Author Life · Creativity · Planning · Reviews · Tips and Tricks

4TheWords: Most awesome writing productivity tool EVER!!!

After my last post on productivity for people who are easily distracted, I kind of want to share another really cool tool that I’ve been using for a couple of months now. People who love to gamify their lives, for example by using Habitica (link goes to their website, I may write a review for it at some point), will probably love the hell out of this game!

It’s got 1 yes, one single, goal! To make you write more! (I’m actually going to put the words from this blog post into the website later so I get credited for writing them.)

The website is called 4TheWords and it’s set up like an RPG where you defeat monsters by writing words and you start a writing streak that gets you really cool items ever so many days.

You get to play free for 30 days and after that you can buy crystals to buy subscriptions (1, 3 or 6 months), enough crystals for 1 month of play time is $4. Of course, bigger bundles of crystals and longer subscriptions brings that charge down, but that’s your base price for playing.

If you use the NGDYM06189 referral code, which is my referral code, and you actually subscribe to the game, I get 44 crystals and you get 20 crystals. Combine that with the 4 crystals that you get from finishing one of the starter quests and you’re more than halfway on your way to the next month.

Onwards.

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I’ve been playing since March. The first couple of days I didn’t do too well, but since then… I’ve been streaking each day. That’s what it’s called, keeping your streak. 4TheWords counts a day written as 444 words. That’s 162,060 words in a single year. Or basically 3 full length novels (or 1.5 fantasy novels…).

I’m on day 115 of my streak today. That’s literally the longest I’ve written every day. I’ve not skipped days, even on holiday and things like that. I make sure I get my 444 words in a day. It’s amazing what gamification can do, especially when you get prices and cool stuff when you keep going.

It’s kind of magical.

I love it and it’s great. Without 4TheWords my latest serial Second Chance Mates would not have been possible, I wouldn’t have been able to publish a new episode every two weeks without it.

Enough gushing, let’s get into some of the ways that 4TW works and how you can start using it too!

playscreen

 

Let’s start with the play screen.

I’m actually in a special zone at the moment that they created for the 2017 July CampNaNoWriMo called Uurwall. CampNaNoWriMo is an event connected to the real NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where the goal is to write 50,000 words in a single month, regular NaNoWriMo is in November. CampNaNoWriMo actually allows you to set your own wordcounts and takes place in April and July. Back to the game.

On the left is your basic gear and other things that you’ll want to know as a gamer. At the top is the Inventory (which you can click on and it will bring you to the Inventory screen) and next to it your coins, crystals and C-Crystals (or, Core-Crystals, these you buy with money). Below that, on the left are your Attack, your Defense and your Luck and on the right of it the items you have currently equiped. On the right is the Quest area.

Inventory

Here is the inventory screen.

In the top left your stats again. You get higher stats by equiping gear and after a while also by having a travel buddy (Suwö in my case).

1 point in Attack increases your damage by 1%, or in other words, for every 100 words you write, you do 101 damage to a creature instead of just 100.

1 point in Defense increases the time you get to defeat a creature by 0.5%. So, if a creature has 1440 minutes to be defeated, you get 1512 minutes instead, so 72 extra minutes.

Luck works a little different. Any points in luck gives you extra chance to get better items, it’s pretty straight forward but doesn’t immediately influence your create defeating, just your luck on their drops.

quests

Quest screen!

Every zone has their own quests to complete. These are usually a combination of straight out “write X amount of days”, “write X amount of words”, “Gather X items” (mostly from drops) and “Defeat X number of Y creature”. They’re fun and you can focus on defeating certain creatures over others based on the quests you try to complete first.

Now, to actually get to the creature defeating part!!

topbar

In the top bar, you have a couple of buttons. On the right, you get a quick view of your words written and your currencies, the arrow next to the portrait opens a menu to get to interesting but not per-se important places.

So, I’ve shown you the “Play” screen. Below what I showed, is at the moment, this, my active battle:

activebattle.PNG

Which is why I can’t show you any creatures just yet as I haven’t defeated her yet. But, clicking on “Write” there, or on “write” in the top bar, gets you to the main Write screen, an area where you collect all your different files.

WriteView

They’re divided into Projects (which is a main folder with subfolders that collects your files) or just your Unassigned files.

Projectview

This is the project view. I have a “General Stuff” section at the top, and underneath that are all the episodes of Second Chance Mates, sorted by episode and then with files for each chapter.

We there yet? Yep, we’re there!

Click on a green plus in this screen or the “create new file” under “Unassigned files” and you get to the actual writing screen.

newfile

Add a title, and you’re ready to go! Start typing! It really is as easy as that!

battleview

If you’re battling a creature, as I am at the moment, you can switch to that view instead and see your words add up in the bar until it fills it and you’ve defeated the creature.

And I’m stopping here for a moment because I need to go home before a thunderstorm hits, also, I gotta add these words to the game so I hopefully defeat the Tremella so I can show you some cool creatures!

Actually, almost!

progress

Seeing those words add up, it’s so addictive! It’s so great to watch and to try to do that within the time that you get. For Tremella this is 2000 words in 1440 minutes, which comes to 2000 words in 24 hours (plus, in my case extra because of my gear). Just seeing that progress bar fill up, it’s exciting and can be kind of scary.

WIN

That’s actually quite a lot of great loot, though I’d hoped on a drop of two of the blue acorns instead of just one, but a chest is always awesome. Chests are basically crates you can open through the Bazaar in any zone and then by clicking on the locksmith. It takes a few coins and some of the purple crystals, but I generally get more out of a chest then I have to pay to open a chest. I think out of about 20 chests opened maybe once or twice I didn’t get more coins and purple crystals back then I paid for them, plus, of course, all sorts of extra loot.

So, let’s look at some creatures then. This is one of the parts that I love most! Creatures are so cute and adorable! Below are the creatures from Uurwall. These aren’t always the same as some differ per time of the day (Lupo mostly only shows up in the evenings) and some creatures switch out on a day by day base (Tremella shows up today for me, but wasn’t there yesterday).

Just look at them! So cute! So, some of them are based on famous authors, they’re pretty obvious, and some are just more part of the creepy castle vibe. Look at that adorable Lupo! Or the awesome Snowfell, pretty obvious who he’s based on! This event only runs for the month of July, so it’ll be over soon. But one thing I do want to mention here, some of those wordcounts are pretty insane. This is on purpose. To finish NaNoWriMo, the 50,000 words in 30 days, you need 1667 words per day. So the 2000 words creatures and such are basically giving you a buffer to write (and, with attack in your gear, you may actually write 1667 words but still complete a 2000 word creature). Most of the bigger creatures also have longer times that you can complete them. As I said before 1440 minutes is literally 24 hours. So 1667 words per 24 hours is exactly what you need to finish NaNoWriMo on time. Of course, during CampNaNo you can set your own wordcount, but most people still choose 50,000 words.

In a little less scary way, these are the creatures from your very first zone, Luciola Forest:

The Reenu with it’s 200 words in 30 minutes is a nice day starter and 2 or 3 of these should get you your daily streak or the Pesters with its 500 words in 50 minutes, which can be a little more difficult, but will generally get you your daily streak.

You can also see that you sometimes have to get certain items (from defeating other creatures) to be able to play a bigger creature. This isn’t the case when you do one of the special events like the Uurwall, but this is generally for the bigger creatures in each zone. Bigger creatures also gets you better loot, plus you often need to defeat X amount of them for a zone quest.

Is this game perfect?

No. It’s really awesome and I love it, but it isn’t perfect.

One of the main reasons is that there is no export button, you have to copy the text over from the file to your own things, but I can’t just copy over my text from 4TW to Scrivener because of the way the text is formatted in 4TW, If I copy over directly it will add extra returns between paragraphs and it will keep the straight quotes instead of using the curly quotes. There is a quick way to get around this though:

– copy words from 4TW file
– paste into Word as “Paste -> Merge Formatting” (this takes out all the extra lines that somehow end up in the text)
– CTRL + H (Search and Replace) for both ” and ‘ (so search ” replace ” and search ‘ replace ‘, to get all the smart quotes in)
– copy from Word
– Paste in Scrivener (I use paste and match style since I use a certain styling) you can probably paste this anywhere you want.

It really only takes you a few moments and a few clicks, but it’s not perfect. I don’t stop using 4TW over this though, those timers and those creatures really keep me writing!

Do you have to write in 4TW? Nope. You can just write in any program that you want and then copy it over into 4TW later (don’t forget to choose a creature first!). You can even use a Lorum Ipsum generator and copy the number of words from there. I tend to do this when I’ve edited in Scrivener, I calculate the words my file is now longer and then use Lorum Ipsum to basically add those words to 4TW (those files are listed per day and collected in the Dummy File Project).

What happens if you miss a day? Well, there are two things you can do, both require Stempos. A stempo costs 10 Core-Crystals (so the blue ones that you pay for). If you know ahead of time that you’ll be missing your daily streak, you can pay 1 Stempo and your streak will stay intact until the next day, you can even do this up to 15 days into the future. OR, you can pay retroactively, in which case you pay 2 Stempos per day, if you missed a day yesterday, you can regain it by paying 2 Stempos. If you do this often? It’s gonna cost, but at the same time, not having to pay for Stempos is a great way to keep that streak going!

Do I love this? Hell Yes!

It’s imperfect but it’s cute, which is always a plus for me, it keeps me writing, it definitely keeps me coming back to check out what’s going on. If you look at that wordcount, it’s amazing. I’m on a 115 day streak because of 4TW, I’ve never done that before. I generally don’t even write each and every day when I do NaNoWriMo, and that’s just 30 days.

If you’re an author, if you write a lot for your work or just want to get into the habit of writing (even blog posts like this). Definitely check it out!

Again:

Website: 4TheWords

If you use the NGDYM06189 referral code, which is my referral code, and you actually subscribe to the game, I get 44 crystals and you get 20 crystals. Combine that with the 4 crystals that you get from finishing one of the starter quests and you’re more than halfway on your way to the next month.

Price: $4 per month, less if you buy bigger crystal bundles or longer subscriptions.

My Rating: AWESOME!!

Best for: anyone who wants to get into the daily habit of writing either as a hobby or professionally.

 

Do you have any questions or comments? Drop them below!

Happy Writing!

Love,

Rosa

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4 thoughts on “4TheWords: Most awesome writing productivity tool EVER!!!

  1. I follow you on FB but also found 4TW on a writing fb group, but yours was the guide I read LOL I’ve netted 15k in a week since joining…and I’ve been averaging 15k a /month/ and I’m about to finish my first novel since 2016. So pumped 😀 Definitely loving it.

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  2. Thanks for this review! You left a comment on one of my FB posts in a NaNoWriMo group and I just finally got around to reading this whole thing and am pretty impressed! I’m definitely going to check this out later today and see how I like it. ❤

    Like

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