A couple of Saturdays ago, I attended a lecture about writing LGBT characters by Brij Bautista and Ronald Jeffrey S. Lim. It was great. I’m a cisgender heterosexual romance author, I’m grateful for any wisdom I can get from LGBTQI authors about writing LGBTQI characters, especially in romantic situations. [read more]
I’ve decided my free writing-related posts on Patreon will be going up on Wednesday every week. Writing Wednesday! It did not get off to an auspicious start, as I barely made it yesterday — I published the post five minutes to midnight. Oh boy.
I didn’t want to wake up one day and find out that the platform I’ve worked hard to cultivate and get followers to is suddenly gone and there was no way my readers could find me. Twitter and Facebook and Wattpad are owned by companies — we have no control over their business decisions. But my website? I have control over that.
Writing is hard sometimes, and for me, I kinda need all the help I can get. As with most writers, I learned writing from reading. However, it’s always great to hear from actual professional writers who want to share their knowledge and experiences with others. While blogs and writing books are fine, I’ve always enjoyed podcasts about writing. Here are some of the writing podcasts I listen to that discuss the craft of writing.
On March 29 (11am to 11pm Manila Time), I’ll be holding a Question & Answer session on Facebook on the topic of Writing and Publishing Serialized Fiction. It will be hosted/moderated by my friend and author Mina V. Esguerra. Attendees may ask relevant questions, and even share their experiences during the discussion. Please note that I write only in English, so this forum will be conducted in English and may only be applicable to writers in that language. Writers and authors of all genres are welcome.
Preliminary Questions (and the Answers)
- Q. What is serial fiction?
A. Serial fiction is stories (novels, novellas) that are published one chapter at a time on platforms like Radish and Wattpad. Successful authors of serialized fiction may have thousands, even millions of followers. Some of them have gone on to get book deals from publishers and self-publish their work on Amazon and other markets.
- Q.Why would anyone want to ask you questions about online serial fiction writing and publishing?
A. Because it’s what I do! I publish serialized fiction for both Wattpad and Radish with considerable success. My first novel The Billionaire’s Price racked up 22 million reads on Wattpad (before I unpublished it so I could sell it on Amazon and iTunes and a bunch of other online book retailers) and it hit the no. 1 spot in the Romance hotlist several times in a period of five months. My ongoing serialized novel The Billionaire’s Lie has gotten over 111,000 reads on Wattpad since it debuted last month. It’s also published on Radish, where it’s currently the third most-read story on the app. Oh, and my Wattpad account has over 177,000 followers.
People ask me how I’d gotten all those reads for my story The Billionaire’s Price. These are usually new writers who ask me this, or writers who have had their works up for some time but haven’t gotten as many readers as they would like. It’s quite frustrating, I know, spilling your guts out in a story and posting it online for everyone to see only to get a handful of reads after several months.
TBP has racked up 18.5 million reads as of this writing. There was a time when it didn’t have even a million reads. There was a time when it didn’t have a thousand reads, or even a hundred. When I started posting TBP, I didn’t have any followers on Wattpad because I was new and TBP was my first story.
This is what most new writers have to deal with in the beginning. So don’t be discouraged! There are steps you can take to find your audience, it’s not all dependent on luck. Everyone could use some luck, of course, but if you rely entirely on luck, you probably won’t get anywhere.
First, I will tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t go around Wattpad posting links to my story on people’s account pages. I didn’t message random Wattpad users with links to my story, begging them to read it. (I’m not sure spamming Wattpad users and begging them to read your story works, but let me tell you this: if some random person spams me with a link to their story, I ignore it.) I didn’t even have a Twitter or Facebook page in the beginning, so I wasn’t able to promote my story in either of those platforms.
Write when it rains
Write when it shines
Write on a restaurant’s table mat after a boozy dinner
Write in your old book, that you know you will never read again
Now that Victoria and Sebastian seem to be heading for couplesville, I figured it was time we revisit Ardan Kirkconnel’s character.
Let’s face it: we love Ardan. He’s hot, sweet, funny — and he’s good friends with Nicolette, despite the fact that she’s a woman of negotiable affections. (But then, who doesn’t wanna be friends with Nic, right?) Okay, so he can’t dance but nobody’s perfect.
From the comments I’ve seen, I know some of you (or a lot of you) kind of wanna sail the Ardan-Victoria (Ardoria? Victordan?) ship. They are nice to each other, have fun hanging out together, and have good chemistry. We ship them even if we know where Victoria’s heart (and her $20) belong. Because Ardan is adorable and almost perfect.
I could have made Ardan just an average guy, of course. Hot, maybe, but still nothing more than a pleasant distraction from Victoria’s infatuation with her boss. But where’s the fun in that?
Q. Will you read my story?
A. Probably not. I don’t like unsolicited advertising (a.k.a. spam). Some authors don’t mind if you send them a message asking them to check out their stuff, but I do. When I get messages like this, I normally don’t bother replying.
Q. Will you ask your readers to check out my story?
A. Probably not. If I do endorse a story (I haven’t yet), it’s because I have read it and liked it a lot. There are some stories I like, and I will put them in a reading list which you’ll be able to see on my profile. I have a couple of stories on my one reading list so far, but I will add more.
Q. Will you read my story and give me honest feedback?
Q. Why are your updates so short?
A. They’re not! All my most recent chapters are the longest in the story — each is approximately 2,000 words long. With fiction, a chapter may seem longer or shorter depending on the pacing.
Q. Could you write longer updates next time?
A. I could, but I don’t want to. With this story, 2,000 words is a good length for a chapter. This 2,000-word limit is not arbitrary. A story chapter’s length is as long as it needs to be for the author to tell a certain beat, scene or event. This length works for TBP, and I will probably stick to it.
Q. Why can’t I see [chapter/update/etc.]?