What are the differences between stories on Wattpad and traditional novels?
What are the differences for writers?
Some Wattpad stories are made into real books. But sometimes I think that it’s easy to say if a book is a traditional novel or was a Wattpad story before that. However, I’m not sure what really makes it different. The chapters seem shorter to me, but I’m not sure if that’s true for all Wattpad stories.
Idk it seems like some stuff on Wattpad is rushed and not edited thoroughly enough because like, usually you’re only working with yourself to put stuff out (although of course some people have editors for Wattpad and stuff) but since you can publish it easily and at no time and cost to you sometimes not that great stuff comes out. Same can be said for traditional novels, except most traditional novels go through a lot of editing and reviewing to even be published! Unless you self-publish and make your own book that way, or put it on amazon.
I think that Wattpad novels tend to be less polished, just because actual books have immense editing hurdles. However, Wattpad also lets people tell the stories they want to tell without submitting a pitch, so they probably have a selection of hidden gems that wouldn’t be picked up by publishers but could still work well on Wattpad.
One of the notably jarring thing for me is the chapter length. I used to write 5k–6k words per chapter as it is normal for traditional novels to have it that long. One of the guys in a Wattpad chat group I’m in commented that it’s way too long and I was confused “Have you ever read a real book?”
Now I write around 2k per chapter, which is still too long for the ideal length of the site I’m publishing in (Tapas, with ideally 1.5k words at max). They suggested me to split the chapter but I find it a difficult choice; for me what constitutes a chapter are momentum and theme/continuity rather than word count.
I am lenient about tolerable amount of grammatical and punctuation mistakes in web novel platforms. Most of the writers are just young unpaid hobbyist writing for fun and should never be held at professional standard, unless they monetize their work. Many of them like me do not even speak English. However, I think it is fine to give criticism in civil way (and preferably in private) for worse offenders to make a chance for them to learn.
Also you will never see this in traditional novel: middle-schoolers writing rapey smut fictions.
I think the biggest difference is the target audience, really. Traditional books (even e-books) are pretty expensive and time-consuming. WattPad aims at users who don’t buy traditional books (sometimes can’t even afford them!). They read on their phones, often during short breaks and surrounded by distractions. It imposes a certain format and style: Short chapters, digestible language, plots that don’t require intense concentration.
is used to be aimed at a young audience. It was a place where teens could read stories by relatable authors - kids their age, with a similar taste and world-view, talking in their language. Obviously, this is not something a traditional publisher would put their money in
While we speak of it, though: I’m actually curious what Episode stories are like. Frankly, I have zero experience with that platform. How would you compare it to traditional novels or any other familiar format?
very similar to wattpad in terms of demographic
It has choices built in, which can be used well but often don’t do much
‘You have encountered a dragon. It’s going to eat you and you can’t run away.’
As a matter of fact, do you have any experience with The Choice of Games? It’s a paid site (so the quality is much, much higher), but it offers an experience close to the actual paragraph games. The choices do matter
//EDIT: Also, sorry for completely derailing the thread
I don’t think I’ve seen it before