One good reader

24 January 2019 / Leave a Comment


Last summer I had a rush of inspiration and wrote 20,000 words of a new contemporary fiction story I'd titled Hide your play in a month or so. Then, as often happens, the story stalled.


I thought I'd see what would happen if I posted chapters on Radish, after having relative success with a novel Permission to Touch on the app.


Radish is a short-form serialised fiction platform where people make 3 cent micropayments to unlock chapters of books posted exclusively on Radish. Readers purchase 'coins' to read stories on the app and authors are paid quarterly.


I started posting a chapter a week of Hide your play and waited. People started reading the first free three chapters but no one was paying for the fourth chapter. I waited. Nothing. It was a dud.


Over a year later, this week something strange has happened. Someone has paid for all the posted chapters. I have one reader.


They've read to chapter 14. Now I have a conundrum. Should I keep writing chapters for my one reader? I don't want to leave them hanging or make them feel like they've been ripped off.


I was workshopping how I now feel like I have to finish this book with a writer friend. She suggested: "You know what you should do? You should write about the one reader in the next chapter of the novel. Put yourself in there. Write about how the writer is writing for the one reader."


While that sounds like some postmodern fun, I really don't know if I should mess around with my one reader.


A few years ago, I had a half-written, abandoned young adult novel, Silver, that I began posting on Wattpad. One reader turned into thousands and it's now had over 700,000 chapter reads.


I feel grateful to Wattpad and the success that story has had on the site. It inspired me to continue writing for the young adult audience.


Recently, I was contacted by an editor at www.dreame.com, a serialised fiction site in Singapore, to see if I'd be interested in moving Silver over to them. They'd pay a modest up front fee, as well as a percentage of paid reads if it was put in their pay-to-read program. I read the terms, but in the end felt as though I should leave the story on Wattpad for the time being.


Unless I can get a print deal for it, I feel as though Silver belongs on Wattpad. Those readers encouraged me to finish the story and to write my next YA novel. Sure, it's on the site for free, but I like to think of it as the literary form of street art - put it out there and see who notices it. Gift it to others.


A writer always remembers their one good reader. I'll always cherish the first reader of the first story I posted online, the first reader of the novel I self-published with Screwpulp, the first good reader on Wattpad who said I had to finish Silver, the first reader to leave a 5-star review on Goodreads. Sometimes all you need is one good reader to become a gooder writer.


About Hide your play (a work in progress ...):

A tale about lust and fringe dating 

Passion has died in Hannah and Sidney's relationship. They decide to co-exist in their marriage, to stay together but date other people. 

They come up with a set of rules: don't date anyone in their daughters' school community, always be discreet, don't ask questions about the others' rendezvous and don't fall in love. 

It becomes a game of who can have the most extramarital fun and almost all the rules are broken.

Read now: https://radish.app.link/qlfyDHO8HT




I'm Rowena. I'm an author and blogger. My novel The Replacement Wife is available as an ebook from HarperCollins, from $2.99. Luisa tries to find a wife for her husband so she can exit an unhappy marriage happily.

Subscribe to my newsletter for tips on reading, writing and publishing in the digital revolution and receive a free ebook of Love Potion, featuring my flash fiction and a short story about stitching the heart together again ...






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