Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wattpad Experiment

Call me behind the times, but I just heard about an app called Wattpad that lets writers share their writing for free through their app. As a reader, you can read a ton of books, stories and poetry on the Wattpad app and discover new writers without spending any money. For authors, it's a great way to test out your writing, get some feedback and maybe gain some new readers.

From what I have read, some young writers have garnered publishing contracts from this interaction through the app. Some writers on Wattpad have thousands and thousands of followers with tons of comments.

I saw this as a unique opportunity to share some of my writing with a new audience, so I signed up yesterday for an account and downloaded the app to my phone. I can either upload files from my desktop through their website or write from my cell phone directly in the app.

Since I've been writing seriously for over 10 years, I have a few stories/books that never saw the light of day. I also have a book I've been wanting to finish writing for several years that has been languishing in a folder. So, I decided to start uploading a couple of things to Wattpad to share them with the world and see what comes of it.

Of course, since I'm a newbie to this app, I am probably doing things all wrong.

1) I don't have any fancy book covers to upload for my stories. Most of the works on Wattpad have very professional-looking covers. For the time being, I just used the cover backgrounds offered by Wattpad for use. I think I need to whip up a book cover or two to make my stories look more appealing.

2) I don't know how to connect with people on this app. There are a LOT of people who read and write using Wattpad. I haven't explored the app enough to figure out where to meet people and how to connect in a way that draws people to my writing.

3) I need to figure out how to release my writing. I read somewhere that people who decide to read your stuff want a regular release (maybe once a week?) of a new chapter to your story. If you don't regularly release stuff, the readers get bored and drop you. Or never comment on your story. I did not know this at the time I started uploading some of my writing...so I have 2 chapters for one story and 8 for another story loaded into the system. I need to create a weekly schedule of release so that people know there will be consistent material flowing from me.

Originally, I was thinking I could use Wattpad to motivate me to finish my one book - First Cut is the Deepest. But now I see that could be a mistake. People might start reading this story, have an interest in reading more, and then drop me because I am not posting updates on a weekly basis. Could be a problem. I have about 5 or 6 chapters of this story that could be uploaded...hoping this makes me produce more story NOW so that I have more chapters to upload as time goes by.

It does make me nervous to upload this story as I write it, because I am not a planner when it comes to writing. I write with a basic idea of where the story is going, but typically discover the rest of the details as I write. That means I sometimes have to re-write parts of the book and edit to accommodate this 'discovery' process. Which could be interesting through Wattpad.

But the whole point of Wattpad is to engage readers in your writing and get feedback. If I garner enough interested readers, maybe they can help me shape the story or fix it as I go. Who knows? I am willing to give it a go!

The other story I uploaded is Acapulco Nights. This is a chicklit/romance book that I wrote about 10 years ago. It is complete and it did go through the rounds of agents and such before it died a sad death. I am sure it is flawed. I am sure my writing has improved since I wrote this book, but as I uploaded it chapter by chapter yesterday, I thought it wasn't half-bad. It's different than my other books because it is written in first person and has no paranormal elements. That book I can upload in its entirety, since it is already complete. I have 8 chapters posted right now, and will release a new chapter every Friday...at least, that is the plan. I think it has about 20 chapters or so in total.

So, if you have a Wattpad account or are interested in checking out Wattpad, please look me up!  Here are links to my stories. You can add them to your Wattpad account and then read and comment as you see fit:

Link to First Cut is the Deepest on Wattpad      
 
This is the first book in a series of three I want to write about Charlie (Charlene) Cutter - a navy cryptologist who is recruited to the mysterious NCIS-A, a secret division of the navy's investigative services that is assigned to look into alien activity on earth.  

Link to Acapulco Nights on Wattpad

Suzie's fiancé is pressuring her to pick a day for their wedding. She's cancelled three dates, and he's starting to wonder if she really wants to get married. But how does she go about telling her fiancé that she's already married to a man in Mexico? She needs a divorce, and she needs one fast. Her marriage has been a secret from her best friend, her fiancé, even her own mother, and she wants to keep it that way.

Thanks for checking out my writing. I would love any feedback - even if it means you hate my stuff and think it sucks! Really. Honesty is what I want. 

 

1 comment:

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