Shining a Light on Wattpad!
Wattpad is an online writing community and social media platform. It has over 75 million stories, and 35 million users – many of whom are teens. It is a global writing group for writers of all levels to share and chat about their work. Users are encouraged to comment and vote on each other’s stories. The right feedback can improve your work. Great, well written stories generate a lot of votes and become more visible due to Wattpad’s ranking scale. It can be an excellent way to develop a fan base and it’s fun.
This is Part Two of my interview with Hannah M. King, author of: The Dorston Fall.
Here Hannah gives us her tips for using Wattpad
Wattpad has helped me overcome my fears of sharing my stories. The idea of thousands of people reading them, and potentially hating them, has always terrified me. But that’s not the case anymore. Over the past two years, I have found people who actually read and love my stories, people who encourage me, who ask me for quick updates, because they are impatient to know what happens next. It is because of them that I have the confidence and the motivation to keep writing.
A drawback I have found is that you often don’t get the feedback you need. Most writers on Wattpad read for entertainment, as well you should, but sometimes it would be nice to receive actual criticism and advice on a chapter or a post. But that’s just me!
What suggestions can you give authors who are starting out on Wattpad for the first time?
The first thing is don’t worry about your follower or following counter. Don’t even look at it! It may be low when you start, it may be low after two years of posting, but that does not mean you are a bad writer. People just haven’t found you yet, so give them reason to. Promote your stories on the club pages. Ask for feedback. Give feedback on other stories. Make yourself known!
Growing up with an artistic mother, brother and sister, I’ve come to appreciate good graphics – both hand drawn and computerised. Until I read the blurb at least, I do judge a book by its cover, and on Wattpad it is the difference between a read and a pass over. It is all about impression and presentation, and it is easy to see which authors care and those who don’t. Every story is a labour of love, so surely it deserves a great cover. Doesn’t it? It’s not essential, many stories have been successful without flashy, well made covers, but I would recommend it, if only to attract more readers.
|Click here to read The Dorston Rise
Images:Deviantart – Faestock, Jessica Truscott
The club forums are a very good place to start. Not only are you able to advertise your own work there, but when you join or subscribe, you get regular alerts to new posts and new stories on your feed. This will also build your reading lists and subscriptions. The ambassadors clear the boards every week, so there is always new to read. Go out your comfort zone and read genres and stories different to your own. Comment and vote wherever you can – authors want criticism, but with some positive reinforcement. Votes make people smile.
I guess it depends on how much time you have on your hands. I go on Wattpad at least three times a day, sometimes more, to see if any of the stories I am reading have been updated, or to see who is voting and commenting on my own stories. I imagine a lot of people spend more time on the site, and I don’t blame them. As I said before, Wattpad is a wonderland and there is always something new to read and to do.
Doubt is a natural thing when you purse a writing career, but that doesn’t mind you have to embrace it. You can choose to wallow in self-pity, convinced your writing sucks and that you will never be published, or you can pick yourself up and keep writing until something amazing happens.
|Photo: Damian Gadal, ©2012|
Has feedback from Wattpad users altered your writing?
It has, and I have never been more grateful. In the beginning, I had a nasty habit of switching points of view without proper breaks. I thought I needed to show a scene/event from every aspect, so not to miss anything out. I was about halfway through The Dorston Fall, when a fellow Wattpadder and friend gave me advice on this and helped me change my approach. Dorston Fall definitely benefited from this change, as have my other works.