Welcome! So you want to be a writer and have questions? Well you’re not alone. We’ve all had questions before and will have them again. The Improve Your Writing club is a tremendous tool for getting help along your writing journey. There are no stupid questions except the one not asked.
This thread is a collection of frequently asked questions in the IYW club and threads in which the answer might be found. Feel free to browse this selection and see if your question might be among them to save you some time on your journey toward writing greatness.
All threads linked here are meant to be a reference. Some may be old or closed all together, but the information is still valid. Feel free to start a new thread if you don’t find any of this information has helped answer your question.
How long should a chapter be?
This is probably the most asked question in IYW. Wattpad recommends chapter lengths to be 1-2K words, however, the chapter can be as long or as short as you need it to be. There really is no hard rule on this.
Here are a couple of threads in which you can see previous discussions on this question:
- Chapter length, does it really make a difference if chapters are short?
- A Question about Chapter Length
- Long chapters vs. Short chapters
How do I write certain representation?
Be it POC’s, LGBT+, or characters with mental illness or disabilities the fear of messing up your representation can be an intimidating thing, but here are some threads where others have discussed the matter and/or provided reference material to help you through it. We also have a forum dedicated toward finding sensitivity readers. You can find that at #story-services:special-services
- A Guide On Describing POC Characters
- Writing about LGBT+ characters as a straight cis Writer (Should I? Or should I not?)
- The Nature of Mental Conditions/Illness
How do I get reads?
The correct space to advertise your book is within the #share-your-story threads or see if someone is looking for your kind of book in the #share-your-story:story-requests forum. But here’s a thread that helps take you beyond advertising your book.
What is Show vs. Tell?
Too much of one or the other can easily turn off the reader. So how do you find a balance? Here’s a couple of threads discussing that very thing.
- The Ultimate Show(vs. Tell)down
- Show vs Tell? when do you show and when do you tell?
- Anyone else having the 'tell vs show' issue writing a story?
What POV is better?
The great debate of first vs. third person will rage throughout the ages. So here’s some threads to help get you started on forming your own stance on the great debate.
How do I write a blurb?
Writing the perfect blurb can be tough. How much is too much, should it have an excerpt, how long should it be…never fear, here’s some threads where that’s been discussed to help get you started.
- How to write a good blurb?
- The Critique Circle - Making YOUR Blurbs Suck LESS -Part One: The Revival
- General Blurb Writing Help?
What Cover Should I use?
This question is best asked in the #mdc club as they’re more graphically inclined then those in the IYW.
Should there be a Prologue?
Prologues can be good, but they can also be frowned upon. Here are a couple of threads disussing their merits.
How do I deal with Writers block?
Every writer faces writers block at some point. Everyone has a different way of dealing with it. Here are a couple of threads discussing their methods for doing so.
How do I build my world?
You can find more advice on world building in the #genre-clubs:fantasy forum, but here’s a couple threads in IYW that might be able to help get you started on crafting your books world.
What are the best days to update and how often should I update?
There’s no right or wrong answer for this, but here’s some threads discussing this very topic.
- How Often do you Update?
- How often do people upload new chapters to their story?
- How often should one update when writing chapter by chapter?
Is it better to plot or pants it?
It all comes down to each individual writer, but here are a couple of threads that might help you figure out what kind of writer you are.
How can I name my character(s)?
Naming characters can be tough. Here’s a couple of resources to help get you started.
What if someone steals my story (or story idea)?
This is a fear everyone has. The truth is yes, posting your story online can open it up to thieves even if it’s for sale on Amazon. But there is a difference between plagiarism and simply sharing similar ideas/character names or traits/settings. You cannot copyright a name, place, or story idea. Many stories share similar ideas and chances are what you think is original has already been done somewhere. What is protected is your actual words. If someone takes a word for word copy of your book then that is plagiarism. If you have proof of ownership you can typically get the story removed by reporting it to where it was posted after being stolen.
As the need arises, more questions may be added to this thread. For now, these are some of the most asked questions in IYW to help get you started. Again, if none of these threads helped you then feel free to start another and the get the conversation going!