Taran Matharu on using Wattpad for Fiction Writing
“Wattpad is basically the YouTube of books” —Taran Matharu
Taran Matharu is a fantasy writer who published his first book on Wattpad before anywhere else.
“Wattpad is basically the YouTube of books where people can write their chapters and upload them to this website and then people from all over the world are able to access them. They can comment, read and vote on your writing, and you can see how many people have read a book or chapter. […] I uploaded a sample of The Novice onto Wattpad and after the first month it had been read 100,000 times, after four months it had been read one million times and now it’s almost seven million. […] I was very excited about the feedback that I was getting as no one other than family and friends had read anything that I’d ever written until I put my work on Wattpad. As an author it’s very hard to tell if you’re any good at first, so when people are responding it’s all very encouraging”
Taran also talks about what worked for him to hook his readers in Wattpad. Specially how compared to most authors whose chapters are about 8,000 words long, his are “between 1200 words at the shortest and about 2500 at the longest.”
First of all I was uploading a chapter a day on Wattpad for that first month. That meant that I needed to have a finished chapter by the end of the day, so I needed to write shorter chapters in order to do that. That’s why my chapters are so short to this day! It’ become a writing style of mine which people particularly enjoy it seems as I get a lot of reviews saying “I love how short the chapters are as you can just pick it up and put it down whenever you like”. Cliffhangers are a useful tool to use in Wattpad because if readers need to know what happens next they will wait until the next day to read or the next week to find out. It’s important to keep them hooked and I think that’s true in books as well, especially the first chapter where someone might read it in a bookshop so they say “I need to buy this and go and read the rest” so I think that Wattpad really helped me in that regard. —Taran Matharu: ‘I think writing is like reading a story that you can decide’
Advice very useful for starting writers. The format of short content is something I find particularly relevant when reaching out to audiences exposed to the endless flow of the web. The whole interview is quite interesting.