Does anyone have any general writing advice for a new author?

Readers can tell when the author is passionate about a story, so write what you love. :heart:

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Write whatever you want to write and never give into procrastination! :smiley:

Consistency is everything. As long as you just keep writing, you’ll get to where you need to go.

Oh shoot, I just made a thread for this!! Hold on, gonna go copy and paste stuff from my other thread

  • Every single great book, poem, or play you’ve read started as a first draft. It needed to be refined into the polished final product you read. All diamonds start out raw.

  • Other people’s success does not mean you are a failure.

  • Write it, even if it’s not perfect. You can always edit your draft later, but you can’t edit a blank page.

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things. Even if the result isn’t what you wanted, at least you tried. Explore new genres, test out new techniques, enter contests; you might find something you love.

  • Write because you love it and remember your passion.

  • Everyone on here wants reads, votes, and comments, at least a little. Otherwise we wouldn’t be sharing our work online. We all crave validation and that’s okay.

  • Writing is better with friends.

  • It’s okay to need a break or have writer’s block. Everyone needs to recharge sometimes.

  • The past version of yourself would be jealous of the skills you have now. You’ve come a long way, even if it doesn’t feel like it at times.

  • The best way to improve your writing is to write.

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I’ll start by stating one of the reasons I write in the first place. Tell the story you want to hear. Write the book you’ve always wanted to read. Sure the ending will be spoiled for you but you are still going to enjoy the ride and creating all those wonderful characters of good and evil.

Avoid filler and fluff. This is not that important information and backstory that must be told. This is that extra bit that some writers put in to make chapters longer that only serves to drag out scenes but adds nothing to the plot. Everything should move the plot forward.

Build a world. Think about characters getting dressed in a costume drama or a super hero movie, this is to immerse the audience in time in mood, it’s for the awe and the hype. It is the same with a novel. Description is a plus. When you edit you novel you will find your balance with this because I feel it can get tricky sometimes.

You might read through these replies! Best advice for new Wattpadders: Add to this Wiki Post! It has some great stuff from so many people :calmwolf:

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Write, even if you lack inspiration. Do a five-minute word sprint, just write, because practice makes… well, not perfect, but better. You’ll figure out your writing style, you’ll figure out what you like and dislike, and… yup. Practice.

Also, always mind your grammar.

Read literature that represents how you would want to write. I’m working on my first novel, and I feel like I would feel comfortable saying I’ve gotten most of my writing help, through reading. Specifically, knowing when to end a chapter/scene, and when to start the next. I’ve read quite a few articles on tips and tricks, but they have been harder to implement. Maybe, it’s just me - good luck!

Imagination, writing about details while playing with the words that’s my style.

I agree 100%. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration.

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There’s a lot to know, honestly. xD

General writerly advice:

  • Write what you want to read.

There are many new writers out there who focus on what the audience wants. They ask things like, “What do you want to read?” and “What are things you want to see?” and “Out of these plots, what do you want me to write first?” Instead of asking other people these things, ask YOURSELF what you want to see. If you write what you want to read, then you’re not only having an audience for it (AKA, people like yourself) but you’re also going to be more passionate about the story.

  • Read, read, read.

It’s true what they say: anyone can write. However, reading and writing is a package deal: you can’t have one without the other. If you don’t like reading, then you can’t be a good writer. Why? Because you learn about writing through reading. And no, it doesn’t have to be a novel that you read. It can be middle grade fiction, comics, graphic novels, poetry, short stories… you know, the whole sha-bang. However, it’s a lot better to read the types of stories you’re going to write in.

The reason why reading is such a huge factor in a writer’s life is because you learn about the way the story works. You get acquainted with the cliches, the common tropes in that genre. You get to feel how the rhythm and beats work, you can see how the characters develop, and so on.

And it’s not only reading you have to do, but analyzing what you read. For example, if you’re writing a fight scene and you’re struggling, you can read books with fight scenes to see how that write wrote it. You can slow down your reading pace so you can acknowledge the terms, the phrasing, the pacing, and more of how it all goes down.

  • Try to write every day.

Everyone has their own thing for their writing schedules. But one of the best decisions you can do is to try and write every day. One of the main reasons for this is to speed up the process. Without writing everyday, I typically write at least 2,000 words in a month. And it seems like a lot, but it isn’t when I can do that in a simple week or two. Writing every day builds discipline because it becomes a routine. If you don’t write every day, you tend to slack off when you want to write. And that leads to procrastination, which also leads to the story not getting written. There are writers out there who don’t write every day (because of their busy lives) and have been writing the same story for five to ten years.

It’s okay to take time off for mental health reasons, for burn-out reasons, and for having a busy life. But the longer you wait to write, the longer your story will stay unfinished.

And no, you don’t have to write a lot in the day. Give yourself a small goal. I gave myself a goal of 200 words a day. It’s not a lot, and it’s not little either. But once I start writing, I can keep going. So most of the time, I wrote anywhere between 300-900 words, sometimes over 1,000.

And even if you give yourself a small goal, you can split that up into different times throughout the day. For example, if you wanted to use 200 words a day, you can write 50 words when you first wake up. 50 words during lunch. 50 words before dinner. And 50 words before bed. There, you just made the goal. :wink:

And it doesn’t have to be that long of a goal either if you can’t make it. It can be as simple as a paragraph, a sentence, heck—even a few words! As long you’re able to say “I wrote today,” that’s all that matters. :wink:

  • Writer’s block isn’t hard to get out of.

Most newbie writers tend to get writer’s block… but what most professional writers will tell you is that writer’s block doesn’t exist. And I honestly have to agree with them. Writer’s block is an unfortunate event that happens to you when you’ve ran out of ideas. But most people tend to use the term “writer’s block” as an excuse for laziness and procrastination… so they don’t have to write. If you’ve ran out of idea, then okay. Maybe you do have writer’s block. But it isn’t that hard to get out of. This is where you go looking for those ideas. Read, watch a movie or a show or a YouTube video, play video games, think about life, do something! You have to be productive in a way that allows you to think about what you can write next.

Otherwise, if you have an idea but you don’t know how to write it, then the situation is simple: force yourself to write.

It’s not easy, but forcing yourself to write is the best and only way to get out of the dumps. You grow from it as it’s a self-disciplining feature and you also push through the hard areas by not overthinking your work.

  • When in doubt, plan.

A lot of newbies tend to wing their stories. They don’t plan at all and when they get stuck, they start asking around, “What do I write next?” The simple solution is to PLAN. If you don’t know where to go, you have to plan out where it’ll take you.

  • When in doubt, research.

And finally, always do research if you’re writing something you’ve never experienced before or something you don’t know much about. It’s boring, yes. But it’s a simple need for writer’s to do research on things they need to know more of.


General writing advice:

  • Show, don’t tell.

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but unlike most people, I’m going to break down what this advice means.

When I first heard this advice as a newbie, I always thought it was about being more descriptive. I was wrong. “Telling” is where you say what the character is feeling or how they react. For example: Sarah is cold. or… David became angry. “Showing,” on the other hand, is where you say what the character is feeling or how they react through context clues. For example: Sarah turned her face away from the crisp air that blew into her face, nipping at her skin. She shoved her hands in her pockets, clenching her fists, and buried her face in her scarf. <— This tells us that Sarah is cold. Or… David pounded his fist on the kitchen table. His eyes burned with fire and she was sure steam came out of his ears. He gritted his teeth while saliva dripped from his mouth as he scrunched up his nose. <— This tells us that David is angry.

You can also use the method for specific information. For example, instead of saying that the character’s father works at the bank or how she’s going to a diner where her friend is a waitress, use context clues to get the point across. She can walk into the bank, be greeted by the employees (which tells us that they know her somehow) and she waits inside an office where her father comes in and greets her, and somewhere in their conversation, she can say his title (as “dad”) and that’s where we connect the dots: her father works in the bank. Or maybe she walks into the diner, sits down, and a waitress (who knows her name) tells her that she’s almost off her break and when she finally does, she sits down and they start talking about something important. Based on their conversation and how they act towards each other, it’s simple to know that these two are friends.

Now, the problem with “show, don’t tell” is that you’re not always going to show. There’s going to be times when you tell, but that differs based on the scene of your story. If you have a slow paced scene where you want your character to experience the surroundings or the moment, then you’re going to show. If you’re writing a fast paced scene where your character can’t take in as much information as they wanted before, then you’re going to tell.

The difference between both is that you’re going to tell at least 30-40% in the story. And you’re going to show at least 70-80% in the story.

  • Avoid the major cliches.

Every story has been done before, so don’t worry about needing to stay clear from them. However, while a story can have cliches, the way it’s written makes it original. In order to do this, you either have to twist the cliche into something new or add realism to it. An example would be the bad boy stories. If I were to write this cliche, I’d stop using the term “bad boy” and make the teenager into a human being that has problems of their own. They get into mischief, they’re misunderstood, and they may hang with the wrong people. But maybe, somewhere inside them, is a heart full of gold and a personality no girl could step away from. Or maybe there’s popularity. Realistically, if you go to a big school, there’s no such thing as popularity. But maybe the school is placed in a small town where almost everyone knows each other. In this setting, popularity could be a real thing. So in order to twist this around, you can write the story where no one “rules the school,” but are just wealthier than most of the students. Maybe their parents own one of the biggest companies in the area and they often travel for business as well as have others travel to their house for business as well? Perhaps they’re only popular because their mom is a famous actress and they want to be friends with them because everyone wants to meet their mom?

  • Get out of your comfort-zone.

Something that can help you throughout your writing journey is to get out of the comfort-zone. This can mean anything between writing in a genre you’re not familiar with writing in, writing different age groups or different genders, or writing with diverse personalities and backgrounds. Whatever it may be, leaving your comfort-zone encourages you to grow as a writer and you’ll be able to think of more ideas this way, too.

  • Use subplots and conflict.

One problem any newbie may face is the problem where they can’t lengthen their story because there isn’t enough action going on. In order to fix this problem, you have to use subplots and conflict to increase the length of your story. Having subplots can mean adding various genres to your story. Maybe your story is a simple teen fiction, but you can add a bit of science fiction to it when they find an alien weapon hidden in their backyard. And conflict can mean anything between weather, physical or verbal fights, or any other unfortunate event. The point to conflict is so your character gets blocked from getting their goal too early.

  • "Said" isn’t dead.

Some writers will tell you to use synonyms to replace “said,” but they’re in the wrong. “Said” is the perfect word to use most of the time. The reason why is because it’s invisible to the reader. If you’re constantly using a synonym, it’ll get annoying. The only times when you should use a synonym or another word to replace “said” is if it’s truly needed. If a character asks something, you can say “Sarah asked.” If they whisper or yell, you can say, “Sarah whispered” or “Sarah yelled.” But otherwise, keep it simple with “said.”

  • Use active voice.

This is something I’m still learning how to do. But the gist of it is…

In active voice, the subject (noun) of a sentence performs an action (verb) on an object. In passive voice, the subject (noun) is acted Upon (verb) by an object.

So this would be:

The student wrote the essay.

Vs.

The essay was written by the student.

Or…

Our assignments were graded by Mrs. Johnson.

Vs.

Mrs. Johnson graded our assignments.

  • Use “ly” words sparingly.

Be careful when you’re writing words with “ly” at the end. For example: quietly, slowly, badly, closely, quickly, angrily, sadly… If you can rephrase it, then you can get rid of the word. For instance, if you said: “I hate this!” she said angrily. <— You need to ask yourself, “In what way was she angry?” This will allow you to describe how she was angry. What reaction, action, and emotions took place?

But you can use them if you wish, just be careful of how much you use.

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EVERYTHING YOU EVER WRITE LIKE EVER … WILL SEEM TO SUCK WHEN YOU RE READ IT … CUZ IT JUST WILL… NO MATTER HOW GOOD IT IS OR HOW MUCH SOMEONE LIKES IT…YOU WILL LOVE YOUR STORY MAKE SURE YOU DO… BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE LIKE YEAH IMA READ MY OWN STORY …NEVER GONNA HAPPEN …
SO WRITE EDIT LET OTHERS DO THE CRITIQUES…
ALSO YOU WILL NEVER BE AS GOOD AS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR(just cuz they are ur favorite not you)
NO AUTHOR IN THE HISTORY OF EVER WAS LIKE IM THE BEST
Edit: Take a deep breath and keep writing :slightly_smiling_face:

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I actually have a blog that I think could benefit you a lot! You can find the link on my profile! :slight_smile:

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I would say write with your heart and don’t hold back to spare others feelings. Writing is an art and being too politically correct could hurt your work more than help it.

Make your readers laugh at least one time. That will help them remember you.

Get into character when writing. You are no longer the person behind the screen. If you’re not feeling any emotion, you’re not in character.

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Ignore all advice given.

Tehe.

Don’t be afraid to suck, especially in your first draft.

Don’t get distracted with dreams of publishing and best sellers. You’re a newbie writer. It takes years to develop the craft – and THAT’S OKAY. It’s not a race, and you’re not getting started late.

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FOR NEW WRITER:

Do:

Love the story you tell. Don’t just write a book for the sake of writing. Write because you have something to say. Every story should be your passion project.

Know your characters to the point where they feel like real people with real emotions. Emotions and weaknesses are the two things readers connect with the most as far as the MC goes.

Accept that the first few books aren’t going to be very good. We all suck at the beginning. That’s supposed to happen. What you can do is right the story you love so that you’ll want to go back and turn it into what it deserves rather than be embarrassed by it a year or two from now.

Make sure the writing is as clean as you can make it before seeking out readers. Efforts will be in vain if things are a mess. How do you want your readers to see your story? Wait until you’re there before you look for them.

Remember that when the book is new, it’s at the very bottom of every list. No one knows it exists and that is completely okay.

Don’t:

Expect to have readers just because you’ve published three chapters. If they don’t wait until the book is complete, they’ll at least wait for ten chapters or more to be up.

Look for readers right away (this sounds like advice I’ve already given, I know). It is incredibly easy to get distracted by outside forces when you are new to writing. Books fall by the wayside when concentration strays from the story. That’s how you get a series of incomplete books.

Forget it’s a first draft. First drafts are not meant to be seen (at least for fresh writers). The books you love on your bookshelf were edited and redrafted over and over again until the writer couldn’t stand the sight of it. It’s okay for them to be a mess. It’s okay for people to not be reading them.

Expect votes and comments. Those come with quality and depth (when they’re genuine), which comes with time and a lot of effort. That comes with adding skill during the second draft (or however many drafts it takes).

NEW WRITER TECHNICAL ADVICE (DOS AND DON’TS)

Do:

Make your story appear unique, even in a trope. That means to avoid using titles, covers and blurbs that remind readers of the dozens of books they’ve already scrolled through.

Make your writing clear.

Punctuate correctly.

Hook the reader with your first paragraph. With publishers, it’s the first sentence. On Wattpad, readers will judge by the first couple of paragraphs. It’s important to show them your book doesn’t start like the other thirty books they’ve read.

Jump into the story.

Don’t put your reader through information overload. They aren’t fans and you will lose them. Instead, give them a combination of action and character emotion. Of course, this won’t be the rule for every story. Some like to start slowly, others need to jump right in. No matter which, don’t just be giving a full history of the character or the setting.

Try to keep characters to a minimum.

Your main focus should be on the MC, so don’t spread yourself too thin by filling the first chapter with characters.

Make your main character interesting, relatable, or likable. Readers connect to a character’s flaws and their heart. An overly strong character may be who we wish we could be, but they can also be difficult to form a connection with. Dislikable characters can be a hit, but they generally miss. If your reader cannot stand your probably won’t stick around very long in the hope they’ll become more likable. They might very well evolve into a good person throughout the book, but it’s important to show they are actually capable of it.

Like the beginning paragraph, you’ll have to hook them with the final one as well.

Don’t:

Use all caps anywhere.

Use ?? or !!! There should be one and only one.

Use text talk unless a text appears.

If you have trouble with grammar and punctuation, hire an editor for this first chapter (and future chapters). Once you lose a reader, it’s near impossible to get them back.

The first chapter is probably the most crucial of your chapters. After all, if your reader doesn’t like your first chapter, what will make them want to read on?

Author’s Notes:

The same as anything else, keep your writing clean.

Keep them to a minimum, keeping the focus on your book.

You can request votes and comments, but don’t make people feel like they are obligated to or beg them. A short reminder is fine, as we all can get lost in a great chapter and anxiously click on the button to read the next.

If you did something surprising, you can explain your choice.

If you want to talk about a character, that’s fine.

But keep it short and sweet. It’s okay to want to engage conversation and ask questions to your readers, but don’t expect them to answer right away.

Don’t:

Use all Caps.

Use pet names. I don’t want to be spoken to like I’m a child.

Use !!!

Talk about your day.

This should be about keeping the readers you do have.

When asking the age old question of how to gain readers, expect that some will answer generically and others will go into your book. When they go into your book, they will pick apart the above topics and tell you exactly what you are doing to scare readers away, so don’t expect a pat on the head.

Finding readers will take some work on your part. You have to constantly be active on the site, not just updating but putting yourself out there. Before you go out looking for them, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to keep them.

Your work is competing with millions of other stories on this site, so give them a reason to stick around to read yours, because as much we’d like to think it’s about the story, the mistakes in your book can ruin that story. They turn it into a ‘what could have been’. Make your story enjoyable to read by cleaning up the messes.

I will drop nine out of ten books in the first chapter do to mistakes or an unoriginal beginning, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

FAQ

Q. How long should a chapter be?

A. As long as it needs to be.

Some people like shorter chapters and others like longer chapters. What you need to do is try and shoot for an average number to hit and be accept when you can’t hit it. However, Wattpad does suggest aiming for around two thousand.

Q. First person or third?

A. Whatever comes most naturally to you. Some stories and genres work better with a certain narrative, but I think it all boils down to the writer. If you force yourself to write in a narrative that doesn’t feel natural to you, the writing will look forced.

Q. I’ve started writing a new book, but no one is reading it.

A. That’s because no one knows it exists. We all see those books with giant numbers before we start are first book for the site. Then we’re all disappointed when no one reads during the first week it’s up. There are millions of books on this site and your book is new. That means it’s at the bottom of every search. Each one of us has to work our way up the ladder.

Q. How do I find readers?

A. The better question to ask is, ‘When should I find readers?’.

The answer to that is when you feel like your book is ready to keep them. The other answer is when you have the time. Writing your book is a full time job. Putting yourself out there on the site can also be a full time job. Doing one will take time and effort away from the other.

Remember that people will judge the quality based on what’s in front of them to read. Wait to seek out readers until you are ready to be judged by the quality in your book.

Q. I want to write, but my mind in drawing a blank. Any ideas?

A. Don’t force it. One of the many reasons a book is abandoned is because the writer wasn’t passionate about it. Don’t write for the sake of writing (at least, not for others), write because you have a story you need to tell.

Q. How can I improve if I’m not getting any feedback.

A. I wrote for many, many years without feedback. We improve with each story we tell. Feedback is great, but isn’t required and can actually hurt us if we receive at the wrong time.

If you are on the first draft, all you need to are your characters and their story. Your writing might very well suck, but so will your story if you pay more attention to getting it right than you do on the characters. Save the lack of suckage for the second draft. Make your first draft about your love of the story and nothing more. Pretty much everything you do (with the exception of gaping plot holes) can be remedied in the second draft.

Q. Should I outline?

A. The answer is based purely on you. Some people can only work within an outline and others can’t work in one. Some need a vague idea of the events in the book while others need to outline every chapter. There is no wrong answer.

If you’ve written before but never manage to complete projects, you may want to try the opposite approach and see how well it fits.

Q. I’ve written three chapters and now I don’t know where to go.

A. Some will say you should have outlined, but this can be for any number of reasons. You may have the wrong story to tell, which isn’t uncommon in the least. You may have walked in not knowing enough about your characters. I would suggest writing prompts (PM me for details). If nothing else, they’ll help you to improve your writing.

Q. I have an idea for a story, but I have no idea where to start.

A. Start as close to the inciting incident as possible. Doesn’t really matter where, as this probably won’t be the first chapter you’ll have forever.

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BLURB WRITING:

Blurbs should be in third person, present tense. You can get away with past tense if need be, but always write in third (even if the book isn’t).

First paragraph- Who is the character? What can you tell the readers about them to help them feel like they can connect?

Second Paragraph- What brings them to the main problem in the book? How does it affect them? What must they do to overcome it? What are the stakes if they don’t?

HOW TO START A BOOK:

Try to open the story in a way that introduces the readers to who your character is as a person. A lot of first chapter rely heavily on the actions of the characters and put little effort into developing them.

How do you want your readers to see this character?

It really doesn’t matter where it starts because realistically you won’t find the perfect beginning until the book is complete. We start where we need to in order to get the ball rolling and start where we’re meant to much later on, when we have a better understanding of our character and their journey.

If you want to start in a refreshing way, read as many first chapters as you can from other books with your overall plot. Get an idea of what’s been done time and time again. It’ll usually open you up to discover what you really want for your character.

When I started my book, I opened up with the character being dropped off at her first day of school by her aunt, who was her new guardian. It wasn’t a great start, but I wanted to show the character and how difficult this new life was for her, as she’d always been homeschooled.

This was the first step toward the plot of the book.

After receiving a harsh and insanely honest critique (after I’d completed the first draft), I tried to think of a more original way to open the book. I wanted people to get a chance to know who my character was on the inside.

Was her first day of school the intro to the incident? What caused this intro though?

So I went back to her grandparents death (her former guardians). I was able to show the pain she was going through and show her fear of her entire life changing. Comments came flooding in from people being able to connect to her in chapter one. I knew I had the opening I was meant to have (though I’m still trying to tweak it to minimize the inner monologue. That’s my writing weakness).

HOW TO WRITE AN AMAZING STORY… FIRST ATTEMPT AT WRITING A BOOK

If you’ve never written a book before, you can still create an amazing story. But remember that those don’t come around often for any writer. An amazing story, one that you can pour your heart into, is extremely rare.

But you won’t write an amazing book. It will take years of writing before you can really find your voice in it. For the first few years, be prepared for the writing to be crappy. Actually, you don’t need to be prepared for it because you won’t realize how crappy it is until later on.

Most any writer will tell you that when they started, they thought their book was great. The pride of writing overshadowed the fact that there was little to know skill on the paper. A year or two later, they looked back and realized how terrible it actually was, not realizing that in two years from that moments, they’ll be looking back again and thinking the same thing.

Some do realize how terrible their writing is. They will tend to be easily flustered, feeling like they will always be shit because they didn’t become great in the span of a few months.

I’d rather be the first person, being able to just enjoy writing without overthinking it.

We improve constantly, but it takes a while to find our groove.

Write a story you can love. Doesn’t matter if the quality is shit, just let the characters take you on a journey and create something that you will want to rewrite down the line (if you are new) or write something your prepared to go through with a fine toothed comb once it’s done.

The first draft isn’t about natural talent or skill. It’s about the story. The second draft is what you do with the words you’ve written. It’s about turning your story into what your characters and the readers deserve.

Just remember that all the mistakes you make early on are supposed to be made. It’s what helps you learn and grow. Eventually you improve and the mistakes lessen with time.

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New writers seem to be convinced they are doing something wrong because people aren’t reading.

They need to realize that writing a book is completely different than getting it read. There are still millions of books on this site and just because we write one doesn’t mean people will know it’s there.

You’re tossing a pebble into a lake full of pebbles. Are you going to go diving for the ones on the bottom? Look at the ones that have washed ashore? Sit in the shallow water and pick up the ones that sparkle in the sunlight?

Chances are that if you go diving, you’re going to be looking for lost jewelry, not pebbles.

Unlike pebbles, you are your book can crawl to shore, making it a little easier to get picked. That means finding ways of promoting yourself and your writing without actually advertising. People won’t know you’re there unless you use your voice. So use it and use it well.

From there, people still need to click read, which means you need a welcoming profile, well made and somewhat unique book cover (basically, it shouldn’t look like every other cover in your genre), and enticing and clean verb that lets us get to know your character without handing over the plot too much.

From there, your first chapter has to reel them in (your book has gone from a pebble to a fish, by the way). Though people can leave a book at any time, this is a make it or break it chapter.

Getting people to comment and comment with heart takes a passion for the story and a well developed character.

It takes effort on your part to find readers and effort to keep them.

Finding Readers

There are a lot of ways of finding readers for your work.

About half of them will either get you into trouble or do you no good.

Please keep in mind that you should avoid actively seeking out readers until the book is complete and edited to the best of your ability.

If you are fairly new to writing, having readers while you are working on your project can be a distraction. You don’t need someones comments or assurance. All you need is your love for the story.

Worrying about no one reading is one of the many problems that either shouldn’t matter to you, or shouldn’t be dealt with until later on.

If you want your readers to see the best you are capable of, don’t be in a rush for them to see a first draft. There is plenty of time to have readers.

I had less than a dozen while my novel was in progress. But that didn’t stop me. I loved the story and I wanted to tell it. Having less readers at the early stages meant that more were able to receive a more quality experience.

Before seeking out readers, I beg of you, finish your book. Finish it without worrying if you are doing something wrong or right. Just write it with love. Then add in the talent during the second draft. Then hire critics if you would like, applying whatever suggestions you agree with. Then hire editors, fixing what they point out. When you truly feel proud of what your project has become, then is the time to seek out readers.

Gaining readers is a slow and unsteady process. Sometimes you’ll have several in a week, sometimes a couple of weeks will go by with no readers at all. Remember, there are over a million books on this site. There are thousands of books with the same storyline as yours… It takes a long time to be noticed. This isn’t an overnight thing.

Some writers will message people in threads who are looking for books.

Have you bothered to learn their taste? Has something on their profile led you to believe they would enjoy your book?

If you want to approach a reader this way, you have to believe your book is actually something they would enjoy.

Remember, when someone is asking for book suggestions in a thread, you cannot request they read yours. You can do so through PM, but not in the threads.

Some writers will message at random.

Writers approach me constantly in a message. I honestly don’t mind, but I still have a few issues with this.

1)How did they find me?

 Very few writers have ever told me how they came across me. This will make me feel as if I am chosen by random, which is not how I want to feel. 
  1. Why do they think I will enjoy?

    I have on my profile that I am not a fan or werewolf or vampire stories, yet I am still sent them. I do have on my profile that I enjoy a forbidden romance, yet I am never sent them.

  2. Why have they sent me this request?

    Are they looking for a critique or an edit? Do they just want me to read? Because I rarely have an occasion where I can read for fun at this point. When I was first on this site, I was reading a book a night. Now I read maybe a book a month if I’m lucky.

If you are going to approach someone, let them know how much you loved their book (only if you read it) and how much you admire them. Give valid reasons why.

Let them know you see their advice all the time on threads and try to always take it to heart. Let them know you have asked them for a reason.

Let them know you have learned their tastes and respect them.

This is actually against Wattpad rules as well. You cannot send a duplicate message because so many people were sending out bulk messages asking as many people to read as they could find. That is one of the reasons you see those crappy books with high reads.

It’s rare for someone to get in trouble if they do so privately, but I would suggest only promoting your book to someone if you are willing to sell them the story. By this, I mean make them want to read it rather than just asking them to. Make them feel special.

Some writers will ask people to read in threads.

This is against Wattpad rules as well and is strongly enforced. Most people who do this will have their thread taken down in an hour.

You can, however, use threads to your advantage. There are many threads that allow people to promote themselves in the right way.

Find threads that offer you to promote an aspect of your story. They’re easy to find if you look for them.

Many people have claimed this doesn’t help. Well, the better you are at it, the better it will help.

Any club that has a ‘rate your summary’ will help get out what your book is about.

What makes your main character special?

What makes your book unique?

There are probably hundreds of these thread you can participate in.

Sometimes it will help, sometimes it won’t. But it never will if you don’t do it.

Some writers promote in the pinned threads (‘Share Your Story thread’ in the genre clubs).

I don’t think this has ever done me any good, but I don’t know.

I did this half a dozen times, probably, and realized my efforts were best served elsewhere.

If you decide to promote your book in the threads, I would suggest waiting until the end of the week. That way, it hits the most notifications. Or at the very beginning, as people looking for books are probably only going to look at the first few pages.

Some Writers join book clubs.

Only do this if you are ready to put in the work, as this is very time consuming. Also, please have your book edited to the very best of your ability. If your ability in editing is poor, make sure it is edited to the very best of someone else’s ability. Your book will be someone’s assignment, so try to make it as enjoyable of an experience as possible.

Sometimes book clubs will give someone the first few chapters of a book every week instead of the same person reading all the way through. If this is the case, it’s vital (really it’s vital anyway) that those first few chapters are not only edited, but pull people in.

Some will hire critics and editors for extra reads.

Please don’t waste their time. They are incredibly busy people. Only hire them if you are looking for real help, not to increase reads.

The key is to be excited about every reader you have, not worried about every reader you don’t have.

Try an experiment and ask every person that follows you how they came across you or your book. Get an idea of where your efforts are best served.

You can’t just write something and expect everyone to flock to the book. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of books on this site. You have to work a little to be noticed.

No matter what way you decide to do this, remember to only seek out readers once you have a solid book to give them. If they see a book littered with errors, they will most likely stop reading.

Each reader you seek out before your book is ready is each reader you will never get back. It’s up to you whether or not you give them something they read the first chapter on or something they read all the way through.

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