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Original Poster
#1 Old 7th Mar 2014 at 7:40 PM
The "Live-What-You-Write" Challenge
What if it took more than just hours of keyboard clicking for your Sims to become best-selling authors? Challenge yourself (and them) to gather material for their work by actually going out and having life experiences.

I came up with this idea because I enjoy playing writer Sims and have a great time thinking about what they're writing. When I choose their genres and title their books, I always think about the things my Sim has done, the people he/she knows, and the places he/she has visited. Shouldn't those things enrich my Sim's work?
In this challenge, your Sims will have to do things, meet people, and learn new skills in order to research their books. Only after going out and getting some great material will your Sims be allowed to sit down and start typing!

Set-Up and Basic Rules:
I recommend you use a fully developed and populated world for this challenge, preferably with a wide range of venues and lots. That said, you can choose whichever one strikes your fancy.

Sim Creation:
You can use any fresh, new-made Sim(s) for this challenge that you like, however:

(1) Your Sims must be young adults or older (because younger Sims will have trouble accomplishing many of the research tasks)

(2) Your Sims must be ordinary, mundane humans to start with.

(3) Your Sims must begin with no relationships, career levels, or skills.

They may have any traits that you desire. You may want to think about which genre each Sim is going to specialize in and give them traits accordingly. This page on the Sims Wiki ( ) is a good resource.

You can either make a single Sim for this challenge or you can create several aspiring writers who intend to share a house and make it a kind of writers' retreat. I suggest giving them quirky, colorful personalities that relate somehow to the genre you want them to write, but that's up to you.

In choosing or building a house, feel free to use money cheats in order to get it all nice-looking and functional, but I advise you not go overboard on the extra stuff and recreational objects.

Seasons and weather may be set however you like.

I suggest that you turn aging off, since the fun of this challenge is enjoying your Sims' experiences rather than stressing about a deadline, but you may do as you like.

Once your would-be writers are created and moved in, you're ready to go!

How to Play:
Choose a genre for each Sim. (You don't have to stick to the same one for the whole challenge, but I personally use this as a starting point for my Sims' personalities.) If your Sim hasn't unlocked the genre you want, you will have to either start with another one or "practice writing" until you are able to access it. Some genres have other prerequisites, too. Check the wiki page I linked to above for details about how to unlock each genre.

Before writing each of his/her books, your Sims will need to:

(1) Read one book, preferably in the genre you're going to write.

(2) Do at least one thing from their chosen genre's list (see below for the lists).

Once your Sim has accomplished these tasks, he or she can write one book. To write another, even in the same genre, your Sim will need to read another book and do another thing from the list.

That's all there is to it, but I have some suggestions to keep in mind as you play:

* Some of the list items are more interactive than others, and I recommend you choose those. Keep your eyes out for awesome/funny/interesting things that happen while your Sim is out gathering material and think about how that gets used in your Sim's book.

* When choosing book titles, it's sometimes fun to refer to something that happened during the research process. Go with it!

* If using more than one Sim for this challenge, it's awesome to make sure that they read each other's books and comment on them. We'll say they're critiquing each other's work.

* For bonus awesomeness, write a short paragraph for each of your Sim's books that describes what it's about and who the main characters are. Doing that really helps me stay invested, especially if I have my Sim write a series.

* You might be tempted to use the Writer profession for your Sims. While this is fine, be aware that some of the activities on the lists will require you to dabble in one of the other careers or professions. If you do that, you'll lose progress on the Writer career, of course, so you'll either have to abandon it or set it back manually using mods/cheats (such as Master Controller).

If your Sim manages to write 25 books, you will have the option to write a masterpiece. Think of your own awesome prerequisite experience for that book, have them do it, and get writing! When your Sim (or all of your Sims) have written a masterpiece, you've won! :-)

Using Mods, Objects, and Cheats:
This particular challenge isn't intended to be about struggling to survive and earning enough money, so feel free to use money cheats if you want to. Pretend that your writers have earned a grant so they can pursue writing without worrying about the bills. (Lucky bastards!)

Cheats that make writing easier, faster, fun, etc. would probably spoil this challenge. I say don't use them. Mods that make it harder or tweak how it works are up to your discretion.

Other mods, including ones that have nothing to do with writing, are allowed as you choose. Mods with multiple functions, like Master Controller and Story Progression, for example, are perfectly ok.

The Lists:
These are the lists of material-gathering activities for your Sims to do before they start a book. Choose one for each book. Some of them are obviously repeatable, but try to choose a bit of variety. If your writer works within multiple genres or his/her book would benefit from one of the ideas in a different genre, feel free to pull from the other lists as well.

(Example: Say you're writing a Children's book but you want it to be a fantasy for children. Feel free to find and befriend the Unicorn as one of your tasks even though it's not listed under Children's.)

Some of the items on the list require certain expansion packs or other content. If you don't have them, you can think of your own ideas or just use the ones that you're able to do with your version of the game.

If you think of another activity that would make sense for a particular genre, please post it here! If it works well, I'll add it to the lists. I haven't yet played with University Life, Showtime, or Into the Future, so there are probably some great possibilities from these expansions that I don't know about. Likewise, if you try any of these and they don't work out, let me know so I can change it. I haven't playtested every single one of these ideas.

Science Fiction:
01- Travel into the future (ITF style or using the inventor's time machine)
02- Tour the science facility in your town.
03- Learn (or improve) the Inventing skill.
04- Learn (or improve) the Mechanical skill.
05- Get abducted by aliens
06- Befriend an alien.
07- Use the chemistry set and discover a new potion.

01- Meet and befriend a supernatural Sim.
02- Get a magical pet (such as the Unicorn or Dragon from Dragon Valley)
03- Learn (or improve) the Alchemy skill.
04- Do some research in the Vault of Antiquity.
05- Get your fortune told.
06- Plan a fantasy-related outfit for your Sim (like a cosplay). Have him/her wear it around.
07- Become a supernatural.

01- Woohoo in a place your Sim has never done it before.
02- Woohoo with someone new.
03- Spend an evening at a nightclub or bar. Flirt with at least 3 Sims.
04- Plan a new, sexy outfit for your Sim or have him/her give a sexy makeover to someone.
05- Throw a wild house party and try to convince your guests to hook up with each other.
06- Learn (or improve) the sculpting skill to study the human form in detail.
07- Learn (or improve) the mixology skill.

01- Fall in love (become romantic interests with someone).
02- Go on a long, romantic date. If that doesn't work, go on three short, terrible dates! :P
03- If you have a romantic rival, get into a fight with him/her.
04- Learn your sweetheart's favorite food and cook it for him/her.
05- Break up with (one of) your romantic interest(s). It wasn't true love after all.
06- Find an ugly or awkward Sim in your town and try to help him/her find love.
07- Take 5 photographs of couples together. Just don't be creepy about it!

01- Spend a day (or even whole week!) working at the school or running a daycare.
02- Teach a neighbor's toddler one of his/her skills or read a book with the kid.
03- Go to a seasonal festival and do as many activities as you can. Eat junk food!
04- Play in the snow. Make snowmen, do snow angels, have a snowball fight.
05- Get a pet. Kids love stories about animals (talking or otherwise).
06- Throw a birthday party for your neighbor's kid. Decorate the place, buy a cake, put on music, etc. Invite all his/her little friends (and the parents, of course! Don't be a creeper.)
07- Improve your painting skill or learn a musical instrument.

01- Spend a day in a Zen Garden or a beautiful park. Meditate, relax, or take photos.
02- Collect flowers, rocks/gems, or seashells.
03- Paint or photograph an inspiring scene.
04- Learn (or improve) your skill with a musical instrument.
05- Attend a symphony or concert.
06- Spend the day in the art museum viewing stuff.
07- Contemplate nature by stargazing, going deep sea diving, or camping out for a night.

01- Spend a day (or a whole week!) in the Investigator, Criminal, or Police career.
02- Befriend a Sim who works in the Investigator, Criminal, or Police career.
03- Learn (or improve) the Logic skill.
04- Study and profile one of your neighbors: learn his traits, go through his trash, chat with his family/friends, and tour his house. Let's pretend you're doing this with his knowledge and permission, ok?
05- Practice searching for clues and tracks by hunting for and collecting small pets. Alternatively, teach a pet to hunt instead.
06- Fully explore a WA tomb or fully assemble a relic from found pieces.
07- Meet and chat with at least 3 ghosts. Get details for your murder mysteries by asking the ghosts how they died.

01- Meet the Grim Reaper. How you accomplish this is your own business. An idea that seems particularly appealing is to get a hold of a death flower and then have your Sim do something fatal. Nearly dying and getting to meet the Grim Reaper in one go would be some great experience for a horror novel!
02- Explore the mausoleum at the cemetery, go through the haunted house at the Fall Festival, and/or go on an underground adventure (in the hole made by the Inventing table's miner).
03- Spend the night in the cemetery or in a WA tomb.
04- Befriend (or make an enemy of) a supernatural Sim such as a vampire or ghost.
05- Spend a day (or a whole week!) in the Ghost Hunter profession.
06- Design a truly terrifying costume for yourself or someone else.
07- Have your Sim face (and overcome, hopefully) one of his/her fears or do something really scary, such as putting out a fire, staying locked in a closet for a day, or picking a fight with a werewolf.

01- Learn (or improve) the Charisma skill.
02- Spend a day (or a whole week) working at the Hospital (medical drama) or City Hall(courtroom drama) to get an insider's perspective. Choose a different career if it makes more sense for your Sim's writing.
03- Make a new friend or start a new romantic relationship.
04- Make a new enemy or get into a huge fight with someone.
05- Spend a day in the cemetery and practice mourning and wailing.
06- Throw a party (whatever kind you like) and convince at least 3 different Sims to take actions with each other. Try to stir up some drama and emotion!
07- Make a study of human emotion by capturing one photograph each of a Sim feeling: (1) Sad, (2) Happy/excited, (3) Angry, (4) Romantic, and (5) Scared.

01- Attend a sporting event.
02- Learn (or increase) the Athletics or Fishing skill.
03- Befriend an athlete.
04- Play catch or do an athletic activity with at least 3 other Sims.

01- Try something new that your Sim will probably fail hilariously at. For example, try ice skating for the first time, jump on a treadmill with no Athletic points, mess with the Chemistry set until they get singed, etc.
02- Tell a joke to 20 different Sims.
03- Get three screen captures or photographs of a Sim doing something crazy and/or ridiculous. Examples: A Sim that's dressed horribly or inappropriately for their surroundings, a Sim fishing in a swimming pool, a streaking or skinny dipping Sim, etc.
04- Throw a costume party and make it super wacky. Watch the antics of your guests.
05- Decorate your Sim's bedroom or another room of the house in an awesomely bad way. Alternatively, give one of your Sim's friends/roommates a terrible makeover.
06- Use a potion or elixir on another Sim (or your own Sim) to achieve comedy gold. Toad Sims come to mind. Bonus points if you pick the most stuffy, uptight, serious Sim in town for your prank.
07- Since comedy and tragedy are deeply connected, choose something from the Horror genre list for your Sim to experience. See if your Sim can turn a terrible experience into something hilarious.

* Choose something from the list that corresponds to the genre your Sim is satirizing.

01- Make a new friend or enemy. Choose Sims that are very different from yours if possible.
02- Travel to a new place and experience the local cuisine and culture.
03- Get a new pet and become friends with him/her.
04- Learn a new skill. Get the first three points, for example.
05- Try a new career or profession for a day (or a week).
06- Attend a symphony, concert, movie or sporting event.
07- Tour three of the rabbitholes in town.

01- Meet and chat with one Sim from at least three generations of one family (such as the grandfather, father, and son of a single family).
02- Travel to the past in the Inventing table's time machine.
03- Befriend an elder Sim, a long-lived supernatural, or a ghost from an earlier time.
04- Travel to and fully explore a tomb or cultural site in one of the WA worlds. Alternatively, collect a relic from each of the three WA worlds.
05- Tour City Hall and also go to the cemetery. Read all the tombstones there.

Get Playing!
Please take a moment to let me know what you think of the challenge and give me any suggestions you might have. I really hope you find it interesting and are willing to give it a try. I'm in the process right now of putting together some screenshots of my game, and it would be great to see yours as well!
Mad Poster
#2 Old 7th Mar 2014 at 8:41 PM
I am sorely, sorely tempted to use my perverted fetish writer for this challenge.
Field Researcher
#3 Old 7th Mar 2014 at 9:40 PM
That sounds like a fun idea for a challenge, but only having to do one of each research list seems a bit easy.
Mad Poster
#4 Old 7th Mar 2014 at 11:08 PM
Oh, I just remembered! With Uni you can draw people nude or pose nude in one of the uni rabbitholes yourself OP. Sounds like it might be something good to try with the "anatomical studies" trashy authors are required to do?
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 7th Mar 2014 at 11:41 PM Last edited by M-hzer : 8th Mar 2014 at 5:36 AM.
With ITF, your Sim can now learn Advanced Technology, which is about things from the future. I think it would fit in to the Science Fiction menu. Ditto for the Plumbot construction (?) skill.
Top Secret Researcher
#6 Old 8th Mar 2014 at 12:49 AM
Can we make this challenge mandatory in real life?
Forum Resident
Original Poster
#7 Old 8th Mar 2014 at 7:07 AM
@ BL00DIEDHELL: That sounds awesome. You should definitely do that! The nude drawings is a good idea, too. I'll have to look into that and add it in. Thanks!

@ Grumpo Marx: I thought so at first, too, but I've decided to do a house of four writers for my personal version of the challenge. Four of them doing this at the same time, plus each of them needing 25 books... it seemed like a lot of work to me. If you were doing only one writer Sim, I'd recommend doing more than one activity, especially if you chose some of the easier/shorter ones.

@ M-hzer: Thanks for the input. I'll try to work that in when I get a chance to update the lists.

@ hugbug993: Would be nice, wouldn't it? Actually, though, I'd do all kinds of stuff like this if I was given a huge grant and a bunch of free time to write, too. Damn Sims have it too easy!

I've already made my four Sims for this challenge and I'm going to be posting some pictures within the next few days. If anyone decides to give this a try, please stop back in and let me know how it's going.
Mad Poster
#8 Old 8th Mar 2014 at 11:44 AM
I'm going to put my post in a spoiler. It's not exactly NSFW as far as tits and genitals are concerned, but there's a gratuitous amount of Sim butt, so yeah. Heads up.

Lab Assistant
#9 Old 8th Mar 2014 at 12:26 PM
Also, a genre called "Comic" is added in UL, which also requires Painting and Street Art skills. It could be same as Satire I think.
Forum Resident
Original Poster
#10 Old 9th Mar 2014 at 6:36 AM
BL00DIEDHELL, thank you SO MUCH for that!

Seriously, though. I just came home from a stressful and infuriating experience at work, and you have no idea how much I needed a laugh!

With your short attention span, I'm not surprised you just bombed through the whole list in a single go, but I'm thrilled to death you took the time to do it!

Also, thanks again, M-hzer. I wasn't sure what to do for the Comic genre, but you hit the nail on the head. Perfect!
Mad Poster
#11 Old 9th Mar 2014 at 6:59 AM
I will admit I haven't made him return to finish the book yet, but I definitely plan to and will post how much of a colossal flop it was. :P

Glad to hear Jayron's perverted silliness made you laugh! :3
Forum Resident
Original Poster
#12 Old 10th Mar 2014 at 7:18 PM
Ok, so I work some long hours on the weekends and I haven't had much time for playing, but I wanted to at least post an intro to one of my four Sim writers that I'm going to be using for this challenge.

This is Mitch:

Mitch lives alone in a drab, outdated house that was mostly furnished by his late mother. His main pastimes are checking the sink faucet, staring forlornly out the windows, and glancing with fear and suspicion at what could only be the Sims 3 camera.

His elderly mother recently passed away, leaving Mitch's empty life even emptier. Beyond going to his dead-end job, he rarely leaves the house anymore, instead choosing to watch tv and nurse his ever-growing bundle of phobias and worries. The most adventurous thing he's done in years is change the color of the kitchen drapes (Taupe instead of beige? Do I dare?), but now his eye lands on something in the newspaper...

And suddenly, Mitch wonders if all his fears are just horror novels waiting to be born. Maybe, just maybe, if he learned how to wear out his imagination on the page, it wouldn't plague him so much at night. Yes, he decides, he'll do it! He'll make a change for once! All he has to do now is travel to Moonlight Falls and face a bunch of new people. You can manage that, can't you Mitch?

Anyway, hope you guys liked it. I have three others who are going to be joining him in the writer's retreat house, and I think things are going to be getting pretty interesting.

Does anyone know if it's generally ok to post this kind of stuff here in the challenge thread, or if I should find somewhere else to post it? If so, any suggestions?
Mad Poster
#13 Old 10th Mar 2014 at 8:24 PM
Holy shit Best Leopard, his expression in that last picture!

Anyway, last night I finished Jayron's novel, Double Dipping. I should explain now that he wrote this as a thank you to an old co-worker. Said co-worker has had medical training which turned out to be of the utmost importance when on two separate occasions, Jayron got overly large sex toys lodged inside him, and then he turned to the nearest medic. So of course, the best thank you is to be immortalised in a creepy sex novel written by a really fucking stupid pervert. The co-worker is the male lead, a young alien man named Jareth. It details his exploits in trying to catch the woman of his dreams, Cadenza, named after another real person Jayron has met before. The hook for the "story" is Cadenza's discovery that Jareth's anatomy is quite different to that of a human, or for that matter any other humanoid race, such as vampires, werewolves etc.

Jareth has two penises.

Boy, I didn't see that coming.
Forum Resident
Original Poster
#14 Old 11th Mar 2014 at 7:26 PM
Mitch makes awesomely bad faces like that all the time. :D

Poor Jayron, writing a flop! Can't say I didn't see it coming, though. Hopefully, I'll be able to update some more tomorrow and intro the rest of my characters.

Anyone else that's lurking here, please feel free to emerge! I'd love to at least hear your thoughts on the challenge, even if you don't plan to play it.
Test Subject
#15 Old 23rd Mar 2014 at 12:42 AM
Cool challenge, I think I'll try it. Thanks!

If you can't take the heat, choose the water type starter.
Test Subject
#16 Old 27th Apr 2014 at 8:36 AM
Oh, this is such a promising challenge. I think I really have to try this! Thanks for the ideas
I'll have to print off the lists, though. I'm terrible with remembering stuff ^^
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 30th Apr 2014 at 9:25 AM
This is great! Thank you for this awesome challenge I was getting a little bored with my author sim, but this is really going to spice things up (especially if she writes a trashy novel)
Test Subject
#18 Old 1st May 2014 at 10:18 PM
Wow I might try this challenge
Test Subject
#19 Old 7th Jul 2014 at 4:06 PM
This looks like an awesome challenge, I must try it
Test Subject
#20 Old 8th Jul 2014 at 12:49 AM
And the gods said to me, "Hey since you can't seem to write shit yourself, why don't you make a sim that is successful and does things to enrich his/her life..."

Yes, yes I shall! This looks AMAZING! And I have to say I am very much in love with this idea!!!
#21 Old 8th Jul 2014 at 10:46 AM
This seems cool
Field Researcher
#22 Old 11th Jul 2014 at 3:02 PM
Originally Posted by Best_Leopard
What if it took more than just hours of keyboard clicking for your Sims to become best-selling authors? Challenge yourself (and them) to gather material for their work by actually going out and having life experiences.

This seems really neat! I had my sim write 'travel journals' of her trip abroad- but that's sadly not a writing category. I think I aligned it with history and adventure (no wait, it was non fiction!).

It was a lot of fun. I like the new rules, great job of it!

Bread edges.... are the new white meat.
READ the Sparrows Random Legacy Challenge Blog
READ the Sparrows WISHACY Challenge Blog
WATCH the Test of Time Challenge Let's Play! Videos
Test Subject
#23 Old 15th Jul 2014 at 7:10 PM
Hi, I've recently started your challenge, with sort of a twist. I'm having one Sim go through all of the genres, and each genre will have its own chapter. If you wanna check it out, the first part is up and can be found here.
Lab Assistant
#24 Old 1st Jun 2021 at 12:23 AM
Ever since I first saw this back in 2014, I do this with all of my writer sims. This isn't on the scales of a Legacy challenge, or anything like that, but it has made my writer sims so fun to play.
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