Things are going really, really well. The rewrite on the sequel to If Wishes Were Spaceships is going much better than expected. Beta readers didn’t find anything horrendously wrong with it. It still doesn’t have a final title, but in all other respects things are moving along at a good clip. I can thank Habitica for paring down a bit of my tendency to procrastinate, and for getting me organized. Also, it’s really helpful to hang out with other authors in the Ink Slingers Guild and in my party within the guild. One of those people is voice actor Rebecca Thomas, who is also working on a number of writing projects, some of which she’s recently started posting to Wattpad. Well, having cheered her on during the writing, of course I wanted to read along as she posts chapters. So I joined Wattpad, a community of bookworms and authors. It’s geared toward serialized or short works, and 90% of use is via the Wattpad app on mobile devices so the community is more plugged-in than the general bookish community.
There are social network aspects to it also: you can like chapters or stories, can comment on them (including comments on specific bits of text), you can follow authors, and of course you can add books to your library and create/share reading lists of Wattpad works. You can also add media, such as audio, video, and pictures. Agents and publishers occasionally pluck lesser-known authors out of the Wattpad pool for wider publication (though some Wattpad authors are already well-know bestsellers). The way I see Wattpad is as another place where I can introduce new people to my work and build my fanbase. This will impact this blog in a small way. Whereas in the past I would occasionally post a short story here, new short fiction will now be posted to Wattpad (where stories will get more views/comments than on this blog). As a matter of fact, I’m working on new short fiction right now, though most of the stories I have planned for Wattpad this fall are older stories (some from waaay back and some from this blog). I’ll eventually also post book excerpts on Wattpad, but that didn’t seem like a good place to start since Wattpad is primarily for completed fiction and serializing novels. My first post will be “The Shepherd of the Uncanny Valley” this Friday which you can read (or re-read) here on the blog….Or you can Follow me on Wattpad! (Some of my stories will be public, but some will be private which means only Followers will be able to view them.) I hope to have a brand new story up by the end of the month, and will be posting my ghost stories in October.
It’s too soon to say what my long-term plan for this fiction platform will be. Because Wattpad allows audio, video, images, and dialogue with readers in the margins of the text (hidden until you click, so it’s not intrusive), it seems like it would be a good place to experiment with non-traditional storytelling, and that’s what a number of writers use it for. It’s designed to facilitate serialized fiction, which is also something I may do. Best of all it’s a good way to connect with people who read my fiction because we can talk about it right there on the page with the story, and it’s a very active community of writers and readers. 🙂