I was wondering about what to write and had a few ideas, but this being (mostly) a blog about writing, books, writers (with other fancies in the mix, like film reviews, comments about family history, fitness regimes, mindfulness…), I thought and invitation to visit Wattpad wouldn’t be amiss. I suspect most of you must know this site by now. According to Wikipedia:
‘Wattpad is an online community themed around writing and story-telling.’ The site brings together readers and writers, and it is free for both. Wattpad is based in Toronto, and was born in 2006 of collaboration between Allen Lau and Ivan Yuen. They have received funding, have included classics from Project Gutenberg, have been accused of turning a blind eye to piracy, have introduced awards, have created Apps…
According to Wikipedia, 5 out of 10 users are in the US although its use is widespread.
I was introduced to it by writer Frank Spoiler, who is quite fond of the site (so it’s evidently used in Spain too) and was intrigued.
How do writers use it?
That varies. As far as I can gather from the site, some people seem to exclusively publish their work in Wattpad. Some people publish snippets of their work, a couple of chapters, or shorter fiction (short stories) to get people interested in their writing. Some authors publish complete works, but in instalments, like Charles Dickens and many other Victorian novelists used to do. They use Wattpad as a way of testing their work, gathering reactions, comments. It also can serve as a prompt to carry on writing, especially if you get many comments and people tell you they’re waiting for the next chapter. Frank, for example, published his latest novel, ‘Soy un asesino…sin serie’ (I’m an assassin…without a series’) by instalments in Wattpad, receiving many positive comments. Now the book has been published in Amazon and as a result is no longer available in Wattpad. (Sorry, at the moment his novel is not available in English.)If you’re a writer you can send messages to all your followers. You can also dedicate a chapter or a whole book to somebody. You can also suggest the cast for your story, the actors who could play the parts, and you can also add pictures and videos (there is plenty of fan-fiction.) There are also contests and groups, but I haven’t had much time to investigate those.
If you are a reader, you can follow people’s work and then you get notified when they publish something new. Apart from leaving comments in people’s work and voting for it if you like it, you can also send direct messages to people there. As a reader I have discovered very interesting people there, although must admit I find quite difficult sometimes the reading in instalments, as in many occasions I discover somebody half-way through a book or a story and struggle to find time to go back to the beginning. But hey, I enjoy it nonetheless. And the variety of stuff you can find there is mindboggling. You can join groups to fit your specific reading interests and there are groups for artist who like to create covers and get experience trying new things.
What has my experience been like? Well, not sure. I’m still not very familiar with the site, and realised that if you’re doing a series of a whole book you should add parts rather than publishing them independently (that is what I started doing with a book I wrote many years back. Now I have gone back and republished it linking it all together, but that results in numbers of readers for the individual chapters disappearing. I still don’t know why many more people read chapter 2 than any other chapters). As I was taking quite long translating my latest book (now published) to Spanish, I decided to get people a bit more interested by publishing the first story complete in Wattpad, in Spanish. I started with the idea of publishing only the beginning of the three stories, but people seemed intrigued and felt it was only fair. In case you read Spanish, I leave you the link at the end of the post. I mostly get comments from people I know, but I have the odd comment by people I don’t.
Now I’m writing the second book on a series of Young Adult books I’m working on, ‘Angelic Business’. I have started publishing the first book in the series, already finished, called ‘Pink Matters’ (the main protagonist is a girl called Petra but she prefers to be called Pink… and if you want to know anything else, go and read it!), as a way of keeping me going with the writing, and to give me an opportunity to see what the reaction is like. So far, there are some stars and readers, but no comments…We’ll see. Just in case you fancy having a look, here it is:
Link to Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters in Wattpad
And if you read Spanish, enlace a la primera historia de ‘Una vez psiquiatra…’ ‘Carne de cañón’
Thanks for reading, and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, please like, share, comment and CLICK!
The image of the draft cover of Pink Matter is courtesy of farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I leave you a link to a very interesting article I found on serialised writing (it does mention Wattpad):