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?
4thewords 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?
4tw 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.
But 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?
Don’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).
On 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
So, 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?
In 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.