How writers can build a following on Wattpad - Kate Cudahy

6 February 2014 / Leave a Comment

What kind of work do you post on Wattpad?
It is quite difficult to classify my work, but I'll try ;) My story is called Hal. It's fantasy/romance, but the central love affair is a lesbian one. The main character, Hal, falls in love with Meracad, the daughter of a rich merchant. Unfortunately, Meracad's father has betrothed her to another aristocrat as part of a business arrangement. The story focuses on Hal's adventures as she risks her life for the woman she loves. I'm currently writing the sequel, Hannac, which I hope to complete by the end of the spring.

How did you build your following on Wattpad?
Back in November I only had about 30,000 reads for Hal. However, I applied to have my story put on Wattpad’s 'featured list,' and it was accepted. Wattpad features a certain number of books each month. Some of them come from amateur writers such as myself, and some come from professionals. They promote the story on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, and it is advertised across Wattpad itself. The end result was that I got a lot more reads. My following has greatly increased since I was featured.

However, the best way to build links with other writers is to read their work and offer encouragement and critique. Wattpad also has forums in which you can ask for and offer advice to other writers. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for connecting with people and sharing your writing.

What is your best advice for new users on Wattpad?
I think the best thing new users can do is to offer respectful critique of other people's work. This is always much appreciated and good critics tend to receive useful feedback on their own stories as a result.

As far as publishing your work is concerned, I found out fairly quickly that you have to adapt writing to internet readers. That means that it is not a very good idea to publish extremely long chapters - each scene has to appear as a cohesive whole and at the same time contribute to the overall plot. I guess it's a bit like writing serials for TV - you have to grab your readers' attention with each post and at the same time keep the plot compelling.

How has using the site benefited your work and career as a writer?
I was an absolute novice when I started on Wattpad (exactly a year ago!) I had written a lot of academic stuff but of course that's a completely different ball game to writing fiction. Just having the opportunity to communicate with other writers - to discuss what works and what doesn't - has had a massive impact on the way I write. I think writing on Wattpad is very much a collaborative activity - totally different to the experience of the 'lone' author, working away on their novel in isolation. That's what makes it so much fun.

To be honest, I've never thought about traditional publishing - it's a big scary world and I'm not a competitive person. So I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to publish something in this way. Otherwise, my stories would be stuffed in a drawer somewhere and forgotten.

Visit Kate Cudahy’s page on Wattpad:
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