I’ve had my stories on Wattpad for about 18 months now. With every chapter I’ve posted, I’ve built a readership. But more importantly, crowd-writing on Wattpad has allowed me to find out what my readers think as I go along. I’ve been interested in their feedback – it’s diverse – funny, intelligent and sometimes plain rude. But I can’t help loving each and every comment that I receive because it teaches me so much about readers. It also helps me to cultivate a thicker skin for criticism and to understand that some readers are flippant, some are easy to impress, some are hard to impress, some readers get my humour, some readers see humour when there was none, some readers are impatient with the story, some readers want the story to slow down, some readers are fans who want to shake pom poms at every sentence, some readers will read right to the end of a novel and then say your story stinks …
10 things I’ve learned about readers from crowd-writing on Wattpad:1. Readers will go along with you. Editors will not.
2. Readers may excuse flaws in the plot if they like your writing style
3. Readers can sometimes be overly sympathetic and may barrack for the wrong person
4. Readers like discovering parts of themselves in a story
5. Readers can be very interested in the minutiae
6. If you’re putting your work out there in the world, some parts of the world may judge it differently. Readers in some countries are more conservative than others.
7. Many readers will skip to the last page (the reading stats on the last chapters of my stories are consistently greater than the second last chapters)
8. Some readers make up the most creative assumptions as they're reading that I never could have even imagined
9. Endings are extremely important for readers, but you can't please everyone
10. Readers may help you discover what your talent is and it may even surprise you
My stories on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/rowena_wiseman
Rowena Wiseman is the author of The Replacement Wife.
Luisa is suffering in a half-dead marriage and tries to find a wife for her husband.
HarperCollins, ebook from $2.99.