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Hey, all you writers out there. Are you looking for a fun site to help motivate you to write in this new year?

Look no further than 4thewords.com.

If you’ve looked around my blog, especially around NaNoWriMo, you’ve probably seen me mention 4thewords (4tw) before. I’ve been a member since 2015 when I found it as a NaNo sponsor. I used it off and on in 2016, but have been a dedicated, daily user since January 1, 2017.

If you’ve never seen those posts or want more info now, here you go:

What is 4thewords?

logo-4tw4thewords is a site that turns writing into a game. You are a Dust Warrior in Oge Mai valley, valiantly helping the residents of the valley discover the source of the sinister dust that is overtaking the land and turning people crazy.

Along the way, you’ll meet interesting characters, battle monsters both big and small and complete quests for loot and glory.

How does it work?

1528408171_xin4tw gamifies writing by challenging you to defeat monsters in a certain time limit. Monster health is determined by a set number of words needed to beat it. This divides writing up into manageable goals that can range from the smallest 50-word monsters to the mammoth 5,000-word Caravan. There’s a monster for everyone’s goals and writing styles.

rudakai_mdBut if that 5k monster terrifies you, don’t fret. You’ll earn gear as you progress through the game that affects one of three stats: attack, defense, and luck. The better your attack, the fewer words you need to defeat a monster. The better your defense, the more time you have to finish a battle. And luck… well it gets you better drops in some way. We’re not really sure how it works.

It’s as simple as that. Choose a monster, open a file and write until you win.

Need more motivation?

stempo_mdDon’t worry, 4tw has you covered with hundreds of quests across over a dozen different areas that unlock as you work your way through the story. Quests require you to battle a certain number of monsters, collect specific items or write a specific number of words (among other things). You’re rewarded with all sorts of stuff from other items, chests, wardrobe items and sometimes stempos (special time-bending artifacts that let you repair streaks).

untu27_mdOn top of that, we have a multitude of special events throughout the year that come with their own quests and monsters that either pop up across the valley or in their own special zone. The biggest three revolve around the NaNo events in April, July, and November which last an entire month. Besides those are week-long festivals like Winter Wonderland that just ended and Pride Week in May/June and other random little holidays that show up.

Need even more?

4tw also boasts an active forum where we discuss all sorts of writing-related topics, life in general and just silliness (like the recent snowball fight thread). There are writers of every level there to offer advice or an understanding ear to listen.

Full disclosure, I am a forum mod, so I’m pretty partial and protective of our little corner of the internet. I’ve watched this place build up from a few dozen people trying to figure out this game to the robust and colorful group of gabby introverts we are today. It’s a great place to hang out, learn something new about writing, or find help for your most pressing 4tw game questions.


There are also rewards for maintaining streaks which are determined by writing at least 444 words each day. Every few days you get a little something–usually an item–but on certain days you get a bigger reward. Every 100 days you get some c-crystals (represents real money, used to buy game subscriptions) and then there are the wings for your avatar. They pop up at 15, 30, 90, and each year you maintain your streak. They’re a great way to strut your stuff in the forums.


The fine print

wignow_mdSo, you’re interested now and probably wondering what’s the catch. There’s always on, huh?

Here’s the thing… 4tw is a pay to play site. Yeah, it costs money. But don’t despair yet. First, you get a 30-day free trial to test things out when you sign up. That comes with the full version of the game–all the same quests and monsters as paid subscribers.

After that, each month costs $4. That’s less than $50/year, and if you participate in NaNo in November, there’s a discount code. Also, you can pay month-to-month as you can/need to use the site.

And, if you really love us but can’t swing that $4/month, you can talk to the developers about help, add your name to a lottery of free months donated by other players, or just ask around the forums for a sponsorship from a veteran. We love to spread the love of 4tw.

But is it worth it?

avi_xmas19In my opinion, totally. There isn’t a day I’m not on this site. I mean it. I haven’t missed a day of writing since January 1, 2017. That’s three years, writing every day (okay, so it’s mostly in my journal, but it’s still writing something). And I’ve found more support and motivation on the site than anywhere else. My production was way up before I got sick and even then, I’m still writing every day.

If you do decide to sign up, even for just the free trial, use my referral code WVBIY23608 to get extra c-crystals (how we pay for subscriptions and cool wardrobe items for your forum avatar–that’s me right there).

But wait, there’s more!

Starting right now there’s a new year-long event going on that lets you explore even more of the valley, meet even more new monsters and comes with more quests every month.

And soon, we’ll be introducing houses. I don’t know what they’re going to be like, but we’ll get to build them up. There are already some new items that can be placed in them as rewards for the new Hunt quests.

The developers are always listening to our suggestions, making updates, adding content, and just making a fun place to write and hang out.

Really, you should at least check it out for your free 30 days. There’s so much to do and see in Oge Mai valley. You should come join us.


4 the words


I’m back to tell you about this great writing site called 4 the words.

With Camp NaNo upon us, anything that offers motivation and incentives is much needed. 4 the words is that place.

4twlogo-xs4tw (as we call it) is fun because it turns writing into a game. If you’re a fan of Habitica or role-playing games in general, this might be the site for you. See, it’s set up so you have a character–a Dust Warrior–and you must go on quests to fight monsters to advance in the game.


How does that relate to writing?



Well, each monster has a word goal and a time goal to beat it. Like the cute Wignow needs 250 words written in 30 minutes to beat it. In return, you get things like leaves and dust which are needed later to craft stuff you might need to battle other monsters or just need to collect for quests.

And there are lots of monsters of all sizes from the tiny Xin at 100 words in 20 minutes to the giant River Goddess at 5000 words in 72 hours. To help you along, you can collect gear for your character to affect three stats. Attack reduces the number of words you need to defeat a monster (1% per stat), Defense gives you more time to complete the batttle (.5% per stat), and Luck… does something–we don’t really know, but in theory it increases the drop rate of items.

4tw_play2There are currently nine zones to explore,  each with their own monsters (although there is some overlap) and quests. Quests are what get you motivated. They’re anything from keep a streak for a certain number of days or to collect certain numbers of items or to fight a certain number of monsters. There are main quests that move you along in the game (opening new zones) and side quests that sometimes offer fun items for your avatar.

There’s also a personal streak calendar that offers gifts for hitting milestones of daily writing which means hitting a 444-word goal on 4tw. And at the end of each year, you get a new set of spiffy angel wings. The site also tracks the number of words you’ve written on the site and the time you’ve spent writing and puts them into shiny graphs.

And if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, there’s a thriving and supportive community on the forums (full disclosure: I’m a moderator there).

If this sounds like the kind of site for you, now is the perfect time to check it out because a special event for Camp NaNoWriMo has just started (if they’ve gotten those pesky bugs worked out yet). Special events are a lot of fun because they offer a break from the main storyline of the game. There are three big events that correspond to NaNoWriMo events–the first of those being April Camp. There are also many mini-events (usually a week long).

The big special events offer a brand new zone with new monsters and quests that are only available during that event. So now’s the time to head over and check out our expedition that has just launched from the Base Camp.

I should mention that 4tw is a pay-to-use site, but you get a 30-day free trial to explore everything. Like I said, now’s a great time to check out the special event for free.

After that, the site is $4/month, which in my opinion, is well worth the cost.

corecrystal_sm-minIf you do decide to sign up (even for the free trial) use this referral code WVBIY23608 that way if you make a payment you get free c-crystals (our form of currency you use to buy subscription time and special clothes for your avatar) and so do I.

I really hope you try us out.

Now I must set off on an expedition to slay a few monsters and find the Guardian of the forest.

Get Your Words Out

If you’re like most writers, you made a New Year’s resolution to write more words. Or write more consistently. Or just write, period. Easier said than done. I know.

One way to keep you motivated and on track is Get Your Words Out at dreamwidth and livejournal.


GYWO challenges you to write a certain number of words in a year (or a certain number of days). There are different pledge levels from 75k to 500k. I personally pledged 350k this year after easily killing my 250k pledges the last two years.

There’s an active support group at dreamwidth if you need encouragement. You don’t need an account there to participate, you can log in using a wordpress blog through OpenID, and I’m sure many other sites.

The only requirement is to update your word count at the end of each month. It’s a simple form. That’s it.

Here’s the catch: You have to sign up and pledge by January 15 if you want to play. After that, you can’t join the fun. So, if you want in, you need to head over to the comm right now before it’s too late.

You get a nifty spreadsheet to record your progress if that helps.

If you do sign up, consider coming over to 4thewords to keep you on track. Fight monsters and go on quests to boost your word count. It’s a fun site with a great community behind it.*


If you decide to join up, use this referral code: WVBIY23608 so we can both get a bonus.

*full disclosure: I’m a forum mod so I might be biased. 😉

Writing a novel? Need some help?

editingjob I signed up at fiverr.com (because I’m a lemming and have to follow what everyone is doing on the internet) and have offered my services as an editor and cover designer. All for $5 each project. Crazy, huh?

So, maybe you are writing a novel. Or a short story. You want someone to look over it. Possibly you want a more in-depth critique with suggestions and honest comments to help develop your story to it’s possible perfection. And probably you are going to want some help with that. Then head over to Fiverr and check out my “gig” post.

Or, perhaps, you have a novel you want to publish on Amazon or some other ebook platform but you have no art for the cover. You could try to make something yourself but for $5 I could put something together for you with a photo of your choosing and some text like I did for Shona Lou.


$5 is a great price considering I charged her $20. And that’s really cheap.

I’m posting this as an advertisement for my services and also to get some clients over at fiverr. And maybe make a few bucks in the meantime.

If you’d rather not use fiverr, feel free to contact me about either service through wordpress. If you know anyone that can benefit from my services (I mean $5! Come on, you can’t beat that!) send them over to my gigs. If I could drum up a little business over there it will look better on my profile, if you know what I mean. Plus I enjoy doing both editing and design.


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