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4 The Words and NaNoWriMo

NaNo-2017-Participant-Badge (1)It’s here! NaNoWriMo starts in less than two days. Thirty-eight hours! I’m so not ready.

NaNo is a huge undertaking. 50k words in 30 days? It can be done. If you’re looking for a boost to your daily word count or boost your motivation, check out 4 the Words.

4twlogo-xsI’ve written about it before. 4TW is a writing site that’s been “gamified.” A sort of RPG for writers. You create your avatar, fight monsters, and go on quests. The monsters differ in word count and time limit needed to defeat them. There is something for everyone. Some monsters are really short–Frizi are 150 words in ten minutes. Some are long–Tambo are 2000 words in 340 minutes. How difficult a monster is to beat depends on your writing style.

wignow_mdFighting monsters isn’t the only motivation. There are also dozens of quests to go on as you advance through the storyline (and there is a story). The best part is with NaNo comes a special zone that is only available in November. It’s full of new monsters and quests that get you special rewards in-game and for your avatar.

On top of all of the fun that will get you looking forward to writing your 1,667 words each day, there is a forum filled with amazing writers that cheer each other on and answer questions.

There is a 30-day free trial which is perfect for NaNo (I suggest waiting until the 1st to sign up). After that, it costs $4/month. Trust me, it’s well worth the cost. Luckily, there’s a discount code for NaNo participants (see your sponsor offers). And there’s an even bigger discount for winners.

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I’m telling you, this site is amazing. I’ve written more this year than any year in the past.

And I haven’t missed a single day. I have never in my life had a streak that long.

If you decide to sign up, use this referral code: WVBIY23608. There’s free core-crystals (that’s currency on the site) in it for both of us.

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Tools of the Trade: 4thewords.com

As an author, I’m always looking for things–programs, websites, apps–that make writing easier or more enjoyable.

4twlogo-xsI discovered 4thewords.com in October 2015. It was listed as a sponsor for NaNoWriMo. I checked it out and was intrigued, although, I promptly forgot about it. It wasn’t until March 2016 that I truly saw the genius of the site. I wrote 125,000 words that month.

There are a lot of sites out there that offer a place to write and store your words. They might even give you incentives like monthly challenges or have pretty graphs (750words.com is one of them). So what makes 4thewords special?

4tw_playIt’s all in the packaging. And this site is wrapped up in a role-playing game complete with avatars, monsters to fight, and quests to finish. If you like RPGs, I probably have your attention now. For those that don’t get the appeal, you should still check out the site because the graphics are adorable and the quests are amazing motivation.

See, your writing isn’t just words on the screen. It is a weapon to be wielded against a menagerie of monsters. You start in Luciola Forest and have to complete quests to get out. Quests are completed by fighting certain monsters that drop items.

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Wignow of Mama Tree

The monsters are beaten by writing a certain number of words within a time limit. Like a Wignow needs 250 words in 30 minutes to beat him. A Rudakai needs 1,700 words, but you have 340 minutes (around 5.5 hours). The harder the monster, the better the drops.

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Rudakai of Luciola Forest

 

 

 

 

Eventually you fight your way out of Luciola Forest to move on to Mama Tree. And there actually is a storyline to follow. Something about dust infecting the forest, and I honestly wasn’t paying attention because I wanted to get to the next quest. But there is a story.

Along the way, you collect armor and weapons that affect your three stats. The higher your Attack stat, the fewer words you actually need to type to win. The higher your Defense stat, the more time you get to finish the battle. And the higher your Luck stat, the more items the monster drops.

There’s a lot more going on with stores, banks, crafting, and locksmiths. There’s also leaderboards and a great forum with a lot of fun, supportive player-writers (and I’m not saying that because I’m a moderator).

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Untu pirate

Right now we have a Camp NaNoWriMo event going on–an Untu hunt. There’s a special zone with monsters that only come out during NaNo. They have their own quests that earn you special prizes.

All of this may sound ridiculous to some of you, but I am here to tell you that it works. The graphics are adorable and suck you right in. The word count goals for each monster make it feel as if you accomplished something concrete when you defeat a monster. The quests keep you wanting to fight more. And more battles means more words.

For me, the leaderboards have been a huge source of motivation. Staying on the “battle” board for most wins, keeps me fighting one more monster. And keeping my streak going, has me coming back every day. Just this year, I’ve written 125k words and haven’t missed a single day.

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Core Crystal

The only caveat is that the site cost money. You get a 30 day free trial, and then you have to pay $4/month. Honestly, the site is well worth the money. And if you won NaNoWriMo in November, there’s a code in your winner’s goodies to get a 60% discount.

If you do decide to sign up, use this referral code: WVBIY23608. When you eventually buy your first month subscription (because you will want to), you’ll get an extra 20 Core Crystals which are used to pay for subscriptions and a few in-game items. A month’s subscription is 44 Core Crystals which cost $4 (US). Oh, and I’ll get some Core Crystals as well (which I appreciate).

At the least, it’s worth checking out with your free trial. Battle a few monsters, finish a few quests, and visit the forums where I’ll be hanging out. I’m justanotherjen there.

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I hope to see you soon. And happy hunting.

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