Web Fiction, Serialized and Social

by Rachel Baker on March 28, 2014

Years ago, I thought utilizing a writing process of writing a few pages a day and posting them online, would keep me motivated to write every day. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and the best laid plans don’t always work out quite the way one thinks in the beginning. As it turns out, I’ve written every day for many years…just not the fiction I originally thought I wanted to write. I have a lot of fiction though, lots of bits and pieces of several “the great american novels”. Bits not published, Pieces not shared.

In thinking about web fiction, fanfiction, and serialized fiction, I found the article below and started to really wonder about even my own reading and writing timespans. Two thousand words is roughly 10 minutes of reading, according to the article. I spend the most time reading in the morning with my coffee, but then, throughout the day, I get in ten minutes here and there, and never much more than that throughout the day. When I’m engrossed in a particular part of a book, I can certainly add more time to my reading; but for the most part, its 10 minutes.

I only write fiction for 15-20 minutes at a time, when I do write fiction (and PS I type at least 75 words a minute when I get going). I do my work writing at a 10-minutes-a-post clip, and no more (unless there’s posts like this one). So, then, if others are like me, WattPad seems like a genius tool for both writers and readers.

Now, there’s always so much chatter about how technology changes the publishing industry and how one day the industry may be obsolete. I don’t think Wattpad will change the publishing world, but I do think maybe it will change the way publishers find authors. If publishing companies are smart, and one assumes those who make the decisions and acquisitions are, then they will embrace the new ways to find writers. They’ve already begun reaching into the internet to find writers (and bestsellers are there – see: 50 shades of grey).

I, for one, am extremely excited about what is being written in the untraditional publishing mediums. I can’t wait to see where it all goes over the next few years…and I promise, I’ll still read hard and paperback books, but I will be more apt to embrace publishers who embrace authors who use the technology.

Not since the heyday of Dickens, Dumas and Henry James has serialized fiction been this big.

In 1841, excited readers swarmed the New York docks to ask travelers from England whether Little Nell in “The Old Curiosity Shop” was dead.

In 2014, they are turning to their phones to keep up with the latest adventures of sweet Tessa and outrageous Harry, who meet on their first day of college and have a heartbreaking and inspiring relationship.

Every few days, Anna Todd uses Wattpad, a storytelling app, to post a new episode of this couple’s torrid tale. Chapter 278 of “After” came out last week, moments after Ms. Todd, a 25-year-old former college student in Austin, Tex., finished writing it.

The first comment appeared 13 seconds after the chapter was uploaded. By the next day, there were 10,000 comments: always brief, overwhelmingly positive, sometimes coherent. “After” has more than a million readers, Wattpad says.

The Internet long ago revamped publishing and bookselling. Now technology is transforming the writing of fiction, previously the most solitary and exacting of arts, into something nearly the opposite. It is social, informal and intimate, with the results not only consumed but often composed on the fly.

Read the article:

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