Originality and popularity on Wattpad: tips for new writers and discussion

When you look at the What’s Hot section of any genre on Wattpad, you might notice that originality doesn’t equal popularity. In fact, very often the most popular books have a similar storyline and even similar characters. Some frustrated Wattpad authors say that these books are just replicas of another poorly written fantasy of a teenage girl. True or not, they’re still the ones to have millions of reads.

So what’s the problem? Should Wattpad change its algorithm and find a way to give more exposure to undiscovered gems and more original stories? In a way, they’re already doing that and I personally think they’re doing their best to widen literary diversity on their platform. So is it maybe the readers? Are they the real issue? Is it our ignorant generation that chooses to read these empty, superficial books that are poisoning their minds and killing their creativity? Or is it the writers’ fault? Are they the ones who started this trend of wish fulfilment and basic plots with no substance? Or is it just the Internet?

I don’t have the answer to these questions, but there’s one thing I’m sure of. If you’re a writer, especially on Wattpad, you shouldn’t care about any of this. Write what you believe in. Write something that you know no one else will be able to write the way you do. Write the story that can’t be silenced in your head even if you want it to. Write the story that burns and burns inside of you, the story that perhaps you’re too afraid to share. Don’t try to copy every trend and cliché in order to get popular, but don’t try to defy them either. Just write the story, your story. It’s not about being edgy and going against the crowd. It’s not about popularity. Be sincere in your writing and the world will notice.

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9 Comments

  1. I won’t lie to you, and I’m trying to be mean, but that is kind of silly advice. I guess depending on your goals then sure, write what you want, but if you actual want to use Wattpad has a tool, then you need to write what readers like. You are right, Wattpad is a bunch of poorly written stories full of cliches and wish-fulfillment. The sad part is, those cliche starts are the ones getting published, not the authors who write original work.

    I tried to write original work on that good for nothing website, and I got nowhere.I’d say just write the cliche crap if you want to use Wattpad as a tool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, I see your point but I’m not sure if I agree with you. I’ve always thought that when it comes to writing, you should never comfort to other people’s taste and expectations. Especially on Wattpad. I know that the majority of its users are teenage girls, but they’re not the only ones to use it. Wattpad has a variety of genres and although they might not be as popular as teen fiction, they still find an audience.

      I’m not sure what you mean by ‘using Wattpad as a tool’ because that can mean many things. If you’re an aspiring writer, Wattpad is a great platform for sharing your writing and getting constructive feedback. If you’re an established author, you can use it to reach a wider audience.

      I know that this advice might sound ‘silly’, but I think it’s something important to remember. If every writer starts to write ‘cliche crap’ in order to satisfy their readers, then what’s the point?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not saying as a writer people shouldn’t write what they want, but if you are going to be on a site like Wattpad, you won’t get anywhere unless you write for the demographic. The demographic there wants cliche stories. However, if you are prepared to get zero to barely any readers for original ideas, then go for it.

        I know a popular writer on Wattpad who now gets paid to write there, and I know published authors there who don’t – it’s a messed up system. It’s bad, but I hate that website with a strong passion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I disagree. When I first started writing on Wattpad, I used to think like you but then I realized that other people’s success had nothing to do with my own. Look, you might have had a negative experience, but that doesn’t mean that you should discourage people from writing what they want. Even if they get 0 reads and 0 followers, they should still write what they believe in.

        And I’m pretty sure that Wattpad is trying to help undiscovered authors. The system might not be perfect, but c’mon, they’re trying.

        Like

      3. I would never discourage people from writing what the want. However, I’ve read enough complaints from new writers who go to Wattpad hoping to get reads. In just a few days on being there, they get disheartened over seeing the cliche, poorly written stories getting more reads than their edited, polished works.

        It gets tiring. I always tell them ro get featured if they want reads and to stop expecting Wattpad to be a genuine writing site.

        Ah! Yeah…they are trying all right. Like I said, I’m not trying to be mean, but I wish more new Wattpad users knew what they were in for. Overall, my point is, Wattpad is a means to end, don’t go there thinking it’s a respectable writing site, it’s not.

        You are correct, people should write what they want, but if they want to gain readership, Wattpad may not be the place.

        Anyway, this was a good discussion. Thanks for responding to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well that’s because it takes time to establish a readership on Wattpad. You can’t just try it for a week and then say ‘god, I hate this website’ because you’re not putting any effort into it. You have to put yourself out there, comment on other books, participate in club discussions, join book clubs, etc. It takes time and dedication.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I was on Wattpad for almost three years, so I know all about “putting myself out there” It was a waste of time and effort. I did all the things you mentioned and none of it helped. Maybe my mistake was not writing a cliche story with a bad boy.

        As for reading other people’s stories and commenting – I did all that and more. I started thread discussions and even a Wattpad Skype group. All blew up my face. So as I said before, writers need to know it’s not a respectable writing website, it’s basically a social media site for cliche stories. But hey, at least it’s paying off for some people. I just wasn’t one of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there is a really valid point here, but I’ll be honest I think that the problem of Wattpad is mainly it is the largest site like it, and for a number of serious authors it doesn’t suit their needs. It’s audience is mainly young women in a handful of genre’s and the author base is about that demographic. So an author has to recognize who is visiting a platform and decided whether that platform is valuable to them for their needs and what they do. Being a writer is about writing what you love, but also being aware of your target audience and the audience of the platforms you use. Wattpad has a ton of promise…but not for many. The search functions are limited. The social media platform almost outdated. And lastly mature authors and original authors tend to be drowned out by 100 fanfictions that most readers didn’t want to find. All this being said it is an easy to use platform, and even two or three followers are followers you did not previously have. Just my two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

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