Author Topic: Wattpad  (Read 1005 times)

notthatamanda

Wattpad
« on: August 23, 2019, 12:00:31 PM »
I know an autistic teen who is very into creative writing.  They told me today that they are frustrated with not getting feedback on their work at school.  I was wondering if Wattpad might be a good option for them.  I would talk to the parents, not the teen, and I'm sure the parents would check it out thoroughly and supervise them, but I don't know anything about Wattpad.  Anyone able to offer any thoughts on that?  Thanks, Amanda
 
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Lynn

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 12:09:52 PM »
My daughter used to read on Wattpad. She offered a beta read for someone who wanted her to leave her comments in the comments section or whatever it's called and she got slammed by other readers. Threatened and cursed, called horrible names, and everything just for pointing out the typos the girl writing the fic wanted her to point out.

I encouraged her to bail on Wattpad.

She finally told the girl she couldn't keep betaing if that was what was going to keep happening.

So, really, no, I really wouldn't recommend it for actual feedback. If they want praise, maybe. But it's like any community. Go against the norms and it's a nightmare waiting to happen.
 

Jake

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2019, 06:21:46 PM »
I know an autistic teen who is very into creative writing.  They told me today that they are frustrated with not getting feedback on their work at school.  I was wondering if Wattpad might be a good option for them.  I would talk to the parents, not the teen, and I'm sure the parents would check it out thoroughly and supervise them, but I don't know anything about Wattpad.  Anyone able to offer any thoughts on that?  Thanks, Amanda

What genre does the teen write? To be honest, if the teen is frustrated with not getting enough feedback at school (Were teachers are paid to give feedback) then he or she will probably be even more frustrated with the lack of feedback on Wattpadd. Most of the stuff posted there struggles to get noticed.
 

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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2019, 07:33:25 PM »
I don't see the point of Wattpad myself.

If she is writing well enough for them to be wanting to get decent feedback, I'd be suggesting they forget about Wattpad, and encourage something of novella or novel length be written, and then get an editor to do it properly.

Feedback from an editor of the genre is going to be much more use than feedback from people who like to criticize. Or from people who expect fan fiction, and really don't know anything about being an author.

Direct the teen and parent here. There are several editors offering feedback on limited amounts of text, which would be a start. Lots of us authors who would also point out issues if asked to.

And there are enough of us around who are basically writer-savant, to be able to help an autistic writer get started.

It comes back to the parents though. If they really want to help the teen to write, and to walk that path, then they should be pushing the teen towards writer groups like here, and getting professional feedback.

While Wattpad and the ilk would appear to be an easy way, I doubt it's the best way to go. Especially for a teen.  Whereas if they start the process here, they will get useful support in a safe supportive environment.

I certainly dont have any problems with teens who want to learn to write being here. As long as they are nice, and take advice, I'm all for supporting kids who want to be authors. If we cant supply what is needed, we can at least suggest the best places or people.
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notthatamanda

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2019, 08:20:58 PM »
Thank you guys.  Not a lot of time right now but they said their peers weren't interested in giving them feedback, don't know about the teachers.  Appreciate the responses.  Amanda
 


Lysmata Debelius

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 10:50:06 PM »
Critique circle used to be a good place to get feedback but I haven't been there for years. It's well moderated and I seem to remember they accommodate younger writers.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 12:46:54 AM »
Thank you guys.  Not a lot of time right now but they said their peers weren't interested in giving them feedback, don't know about the teachers.  Appreciate the responses.  Amanda

Maybe they need to branch out of their particular peer group?  When I was in school, there was no shortage of people willing to give their opinions on stuff; can't imagine things have changed that much, especially with social media nowadays where people spout out opinions on every freakin' thing.

Does the school offer creative writing classes?  That might be a place to start, both for teachers and peers willing to give feedback.

Another thing to consider, which may seem harsh, but have you seen any samples of their work?  There's always the possibility that peers might not want to give feedback if their feedback might be highly negative.  They might rather withhold feedback then tell someone their writing is terrible.  Not saying that's the case, of course, but it's always a possibility.
 
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Lynn

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 01:08:48 AM »

Another thing to consider, which may seem harsh, but have you seen any samples of their work?  There's always the possibility that peers might not want to give feedback if their feedback might be highly negative.  They might rather withhold feedback then tell someone their writing is terrible.  Not saying that's the case, of course, but it's always a possibility.

Holy crap I wish that was true of more people. The sad fact is a lot of writers push and push for honest feedback when they really, really don't actually want it--or want it, but really shouldn't get it until they're a little older and are less prone to discouragement.

As a very naive young writer, my younger brother wanted feedback. I was about 15-16 and he's 7 years younger than me.  I gave it. He stopped writing. I feel guilty to this day over it. :-o He said it was fine (we've talked about it as adults) and that he really just doesn't like writing the same way I do, but I still wish I could go back in time and make myself keep my mouth shut. :D

Then again, I admit, I had a cousin who gave me feedback and I told her she didn't know what she was talking about when she criticized my story and it didn't stop me from writing at all, so... :D

I know, ego, but I just worry about the discouragement that peers are capable of inflicting on each other. I don't recommend young people get feedback at all from peers, unless they just want someone to cheer them on--and only if the peer can actually stick to that. Young people can be so sensitive and will often tell themselves that they don't want something even when they do if they're worried about disappointment or failing.
 
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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 01:15:43 AM »
I know, ego, but I just worry about the discouragement that peers are capable of inflicting on each other. I don't recommend young people get feedback at all from peers, unless they just want someone to cheer them on--and only if the peer can actually stick to that. Young people can be so sensitive and will often tell themselves that they don't want something even when they do if they're worried about disappointment or failing.

I recently discovered some of my writing in primary school. Nothing much beyond first chapters, but I was amazed to discover I had been writing back then.

What happened?

High school happened. I hated english classes, and the teachers were not happy with anything I wrote. Result? I didn't even realize I'd given up something I was actually good at. Took me 35 years to rediscover this.

So yeah, I agree peer groups and teachers are not the people to seek real feedback from.

Writing essays and writing novels are 2 completely different skills.
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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2019, 02:20:22 AM »
I know, ego, but I just worry about the discouragement that peers are capable of inflicting on each other. I don't recommend young people get feedback at all from peers, unless they just want someone to cheer them on--and only if the peer can actually stick to that. Young people can be so sensitive and will often tell themselves that they don't want something even when they do if they're worried about disappointment or failing.

I recently discovered some of my writing in primary school. Nothing much beyond first chapters, but I was amazed to discover I had been writing back then.

What happened?

High school happened. I hated english classes, and the teachers were not happy with anything I wrote. Result? I didn't even realize I'd given up something I was actually good at. Took me 35 years to rediscover this.

So yeah, I agree peer groups and teachers are not the people to seek real feedback from.

Writing essays and writing novels are 2 completely different skills.
It depends on the teacher (said the former teacher grint)

My concern about making recommendations to someone I don't know is similar to Eclectic Dan's. We don't really know whether this teenager wants honest critiques or just wants praise. Having worked with teenagers for thirty-four years, I can tell you that a lot of them just want praise. Also, I remember a number of incidents on the KDP forum where new writers came for "feedback" and then had a meltdown when they got it. Some of the criticisms could probably have been worded more constructively, but I saw plenty of bad reactions even to very constructive criticism--and these writers were in most cases adults.


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BillSmithBooksDotCom

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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2019, 02:37:38 AM »
Wattpad can have a pretty toxic community from what I have seen posted on the site.

I have found that FanFiction.com (if doing fan fict) or its sister site, FictionPress.com for wholly original work, are a lot more supportive and accepting.

Reddit has a lot of "writer's feedback" groups but also some fiction subreddits that are supposed to be "in universe" and are not so harsh.

But, of course, "looking for feedback" can be a case of "be careful what you wish for."
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She-la-te-da

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 06:39:57 PM »
I'd recommend finding a supportive critique group rather than Wattpad. And like others have said, what is this teen looking for? Actual critique or a pat on the head? With autism, they need to be in an environment that won't push them beyond what they're capable of handling. Peers and teachers probably aren't going to be it. I don't think teachers these days have much on their minds beyond fulfilling the school's goal, which is to pass tests.

I was lucky in that I had a few supportive teachers over the years, but that was in the 1960s and 70s. I was terribly shy and normally wouldn't have asked for help, but once they found out I wrote, they were helpful. (They all said I should be a writer, oddly enough. Wish I'd had the self confidence to work towards that a lot earlier!)
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notthatamanda

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 07:57:17 PM »
Thank you guys all for your feedback.  Sorry, I kind of lost track of this one after the initial post, it was a busy time for our family.  The kid asked another adult in our organization for feedback and they read their stuff.  I don't know how it went.  I'm glad to have all your thoughts if I end up in a conversation with them or their parent about it.
 

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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2019, 12:33:40 AM »
See, I've had multiple accounts on Wattpad (one for each pen name) and found the experience for each to be positive in terms of the feedback I do get. That said, it's pretty tough to get feedback on there, and when you do, it's usually something short and simple that may or may not be of much help, depending on the author and their expectations. I know the community itself can be toxic in some areas, but it can also be the opposite in other areas. It depends, really. Also, a lot of members on there are very young, so that might also play a huge factor into the type of feedback you get (or lack thereof in some cases). Of course, not all people that age are the same, and you do get that rare reviewer who'll really critique the heck out of your work in detail. Either way, I agree with a lot of the above, and I'm glad you're finding this thread helpful with all the great suggestions thrown out there. Good luck!

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Luke Everhart

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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 04:02:05 AM »
I also cannot recommend Wattpad. It's a haven for enablers; writers who praise one another so they can all feel good about their incoherent drivel. Because of that, anyone seeking serious critique will not find much in the way of helpful criticism.

There is also some serious quality stories/writing on there.
A few of the Wattpad authors that got picked up by traditional publishers because of their Wattpad stories:
Anna Todd, Beth Reekles, Abigail Gibbs, Lilian Carmine, Nikki Kelly, Brittany Geragotellis
Nor is that by any means a complete list.
And some resulted in amazing mega success. For example, Anna Todd's book hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was translated into over 30 languages, and sold to Paramount Pictures for a movie adaption.

And the Netflix movie The Kissing Booth (2018) is an adaptation of Beth Reekles Wattpad book.
Examples abound...
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 04:30:12 AM by Luke Everhart »
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B. AnÚs Paz

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2020, 04:42:44 PM »
I also cannot recommend Wattpad. It's a haven for enablers; writers who praise one another so they can all feel good about their incoherent drivel. Because of that, anyone seeking serious critique will not find much in the way of helpful criticism.

There is also some serious quality stories/writing on there.
A few of the Wattpad authors that got picked up by traditional publishers because of their Wattpad stories:
Anna Todd, Beth Reekles, Abigail Gibbs, Lilian Carmine, Nikki Kelly, Brittany Geragotellis
Nor is that by any means a complete list.
And some resulted in amazing mega success. For example, Anna Todd's book hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was translated into over 30 languages, and sold to Paramount Pictures for a movie adaption.

And the Netflix movie The Kissing Booth (2018) is an adaptation of Beth Reekles Wattpad book.
Examples abound...

Yes, but with caveats. Almost all of them are exclusively romance. In fact, most of Wattpad is romance and most of its readers are young teenage girls. This is fine, and romance is of course the biggest genre market still, but it does drastically limit the scope of what someone wants to write with any kind of success there. A fledgling romance author might have success on Wattpad, but everyone else will find the audience far more difficult to impress.

Still worth a go, you never know. There are a few other stories there that are effectively niche but still read by a dedicated following.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 01:23:26 AM »
"another bunch of people seeking reward without effort"


That puzzles me. I've never been on Wattpad, and I don't know anything about it other than it's a place to post your work. Maybe the intention is simply to get the story out there? Isn't the reward the pleasure of making the story available directly to an audience? With the possibility of feedback as an extra benefit sometimes?
 

B. AnÚs Paz

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2020, 07:20:29 PM »
I was on Wattpad years ago and my conclusions are based on that experience. I posted my entire first novel to get a wider range of feedback and all I got was blind praise, and most of what I was for other stories was the same. When real criticism was offered it was dismissed. I can only assume it's gotten even worse. It was not only romance. There was a lot of scifi, mysteries, horror, fantasy, and every other genre. Mostly fan fiction. I didn't read every story, but even among the few written by people who genuinely wanted to be writers, I saw nothing ready for self publishing let alone good enough to be picked up by a publisher (although I admit publishers look for what's marketable regardless of quality). To me it was a mostly another bunch of people seeking reward without effort while ruining it for those seeking to better their writing.

Well, I'm not sure when it was that you last tried it but right now it's pretty heavily leaned towards romance. Even the Wattpad-published books you have to pay for are mostly romance. Most of the fantasy stories are supernatural/paranormal romance, or urban fantasy with... lots of romance. Some of the top titles: Bad Boy (ooo la la). Jack the Panty Ripper (lol?).

Of course, it's not everything as I said. There are a few traditional fantasy stories that do well there and stuff like thrillers. Some webs serials and litrpg stuff too.

In general though, Wattpad is still mostly young adults/teenagers and majority female I'd guess. Compare this to, say, Royal Road that is almost majority teenage male with a hard lean on fantasy, wuxia, and litrpg with a dash of sci-fi. Technically it's mostly "romance" too if I dare call it that, but the horny teenage variety... most stories usually involve ridiculously powerful heroes effectively collecting girls on their way to glory and fame. Big enough that the harem trope is... well, a harem trope.

Again, not all of them. There's tons of good regular fantasy/sci-fi there too and some female authors too, but you can kind of tell the primary demographic of these sites pretty easily by what's popular.

Scribblehub... top trending novel right now has an anime cover and is about a guy who dies and is reincarnated as a succubus and promises at a lot of sex. Read the warning about how there's a lot of fondling and pining between underage lovers, but no actual sex, and try not to get a headache. Oh, and that's without the author pointing out that everyone in the world is older than they seem... and that the MC is technically even older because he's "reborn."

This all with a lazy Google of sites similar to Wattpad! Hah.

But eh... romance and erotica/harem are hit with teens/YA these days I guess.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 07:23:49 PM by B. AnÚs Paz »
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Wattpad
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2020, 06:37:45 AM »
Erotica pitched at teenagers? Yeah, because they aren't horny enough on their own.

No, seriously, I can see why the audience would find that appealing, but none of this conversation is making me eager to try any of these sites. Is there anything out there for an older demographic?

That said, not all teenagers are alike. I was still teaching high school when I first started publishing. I didn't say anything to my students about it, but one of my colleagues noticed, said something to students, and pretty soon, I was getting pelted with questions and comments between classes. One of the things that amazed me, though, was how many of those comments sounded puritanical. One student referred to graphic sex in the novel. (There isn't any.) Another said something like, "I couldn't believe you wrote some of that."

The MC was a sixteen-year-old guy who certainly thought about sex a lot, but always in very non-graphic, noon-anatomical terms. There is no actual sex anywhere in the book, and no language more graphic than the abbreviation WTF, plus a few non-specific allusions to people cursing. The novel could be converted to a Disney movie with virtually no changes. Yet here were all these teenage pearl clutchers expressing amazement about it! I still laugh about it today.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 01:57:14 AM by Bill Hiatt »


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B. AnÚs Paz

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2020, 07:17:16 AM »
Erotic pitched at teenagers? Yeah, because they aren't horny enough on their own.

No, seriously, I can see why the audience would find that appealing, but none of this conversation is making me eager to try any of these sites. Is there anything out there for an older demographic?

My humble guess is that actual pornographic material is maybe harder to access or keep secretive for some teenagers, so this makes a very easy workaround. This also simply combines a lot of the things YA/Teenager demographics are already interested in with, well, raunchiness. As for the rest, as you said, some of them (and I agree not all of them) are just in that horny phase. I don't do mainstream romance but we can't forget that a lot of it is already pretty steamy and from what I hear erotica has almost always been a seller.

For adults, there are a few less popular sites I hear where erotica does well, but they tend to either be some kind of a gimmick that happens to have a lot of erotica (interactive storytelling/fiction) or are probably specifically targeting a niche/kink?

There are some breakout examples using freely available online fiction but I still think they're pretty rare. I guess you just never know. Sword of Kaigen is getting a lot of love in fantasy atm (the genre I most read and follow) and was originally a serial prequel novel given in drips to newsletter folks for free. For those starting out or learning, web serials or sites like RR might work, but honestly they have all the same problems as other platforms even with lower expectations. Few people will review/comment, and many of them can be pretty unfair or harsh especially for new writers.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 07:20:03 AM by B. AnÚs Paz »
 

Jeff Tanyard

Re: Wattpad
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2020, 04:34:56 PM »
One of the things that amazed me, though, was how many of those comments sounded puritanical. One student referred to graphic sex in the novel. (There isn't any.) Another said something like, "I couldn't believe you wrote some of that."

The MC was a sixteen-year-old guy who certainly thought about sex a lot, but always in very non-graphic, noon-anatomical terms. There is no actual sex anywhere in the book, and no language more graphic than the abbreviation WTF, plus a few non-specific allusions to people cursing. The novel could be converted to a Disney movie with virtually no changes. Yet here were all these teenage pearl clutchers expressing amazement about it! I still laugh about it today.


Every generation thinks it's the first one to discover sex.  I doubt they were Puritanical so much as surprised that you weren't.
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