wattpad writing styles

I’ve taken a look at the new feature with Wattpad writing styles. Mine writing comes off as literary, which seems to be the preferred style for Watty Award winners and Wattpad book authors, but not for Wattpad paid authors or Wattpad Stars. I am puzzled by the distinction between styles. It seems to be based on length of sentences and ratio of dialogue vs narration. I see how literary is different with longer sentences and more narration, but not how the other styles are distinct from each other.
Is there a way to see samples of these different styles?
Is there any indication that shortening sentences and chopping out narration makes the stories better or more likely to lead to being a Wattpad paid author or Wattpad star?

What I got from HQ recently was that none of the styles are ‘better’, but if you’re aiming to be in line with one or the other it’s up to you and the tool helps you see where you’re currently falling. So if you’d like to gun for Paid/Stars specifically, and if you’d like to use their exact writing styles… there you are.


All of mine are “straight forward” writing style. (Grade 2) I write first person POV exclusively and work a lot with interrupted sentences. Most of my characters don’t have big vocabularies as they’re usually not the most well-educated people.

But my story in Paid matched with 20% of other stories in Paid and 21% of the stories of Stars.

So, I don’t match with other Stars or Paid authors either :joy:

(And for funsies - 17% for Wattpad Books - 14% Watty Winners)


But yet the winners of this year’s Wattys were made into Stars and I don’t think they were expected to simplify their literary style, right?

Of course, it might be that the Wattys was just a special case and when HQ are scouting for prospective Stars among the general users, they indeed prefer a less literary style. If that is so, then making your own stories more straight forward in style would be logical, if hoping to be picked up for these programs is on your radar.

But since I don’t have more insight than you, I can only speculate, so better take this with a grain of salt.

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Thanks. I’ll check out your style to see what it looks like. I don’t think I’ll change my style. Being a Wattpad Star doesn’t interest me much. Paid author might be good. My aim is to get my stories to readers. My writing has a fair amount of complexity in vocabulary, world building, and point-of-view. I also write first person but the narrators are educated–one in linguistics, the other in law, so they do have big vocabularies. I think my writing tends to be around 6th grade level but I don’t pay much attention to it. I think that sentence and word length has little to do with understandability. I think that’s more a function of familiarity. Longer words can be easier because they contain Latin or Greek word parts and so can be puzzled out.

You gotta be a Star to get into Paid now though. Only Stars get apply to Paid as per the new rules, which you can read here:

My complexity level is the same as the first Harry Potter book - and having low complexity levels actually works in my favour. It’s awesome for ESL’s (and for me as an ESL too) It’s also easily approached by people who haven’t had the privilege of higher education.

There’s lot to be said about non-complex reading levels. And lots to be said about high complexity levels too. Neither is bad. I know there’s both literary and complex - and then super pop-fic and not complex at all in Paid. They speak to different audiences. There’s also everything from YA to NA to Adult in there. I think we’re actually more NA writers than YA and Adult at this point. Or we’re getting there.

Anyways, don’t change for Paid, Stars, Wattys or Books. There’s room for every complexity level in there, in my experience.

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I see the sentence fragments in your writing as mostly a matter of punctuation. You could easily put in a comma instead of a period.

I just trying to make sense of the Wattpad style analysis.

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But I don’t. It’s part of the narrator’s voice.

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Books can be complex but have simple sentences. There’s complexity of plot, point of view, and of world building. I’m not a good judge of what will be easy are hard for ESL readers. I was exposed to a large English vocabulary at a young age. I took awhile to learn to read but then jumped into Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott in 3rd grade, so complex sentences seem normal to me. I do have some familiarity with Spanish, French, and Latin and so can somewhat follow these languages, mostly I have a big vocabulary in English and so can spot the similarities.
Language interests me.

Which is why I mentioned complexity in context of reader levels exclusively. :slight_smile:

Languages definitely interest me as well - but there comes a point where I struggle as English is my third language.

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It’s a good decision, but probably alters the analytics without actually altering the understandability or style. It probably comes out as a lower reading level without any actual difference in readability or complexity.
I’m having fun comparing writing styles. Mine definitely has longer sentences and word. I think it’s pretty much a difference in characters. I suppose a big part of the choice is what type of character to write about, and this determines style.
I’m not sure what this means for the usefulness of Wattpad style analytics.

Probably :joy: Which is why I don’t put too much stock into what it’s saying. It’s not taking the creative part of creative writing into account.

Honest to god, me neither.

I envy you. I love seeing the differences in languages but I’m hampered by only really understanding one. I’d like to see how style varies from language to language. I understand that English tends to have shorter sentences than other languages such as Russian. I do see that American English tends to have shorter sentences than British English.

Hey, it’s never to late to learn a new language!

In Danish you can write and write and write and it technically won’t be wrong. We also have some crazy-ass words. Same in Faroese. Sentences inside of other sentences. And then we have words that have like 12 different meanings :joy:

English is fairly simple compared to Faroese on a grammatical level. Though the commas in English suuuuuuck.

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I think the idea of determining readability by word and sentence length is silly and founded on faulty science. Somebody thought it was a good idea but never actually checked to see if the idea held true. So then people started going with shorter sentences and that’s what became familiar and so easier. Anyway I’m still puzzled about if and how wattpad style analytics might be useful.

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Yeah it needs context right now. Better explanations for what it all really means on a greater scale.

I’m always working on language, but I have no hope of ever being fluent. Interesting about commas. I had no idea they were different than from in other languages. They seem minor but fairly straightforward to me. I think the biggest problem with English is the lack of correspondence between sound and spelling. For native English speakers this creates a problem with spelling. I suspect for ESL speakers this creates problems with pronunciation.
I know you can so sentences inside of sentences in English, but it’s out of fashion. I’m guessing the difficulty comes from how English grammar is rather strict about word order and how gerunds(-ing) and progressive tense(-ing) look the same. Maybe it’s because adjectives go before whatever they modify so you don’t know what’s being modified until you get further in the sentence. I understand that the trick to long sentences is adjectival clauses. As long as it’s clear what’s being modified you can go on and on.
I think Wattpad standards for sentence length are weirdly short, if they think mine are long.

No actually English is pretty straight forward when it comes to most of their spellings vs. phonetics. Faroese is a whole other language when it’s written compared to when it’s spoken, so I find English extremely likeable in that department :joy:

It thought both mine were long and short. I’m super confused by that feature tbh.

Interesting. This is stuff I have to ask others about since my experience and frustration is with English.

It’s interesting comparing the opening of your book to my book for style. They are both in first person, both a young woman. I assume the protagonist of feral is female. It’s amazing that it’s not entirely clear. (whoops I read further and see that the character is named Nathan so probably male)I’ve had readers come down on my for not making gender clear in the first sentence.
Both are traveling(airport, spaceport). The big difference between the too is social class. Mine is privileged, both educate and naive. I looks to me that Feral has less dialogue than mine, that doesn’t’ seem to fit with how Wattpad is categorizing style. It might be that WP is picking up on polysyllabic words.