With the use of technology, serialized fiction has made a huge comeback recently as discussed in this article. Writers such as Dickens, Dumas, and Henry James used to participate in such a form of releasing stories. Now, writers have the ability to post episodes of stories on an app called Wattpad.
Anna Todd is such a writer that utilizes Wattpad to release chapters of her story about Tessa and Harry, a college couple with a heartbreaking and inspiring relationship. By using the app, she can upload a chapter and have readers comment on it. Her story, “After,” has more than a million readers on Wattpad.
The use of such an app is transforming the writing of fiction into an art that is social, informal, and intimate. Wattpad is the leader of this storytelling environment. It has over two million writers who produce approximately 100,000 pieces of material per day for 20 million readers.
Charles Melcher, a publishing consultant who hosts the annual Future of StoryTelling conference, said, “Now that everyone’s been given permission to be creative, new ways of telling stories, of being entertained, are being invented. A lot of people are lamenting the end of the novel, but I think it’s simply evolving.”
Wattpad’s material is mainly aimed at younger women and the app tends to draw readers from fan fiction. The writers are not paid for their work but continue to put up stories, edit them, and delete them. The system of uploading coincides with the fragmentary attention span of the mobile world.
Writers who use Wattpad have the opportunity to establish a fan base and gain free feedback. It is a great stepping-stone to a published novel. Rebecca Sky, a Wattpad writer, said, “If you can go to a publisher and say, ‘I have 15,000 fans,’ that counts for more than someone who comes out of their basement with a perfect manuscript who knows no one.”
Fans have the opportunity to express their adoration and love of the writers on Wattpad and the stories they enjoy. This relationship with the readers encourages the writers to produce their best work and to constantly keep updating the stories.