Wattpad Creator Mahum Tanveer (@mahumsheikh on Wattpad) has been writing on Wattpad since 2017. Her popular stories include Perfect Scars and The Workaholic's Wife. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Wattpad corp. or affiliated companies.
Have you ever wondered why some writers have millions of reads on their books while your book is seemingly stuck at a few thousand readers? I am here to let you in on some simple secrets that can help you reach more readers. I have personally gained millions of readers by following these basic tips. Let's get into it…
If I could give one piece of advice to new writers, it's this: Nobody wants to read ten of the same books with slight variations on the characters and scenes. Yes, you can be inspired by your favorite writer and try out a new genre that excites you, but try to make the story yours. Be innovative. Create memorable characters. Don't just follow the herd.
Make fewer grammatical errors and use strong vocabulary
One thing some new writers on Wattpad don't give much importance to is good grammar. When there are multiple grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and subject-verb disagreements in each paragraph, your readers may lose concentration. To avoid making these answers, I have a simple solution for you. Read as much as you can. Read well-written novels. Read magazines. Read whatever you can get your hands on. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice, the better your books will be.
Avoid too many clichés
I am in no way against clichés. Let's be honest, who amongst us doesn't love some clichés like good girl/bad boy or predictable scenes like the car of a protagonist breaking down in the middle of the road. There is a time and place for that, but if your story is entirely made of clichés with no innovation whatsoever, it turns bland and you don't want that. So get your creative juices flowing, write innovative scenes, throw in some good clichés here and there and you have your perfect story.
Believe me, you do not want your readers to wait for a month for an update. This method has two disadvantages. One, your readers are bound to lose interest and two, you will lose your writing rhythm, making it harder to pen your thoughts.
Now, the question is, how many updates? Once a week or once a month? It honestly depends on your style and personal preference, but ideally there should be no fewer than three updates in one month. You can make a habit of updating once every week or you can set a day for updates as well. This way, your readers won't pester you too much for updates, and they'll be eagerly awaiting your next chapter drop.
There are many basics that every new writer needs to remember like what the appropriate word count for a chapter is. My sweet spot is 1500-2000 words. It's not too long that the reader might lose interest and it's not too short that they don't get enough detail. Some writers like to write less than a thousand words per chapter. Personally, as someone who has spent the majority of her teenage years reading novels, I find chapters that are shorter than a thousand words to be a turn-off.
Work on your descriptions
Learn how to make the reader imagine the scene in front of his eyes. I'll give you a small example.
‘Samara was reading a book'
Now, read this:
‘Leaning against the headboard of her mahogany bed, Samara's eyes were zoomed on the book in her hands. It was an old edition of her favorite young adult novel. With one hand clasped around the coffee mug, she turned the page with her free hand.'
Both paragraphs describe Samara reading but the latter enables the reader to imagine the exact scene in their mind.
Adding more description can help with word count in case you are struggling to hit that 2000 word mark in your chapter.
Use conjunctions to join sentences
Another simple tip that can elevate your writing is using conjunctions. Here's an example:
‘David woke up. He turned on the lights of his room. He went to the bathroom to take a shower.'
Now, let's try to rewrite this.
‘After waking us, Davis turned on the lights of his room and went to the bathroom to take a shower.'
Both sentences convey the same meaning but the latter is much more pleasing to the eyes and mind.
Your story should be captivating enough to keep the reader's eyes glued to the screen and the only way to do it is to build up tension. Tickle the reader's curiosity. Make them eager to know what will happen next. That can also include sexual tension, i.e. not letting your characters have a steamy kiss (or more) early on in the story. Your way of building tension might be different than mine, but building tension is a proven way to keep your readers hooked.
A good name and cover
Last but not least, you should choose an eye-catching cover and intriguing title for your novel. The above mentioned points will help the reader stick to your story, but this point will be what brings the reader to your story for the first time. Be unique; make a list of suitable names and choose the most captivating one. Hire a professional for your cover or use Canva (works perfect for me). I myself spend a lot of time choosing the perfect title and cover of my book and it has a lot of impact.
I hope I was able to help inspire you through this post. In the end, even if you don't have a lot of readers right now, be consistent with these tips. Readers will come and stick with you if you are passionate about your writing.
Use these steps to take your writing to the next level and grow your readership. Learn more about the foundations for success on Wattpad.