Welcome to Wattpad, But I'm Your Guide
You were probably looking for a legitimate review
Okay, so I'm just going to keep it real. These are just pieces of advice I think up as I'm on Wattpad. As a rookie editor and irresponsible judge, I have a standard that makes a perfect book, but following these tips won't be really easy and even I forget them as I get carried away to a limbo between authenticity and practically idealism when writing my own books. This article is for advisory purposes only, any result of failure in your careers after following any of my “advices” is not my fault. Be warned and beware!
Annoying cliché plots aren’t easy to avoid
Before I get the same old "it’s how it’s supposed to be", or "you have really high standards even though you’re a crappy writer" speeches/essays in the comments, I have to tell you that the word I don't mind cliches at all. I just don't like them to be annoying.
Imagine a cliche storyline as a typical clique of people in sappy high school movies. It's all lit, gangster, Gucci (whatever you wanna call it) for a while, but then when everyone grows up, the idea of a band of people struggling through "actual" teenage problems together gets stupider and stupider until it actually becomes a sappy high school theme.
Take Mean Girls for example, its story is timeless, but not exactly relatable. With Mean Girls, it's not every day one would have seen so much consistent swarm and fame around a person like Regina George unless they had gum or were seriously hurt. While pre-character development Cady Heron was the "relatable-girl-with-an-extraordinary-backstory", my personal opinion is that she made some decisions no normal kid would make. I'm not talking in terms of morals, but rather just as what that "relatable-girl-with-an-extraordinary-backstory" would or wouldn't do, like actually talk to anyone, or be that sugar sweet to everyone. To a millennial, that may be ideal but we don't want ideal; we want unforgettable and relatable. Therefore, overused stories like Mean Girls aren't the best plots to recycle, much less be inspired from.
In my opinion, a cliche story only just has two marks to knock down for me, which are that they have to be timeless and relatable for everyone. I have pointers that would tell you what I would want in a book, as part of the audience, or just for the sake of my peace of mind. You know, instructions so not everything on these writing apps would start making my blood boil?
Now this can be wrong, and it probably is. I have noticed over time that most books have similar patterns in them despite being completely different genres. To name a few, the following patterns are:
Really people? It's almost 2020! We shoulda had monkeys flying to Mars by now, but we still haven't figured out the idea of diversity within people! I am sick of reading about the book of people who are either dull dimwits or clowns cracking jokes on the excuse of: "It's more fun to read about those types of relatable characters". Have people forgotten that one aspect or one factor doesn't label a character but what the plot is? This sentence should be the last time that I use an exclamation mark! Anyways, my point is that not everyone is shy, not everyone is intimidated easily, and not everyone is innocent as a bunny, given different circumstances. And I am not talking about people who have been through traumatic events or anything, sometimes people just don't get intimidated by what they're not used to. But if it's not the typical timid character, it would be someone who would crack jokes every five minutes to lighten the mood for some reason or someone who conveniently knows everything that they have to in order for the plot to keep going. So get creative, people; find a way to deepen your characters, or find new plots for them.
The fillers are more than the ones in most people's lips.
This is a bit of a gray area, so allow me to demonstrate an example.
"He turned with full force, the drops of heavy rain and battlefield mud flying off of his dark mane of curls. The sky roared as if to reflect the man's emotions under the expressionless mask of those two cold eyes and his unclenched jaw. The sky poured fire on trees in his glory and the trees blazed orange with praise."
Dude, all that happened was that a curly haired guy spun and got muddy rain all over the place, thunder struck, and a bunch of trees got hit by wild lightning, and it was stretched out with more than four lines. Don't add too much poetic details that people miss out on important things by skipping ahead. There's a difference between using symbolism and themes for deep meaning, and just pointing out background stuff to make it look cool. Going for something like that, make sure all the elements tie in and contribute to the moment.
Lastly, here's a category that was irrelevant enough to be named "Random". However, lack of attention is no excuse for bad writing.
I'm a #hypocrite but at least I try being honest about it. There are so many rants on Wattpad about people yet only a number of them actually have valid reasons to exist. Some are are haters venting out their "anger" at something, and some are fans of something nobody cares about (me included) who rant about the plot.
Rants are meant to spread awareness, they are meant to be heard. Your anger, or interest does not concern me unless you can engage me into it with your writing and your reasonings behind the opinion you rant about. Honestly, I think I can completely read, analyze, review, and maybe even start worshipping a rant if it's crafted right.
The "timeless and relatable" criteria also works here. A nice tone will go a long way, whether it be dramatic, serious, or even comic. It can work when the author writes down a few raw and colloquial thoughts in the middle of some paragraphs so it feels like a conversation. Yes, I permit it (if that means anything), I permit the use of conversational writing because believe it or not, that is the primal way to connect with your audience. Simply a letter to the common crowd is what a rant is.
Types of people I've encountered
This part is going to be long, so bear with me on this. Wattpad is for readers and writers. If you're not either one of these, you're either very important or very lost.
The readers are obviously the most crucial aspect to this system. So much, that one would think more of them as a judge than an audience. I guess it happens when there is an option to make comments on any paragraph, sentence, phrase, or word of a story. Readers are basically what get you views (or "Reads"), comments, and this thing called "Votes" on your book in hopes that you'll be nominated for some bigshot award called "Wattys Winner". Some of them are more attentive to the content they read. You can start reading a very nice book, but end up diving into a rabbit hole of comments and their replies on highlighted phrases that people like, and sometimes even get into a conversation if the thread is recent. As I said earlier, there is no way one can be completely original with their surroundings, therefore, when reading a writer's work, it would be like finding unintentional references that were stuck in the back of your head.
Writers, what can I say about them? They're awesome. They used to be readers too, and still remain readers. Start planning a book, and all the ideas are going to lead you into a whole other world that was brewing in your head the whole time, and constantly changing up with every breath you take. Nothing can be original, unless you're creative. I can guarantee that every single person reading this article is creative. The only reason one it doesn't work is because over time, comparing with fellow writers, or Wattpadians with more followers, can lower your self esteem a bit. Remember that everyone starts at zero, but won't stay there forever. Comparing yourself won't do you any good, because that's how you lose your originality, by insinuating other people's standards into your own world. For me, my mind is one place I can escape into without worrying about other's standards, so why would I want to ruin that by downsizing it? Writing itself is awesome, so just give it a chance without worrying about fame. You don't reach fame, fame reaches you
I think if someone is serious about their writing, it can be quite the whirlwind working on an online platform. I may not be able to promise rainbows and unicorns, but I can promise that something might hook you into regularly checking into your account, be it a nice read, or a story stuck in your head.