Film makers have YouTube, bloggers have Tumblr and photographers have Instagram. Ten years ago, a website called Wattpad was made for the literary storytellers. Over the years, Wattpad has built a community that encourages all types of writing – from fan fiction, articles and poetry, to fantasy and romance. Through the use of Wattpad’s website or smartphone application, some members have proven that one can gain millions of online readers and enter the publishing world through this platform.
A diverse and encouraging community
One of the most attractive features of Wattpad is that anyone can join its community. Registration is necessary to both read and write stories. However, there are no age requirements or fees to join. Being a member of Wattpad, one can comment and vote on other stories, interact with authors from around the world and add a variety of works to a personal library.
Wattpad proves that the author and reader can have an intimate relationship. Readers can leave constructive criticism upon finishing a chapter, or leave a comment on a certain section of the story that they enjoyed. In turn, writers can message their followers and thank them for their support.
There is a good amount of diversity among the stories that are published on the application. The subject of the stories on Wattpad range from werewolves and fantasy worlds to celebrities and foreign countries. Some genres do receive more attention, such as the fan fiction and romance genre. However, members are encouraged to write with their own unique voice and style. One day, readers might discover a parody of TheHunger Games. The next day, they might stumble across a unique romance set in a city halfway around the world.
Writers do not have to finish an entire work at one time. Updating stories periodically is encouraged; this will give time for the audience to follow the author to await the next installment. Because of this encouragement to continue one’s story, it is not uncommon to find works with more than one hundred chapters. Writers will find that through perseverance and the consistent addition of chapters, a complete novel can be born.
Contests, awards and clubs
Wattpad makes use of awards to promote new talent. Every year, the website puts on a contest called the Wattys. In this annual contest, authors can nominate their own stories to win in multiple categories. For example, here is the description for the stories that won in the “Trailblazers” category: “Sometimes stories push the limits. Whether it’s a fresh twist on an established genre, or a complete departure from the ordinary, this award recognizes authors who break new ground.”
Currently, a writing challenge called “JustWriteIt” allows individuals to take the challenge of writing 10,000 words in 30 days.
Besides the constantly growing source of inspiration found in new works and writers, Wattpad also includes the use of online clubs. These clubs are used for discussion about improving writing, sharing tips and recommending books for the community of readers. Wattpad members can join clubs of their interests, as the clubs correspond to different genres of books including sci-fi, horror, and adventure.
As shown with titles such as After and My Life with the Walter Boys, Wattpad stories can sometimes end up on the shelves of a bookstore as a bestseller. Sometimes, the millions of online reads can attract publishing companies, and a book that started off with only a few hundreds of words and a couple of readers will turn into a well-known novel.
Wattpad’s continued growth has proven that writing is something that brings people together. Its diverse community shows that literature is enjoyed around the world, and that a person can write a captivating, unique piece that attracts the attention of millions. Offering inspiration, clubs, awards and challenges, Wattpad is a great tool to help any aspiring author.