… that includes your readers. They’re still people.
The ones that may be bots, though? I can’t help you there!
What I’ve learned throughout my experience writing on Wattpad is that the moment you let go of caring what people “think” of your story, then you start to write some gold.
Gold doesn’t equate to thousands or even millions of views, but something that people really enjoy! The size of the audience doesn’t… shouldn’t… matter.
There are cases where the author gains an incredible amount of notoriety and then begins to bend to the will of their readers/fans. Who are you writing for at that point? If you don’t feel happy about what you’re producing, then I would tell you I’m not surprised.
Yes, I know, people can be absolutely ruthless, but the beauty of you is that you can still do that lovely thing which is make a choice.
The authenticity between what you’re passionate about and what you’re doing for others will show. You still may receive praise and accolades for your work, but are you really happy with what you’ve accomplished? Oxygen mask on yourself, first, please.
I’d also like to address the authors who get upset over people shipping their characters or straying from what you were trying to serve them. You know, that’s okay right? The fact that people are invested in the story/character is the win. Stay true to the story you wanted to tell, and I doubt that you will be bothered about what the readers are doing with your characters on the sidelines. Bottom line: They’re allowed to interpret things the way they want to.
Eg: My most popular book on Wattpad is often called a fanfiction or compared to “50 Shades of Grey” when… it’s neither a fanfiction nor a derivative of that series.
- having a gray cover with serifed font
- the male lead is rich
- the female lead is poor
- they’re White
- sex is involved
- there is romance
- there is power dynamic (though that is by default implied in most heteronormative relationships…)
- [especially] using the color “gray” prominently… though it is spelled as is and used for an eye color (this is what I get for choosing a less common eye color?)
- and uhh… ya. That’s all I believe.
What can I really do other than change the cover and the title? Even if I do that, it will still be compared by plenty.
*shrugs* It’s too late.
Plenty of people think my characters cry too much or they’re really stupid and I honestly think it’s fine! In fact, I love that the readers are viewing the characters and, many times, expressing a completely different vantage point as to how they see the character.
*whispers* but the best part about this is that you know you’ve done well when you see the comments transform into different opinions. Thus proving you may have successfully sprinkled some of that fairy dust called”character growth”.
To conclude, I repeat to let your readers run wild with their imaginations, and keep writing what you intended to. If you’re honest to your work, it should work out in favor for everyone invested in the story.