Maybe my dates with Wattpad are a bit undignified. But at my age you can afford to be undignified. You’re free to explore, and to guinea-pig yourself, and to stretch the boundaries. — Margaret Atwood
Everyone has a story to tell.
You do not learn to write by going on a creative writing course. I can always tell, that plodding, wooden style, the clichés.
You learn to write through practice. That is how we hone our skills, be it writing or tennis.
Wattpad provides a platform for writers and poets. It also provides feedback from fellow writers and poets.
You write and post a book a chapter at a time.
Is that not a bit naff?
No, it is the way Charles Dickens wrote his books, each chapter eagerly awaited. In the US they were waiting at the dockside for the next instalment to arrive.
The internet leads to creativity. Look at the number of blogs. If you want to write a book, turn it into an e-book and put it on frostwire, turn it into an audio book and put it on bandcamp.
Margaret Atwood is a strong supporter of both the internet and Wattpad.
I got into trouble a while ago for saying that I thought the internet led to increased literacy – people scolded me about the shocking grammar to be found online – but I was talking about fundamentals: quite simply, you can’t use the net unless you can read. Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy – which many believe goes hand in hand with it – will be dead as well.
Allen Lau, co-founder of Wattpad, tells the story of getting a letter from an old man in a village in Africa. The village had no school, no library, no landline, and no books. But it had a mobile phone, and on that they could read and share the Wattpad stories. He was writing to say thank you.
Nine-year-old Martha Payne wanted to write. She wrote a highly successful food blog, NeverSeconds. Her local council tried to shut her down, public outcry forced them to back down.
Wattpad is not only new writers, classics and modern classics are also there, for example Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
I dabbled in wattpad and I have to say what I found was badly written rubbish. That is not to say there are not gems hidden in the dross. I dabble in bandcamp, I find loads of rubbish, but I also find music well worth listening to.
Writers on wattpad even post videos on youtube promoting their work. For example What He Really Did, which is claimed to be a true story.
There are complete novels, chapter by chapter. There are short stories, for example Santiago’s Dream: The prelude in the little church on the mountain by Henry Freeman, a thinly disguised speculation on Paulo Coelho, the P in the story, and the writing of The Alchemist.
The disadvantage of wattpad is you are forced to read on-line. But then there is nothing to stop the writer turning into an e-book and posting to frostwire, or an audio book and posting on bandcamp, or even turning it into a hard copy, a real book.
I do not like the use of facebook to sign in. Never use facebook to sign in anywhere. Not unless you want a sharing of your personal data. Always explicitly sign in.
I find reading within a restricted area of the screen is not very enjoyable. Even worse than reading an e-book. At the end of the day, nothing beats reading a real book.
Writers write for the love of writing, musicians play for the love of music.
Writers write to be read, musicians play to be heard.
If you are doing it for money, you are in the wrong game.
If you can earn some money, that is great as you are getting money for doing what you love doing.
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