Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Struggles of a Wattpad Writer

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By: Emma B. and Autumn R.


[Emma]  Wattpad is a writing platform dedicated to writing and publishing stories of all varieties. Wattpad is most famous is being the fanfiction platform where writers create novels with controversial content. Writing on this platform is not garbage despite the content of some of the fanfiction stories. In fact, I can safely say, my writing experience has changed drastically because of my experience writing on Wattpad. Wattpad has allowed for more accessibility and mobility in my writing life-style. Now because I myself (that being Emma) is relatively new to Wattpad, Autumn will also be sharing her experiences.

[Autumn] Yep! And I’ve got to back Emma up on how Wattpad isn’t trash. There are just some writers who give it a bad name. I’m not a terrible writer myself, and I believe in keeping strong language out of my stories. As a seasoned writer, I think setting rules like setting story boundaries would help Wattpad. An example rule could be any fanfiction MUST stick at least somewhat close to the original character personalities, or details on colors of eyes and hair, and other things of that sort. Yeah, if it’s got a good creative license, and it’s well received, then kudos to you, but a lot of readers are looking for something that fits a specific topic.

Learning About the Platform:

[Emma] Personally, I discovered Wattpad through my friends who for the sake of this article I will call, Kiwi and Mango. Now Kiwi, in particular had grown a decent enough amount of fame on the platform by the time I had showed up. At first I kind of dismissed Wattpad out-right, only ever seeing it as a web-site that was, in my opinion, somehow worse than fanfiction.net.. However as I explored more of Wattpad, I came to the realization that despite Wattpad having adult content, it was far more controlled than fanfiction.net. There were proper content warnings but still sometimes  questionable content occasionally does appear in my recommended reads list. However, as a responsible nearly high-school student I am able to filter through the stories and pick what I am comfortable reading.

[Autumn] I discovered Wattpad when I first got my iPad. I wanted to find an app where I could read books, and Wattpad was a recommended app in the app store. At first, I thought the stories were “real’ books (No offense, Wattys!), so you can imagine my surprise when I saw the function for writing stories.
I didn’t know what to write! The function itself isn’t hard to figure out, though it took me a few tries and still does to get my chapter uploaded exactly the way I want it to be.

Learning the In’s and Out’s:

 [Emma] Now one of the reasons I greatly prefer Wattpad to fanfiction.net, is because it’s so simple to use. During the first two days of learning about the program, it worked like a breeze and I caught onto things very quickly. Writing on the website was super easy I didn’t have to sort through months of complicated mess just to figure out how to post something half decent. Furthermore the hashtag system on Wattpad, in some respects, makes things easier to find.
Now granted, I do sometimes prefer the fanfiction.net style of organization. They organize everything into a category but this was also limiting. I could never publish the crossover fanfictions or publish stories across multiple genres. However with Wattpad, this wasn’t a problem. I also caught onto the site library system without much trouble and was able to find the stories I am currently reading easily which was a vast improvement above fanfiction.net.

[Autumn] When I use Wattpad, I will definately agree that the open genres are a huge help. I can post something and write my own category for it without having to worry about not finding the right genre to fit it in. This comes in handy when I write about my all-time favorite fandom, Five Nights At Freddy’s, and my very close second, Attack On Titan, Gravity Falls, Transformers, and Steven Universe, or when I’m writing my own novels. When I’m creating a book, there’s an actual cover with the title and a description, and I can post it piece-by-piece all in one book. On a different forum I use, it’s in chunks and you have to look up [Book Title] Chapter One:[Chapter Name]’ in order to find the specific book chapter. Wattpad is better.

The Novel End:
[Emma] Now as for what I personally write on Wattpad, I mostly write novels that involve elements of science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance with my current projects being:
The Shattered Ones from Somewhere
Seflindor
And Nymph of the Black Death
With Seflindor and The Shattered Ones from Somewhere are two projects that started off as fanfictions but have turned into novels after months of intense decision-making.
Now writing novels on Wattpad has been quite a unique experience since despite the plat-form being known for fanfiction; it’s most popular works are original content. Now granted, I wouldn’t consider myself to be the perfect embodiment of popular Wattpad stories, but I am growing my audience and being able to check feedback almost instantly on my phone is great. Not only that but being able to post status updates on the nature of outlines and when and where I’m posting is a huge help especially during test season.
But, I also think it’s a lot more work to become well-known for posting original content on Wattpad. This is because well, fanfictions are bound to get more views up front due to their novelty, while with original content you have to work harder to sell your audience. But this has taught me so much about writing and editing that I deeply appreciate it. Furthermore, if you’d like to learn more about my novel project please follow the link here to my Wattpad. 

The Publishing Factor:
[Emma] Another reason Wattpad is extremely appealing to most people is because when Wattpad stories become popular, there is an option to publish the story. This has caused millions of fanfiction and novel writers to flock to the website for a chance at fame. Wattpad is also somewhat credited for starting the “fanfiction to novel” trend that has affected so many writers everywhere.
Now as previously stated, I am nowhere near as famous or popular as Autumn or my friend Kiwi but from my understanding, the publishing factor is far easier for novelist, since they don’t have to worry about fanfiction copyright insanity; novelists have the advantage of keeping their work on Wattpad while it’s being published and sold which makes overall marketing a lot easier.
Plus, the nature of Wattpad gives famous authors the creative freedom to try anything without losing too much money. This is because Wattpad itself doesn’t make money on postings. They make money on site advertising and on the amount of physical copies sold. This means an unpopular story will not ruin an author’s name or sales records because it will stay unpopular online and not be printed. This means the author has more freedom to experiment without losing profit as a whole. This is especially useful if you’re trying a new genre.

In Summary:
[Emma] Wattpad is a very good site for me.  It is far more organized than most other fanfiction sites and despite having some inappropriate content. So really, be careful out there everybody; be careful about what you read and more importantly, be willing to give things a chance.

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