It was late at night and I was doing my usual nightly routine – Twitter and Wattpad. A few chapters into this one teen fiction and I knew that I needed to stop there. Otherwise I never would have gotten any sleep. So I begrudgingly close the Wattpad app and visit the land of Twitter. Everything was all fairies and sugar plums, until I noticed this tweet…
alfie, fanfic on wattpad isn’t a book https://t.co/AL07rGQeRe
— tom harlock (@tom_harlock) January 21, 2016
That’s when I really got fired up.
How is a Wattpad story not considered an actual book? Wattpad authors are dedicated to their stories, putting in so much time to each and every chapter.
Let’s go through a normal process…
- Think of the perfect plot, characters, and setting. This can take forever, trying to figure out every detail that will make the ultimate story. Of course the idea will take its course once the writing actually begins, but having a solid idea from the start never hurt anyone. Then, there are those people who choose to outline their novel, which can take even a week to do!
- Begin writing. Let’s just put it this way: each chapter is generally around 2,000 words, which can take an average of two hours to write. Multiply that by thirty-fifty chapters. We are talking about a lot of time and thought going into these stories, but still, they aren’t considered actual books, right?
- Edit. Anyone who has ever had to edit anything knows that editing is the worst part. Not only is a long and tiring process, but it also makes the writer rethink their entire story. This can lead to changing and adding parts, taking parts out, and a lot of revision!
- Read it over, hate what you just wrote. A new look and stance on their work can change an entire chapter, or just the ending.
- Edit again, until it is absolutely perfect. The long process begins again.
- Hit the publish button! At last, the long awaited moment arrives and we can hit that button to share our works with everyone!
Everyone has their own ways to write, but my personal routine goes like this – write a chapter, edit, review, edit, and review once more. Then, I publish the chapter and start on the next one. Some people might take a different route to get their chapters out there, but my way takes over four hours to complete.
And that’s just for one chapter!
There is real effort, work, and care put behind the works published onto Wattpad, and publishers are taking notice. Authors like Anna Todd and Ali Novak have their works lining store shelves and people’s bookshelves.
So, how can one still say that Wattpad books are not real books? They inspire and touch their readers, just like how any other physical book can. Wattpad novels are in the same playing field as any other work of literature.
A. L. Woodson