author to gain a large amount of royalties. This option doubles the royalties you can get from selling to a publisher.
Royalties are earned at 10 AM every day for about 20 Sim days per book published. Royalty payments vary according to the quality of the book:
For a normal book, the Sim can earn approximately §10-50.
For a good book, the Sim can make approximately §50-100.
For an excellent book, the Sim can bring in approximately §100-300.
For a bestseller book, the Sim can collect approximately §200-800.
Sims can write multiple books of multiple varieties of quality and genre. Because publishing to a literary digest earns the most but is available only once a week, Sims can earn the most by reserving their bestseller quality books for literary digests and selling the rest to a publisher.
The more books the Sim writes the more royalties that the Sim author can rake in every day. If the Sim has made lots of excellent or bestseller books, this can become quite lucrative.
Other things to do
There are other things that Sims can do with the writing skill, such as writing a love email, in which Sims can send emails to a Sim they know (preferably a lover), which will increase the romantic relationship between the two Sims.
Sims who are in the journalist track of the writing career can write articles for cash. They will first need to interview other Sims by using the 'Interview for Story' or 'Interview About Life' social interaction. A Sim can also click on rubbish bins around town and select 'Rummage for Info.' The Sim should then sit at a computer and select 'Write Positive Article...' or 'Write Negative Article...' under the 'Write' menu. They will then choose the Sim about whom to write. A Sim who finishes an article with a level 10 writing skill will earn anywhere between §190 and §210. Writing a positive or negative article does not directly affect earnings, but it can slightly change the relationship with the Sim about whom it was written. It will take four or five Sim interviews to complete the daily writing task for the writing career's journalist track.