I’ve just had this really weird experience. I feel like a character in a book–she’s lived a large portion of her life in a brightly-colored fantasyland with unicorns and dragons.
But as she grew up and new responsibilities were laid on her shoulders, she gradually left that world and entered a gray, somber world of corporate suits, office buildings and gray people. She sort of remembered her fantasy world, but as time passed, it dimmed in her mind.
She tried to recapture it in her writing. She tried to write books that people on the other side would want to read. But she was surrounded by gray, be-suited experts who told her what the fantasy world people liked and how to write for them. So she dutifully followed their advice.
Then one day, a fellow fantasy-denizen pointed her toward a gate leading back into the fantasyland. She plunged back into her old world. Here was all the color and enthusiasm she’d been missing! While the experts’ advice was technically correct, it was no match for diving into the realm itself.
Such has been my experience with Wattpad. Goodness, I used to spend most of my time in this universe of enthusiasm. I wrote the Young Adult genre because I was a young adult and so were my characters! It’s really interesting reading stories by teen authors–their perspective on being a teen is ever so slightly different from adults writing teen fiction. Because they’re THERE. They’re living this. They don’t have to worry about authentic voice because that’s how they TALK.
I read this article, and it made me consider what I want out of publication. Money? Readers? A fanbase?
Readers, mostly, and money would be nice. But you can’t have one without the other. So, while Storm Chase inches toward being ready for querying, I’m letting the somewhat-sequel, Chronocrime, loose on Wattpad. My plan is that folks will enjoy Chronocrime enough to want to pick up Storm Chase.
I’ve been comment-trading and it’s a lot of fun. (I comment on their story, they comment on mine.) I think a lot of burned-out authors I know could benefit from fooling around on Wattpad. It’s refreshing to interact with your target audience.