CYNICISM AT ITS BEST/THE COLD HARD TRUTH FROM AN AUTHENTICALLY PICKY READER/DEAR AUTHORS/ DO'S AND DON'T'S
ok, so im dreadfully curious as to what you guys are gonna think of my weird requirements. just as a reminder, this will be edited frequently as i find issues with it/ find new thing that annoy me that i wanna write about/ etc. also, you aren't allowed to make fun of me for making the same mistakes i bitch about you guys making; my excuse? this is casual.
well, here goes nothing...
~Get creative with the names- on Wattpad I've encountered at least six Blakes, all of which I've loved, and yet... try to avoid ripping off other stories' names. This really just makes things confusing to readers. I would even go as far to suggest that you make up names- just don't get too crazy with things.
~Don't require votes for the next chapter- it makes you seem desperate as an author; its fine to ask people to vote occasionally, but having a specific number set is really just annoying and makes me lose a level of respect for any author. Trust me, anyone who has any experience on Wattpad to know where the vote button is and actually loves your story enough to vote for it will.
~Remember, if someone fans you, it's not necessarily because they are completely obsessed with your story; perhaps they are just interested to see what its future holds.
~Don't skip out on the sexy parts. Really, people, if its against your religion or something, I guess that's acceptable... but honestly your audience largely consists of a bunch of horny teenage girls (me being one of them). What do you expect? As crude as this suggestion is, building up sexual tension and then skipping to the next morning is really discouraging and a total turn-off in a story.
~Avoid basing your story entirely on clichés- these include: bad boy; jerk; vampires; werewolves; the 'popular' blonde bitches; arranged marriage, etc. In truth, these topics can really be transformed into great reads, but try to knock some spin into them or something. For example, you could write the story from a weird perspective, add an unexpected twist, etc.
~Remember: readers can click the 'read full text' button to see the entire story, so you don't have to do any fancy symbols for italics or anything; they work when you click it.
~Don't lean too hard on foreshadowing; for example, writing anything along the lines of "there was something else in his eyes, something I didn't recognize" (trust me, I've seen this about half a million times over the months I've been on Wattpad)- This honestly ruins things for me as a reader and makes me feel like the author thinks readers can't figure anything out for themselves.
~Avoid writing your entire story about the budding romance between two members of the opposite sexes. Unless you consider yourself extremely good at writing dialogue/ witty flirty banter, this just creates a boring, overly used, predictable plot.
~Throw in some unexpected conflict. As a reader, I love a surprise.
~Include side plots. These really spruce up a story and add dimension to your main characters.
Add different points of view; personally, even as annoying as it is, I love the mystery POV's- the whole mysterious thing keeps me coming back for more.
~Remember that readers come from all over the world, so any traditions described in stories should be explained before hand in an author's note or under the story in a comment- these include; school regulations (for instance, here in America we have to take a test at the end of the school year called an SOL [Standards of Learning] test. If I just randomly mention this in a story, readers should have more to rely on than context, and I should explain.), festivals, religious celebrations, national holidays, etc.
~Explain the setting of the story, even if vaguely. This helps readers picture the story- remember to include the time period (although I would recommend not just spilling this sort of thing- if you wanted to reveal to readers that the story was set in modern times, for instance, you could have characters whip out their cell phones), an area (just a description of surroundings is fine, but if you can manage to fit in an actual location [city, country, etc.] without awkwardness/destruction of word flow, and you've done your research, you can create a pretty cool feel). Of course, these suggestions apply in a different way if you make up your setting (which I encourage- creativity really pulls in interest).