on serialized stories + posting them online

by - January 19, 2019

Today I'm doing something new and interesting. For a long while, I've been fascinated by the idea of posting stories online - I've seen people do it on their blogs, on Wattpad, and I've read some amazing books that began as serialized stories.

I wanted to write a post about this BUT I HAVE NO EXPERIENCES TO OFFER to you. I've never done it. Therefore, I asked my friend Hannah Marie, author of my favorite Wattpad novel ever, to join me. I'm going to be asking her some questions about her experiences and hopefully we all learn something new.


You're writing a wanderlust story called Polaroids and Postcards. Why did you decide to post it on Wattpad? 

Well, to fully explain why I initially posted on Wattpad, I’ll have to tell you a little about the history that led up to Polaroids and Postcards being written...

I’ve always wanted to write stories for a living, so I’ve been writing off and on for years, but up to date, I’ve never completely finished a story. Ever. I always just assumed it was because I hadn’t found the right story to share yet. But then came Polaroids and Postcards... When my characters, Jason and Della, materialized for me, I knew that this was the story that I would finally have the guts and determination to finish. The plot line came together almost instantly and the ending was clearer than any other ending I had ever planned out.

Around the time I was planning P+P, a writing platform called “Wattpad” somehow came to my knowledge through my mutual writing-friends and I knew I had to check it out. Once I saw how many people were able to share their stories and gain an audience through this platform, I knew I had to try it at some point.

Soooo, I began to write P+P... but I desperately wanted to get a few chapters out there for my writer-friends to see. That was when I realized that I could do both! I could post on Wattpad, chapter by chapter, and use it to encourage me to actually FINISH my novel and not stop to edit halfway through.

So in the end, I guess you could say Wattpad was both a reward and an incentive to finish.


What's been your experience with reader interaction, both the positive and negative?

Honestly, I’ve been shocked by the amount of kindness and positivity! I’ve had very few Negative Nancies chiming away in the comment section, so that is super encouraging for me. But I do think that has to do with the content of the story. Polaroids and Postcards is a very positive story with wholesome messages, so I think it really only attracts that type of reader.

The handful of less-kind comments haven’t been illy-intended, I don’t think. It’s mostly been people trying to give out “constructive criticism,” but they didn’t exactly word it in the nicest way. (Probably because most people often forget the fact that I’ve been writing this story for nearly 3 years and that the draft they are reading is the very first rough draft and not intended to be proofread yet.)


What is the general feedback that you've gotten about the book?

Like I said before, the vast majority of people have been super kind and supportive! It completely blows my mind! And I’ve actually made several close friends through the writing and posting of Polaroids and Postcards. 

In general, people seem to thoroughly enjoy the relationship dynamic between my main characters, Jason and Della! I’ve heard many giggle over the dialogue. And they also seem to enjoy the character development that takes place in Jason as he begins to open up and enjoy life more. People also love to leave me their various theories on Della’s mysterious backstory and what the future holds for her and Jason. (I adore getting these sorts of comments, so they always make my day!)

Would you recommend writer's to try posting their stories online and why?

I always encourage fellow writers to try their hand at posting their stories online! In my opinion, there’s really no downside—especially with Wattpad.

Firstly, I think it’s great practice. So many writers are terrified of letting people they know read their work, but if you ever want to be published, you have to get over that. Publishing online is a great way to help you overcome that fear without having to feel uncomfortable around people you see every day.

Secondly, it can be very encouraging! Having readers and writers alike messaging me to tell me how much my story has touched them has given me the push that I need to keep writing.

Thirdly, it holds you accountable. The times where I went for weeks/months without uploading, my inbox was full of people begging me to come back, checking on me, & pestering me to write another chapter. This might sound nerve-wracking to a new writer, but sometimes it is just the kick in the pants that you need to get back to work! I know I needed it from time to time.


What are some challenges they might expect to face?

Like anything else, putting yourself out there is hard. It takes a bit of spunk and courage, but after you press that “publish” button the first time, it gets easier.

You might also go through some discouragement from time to time right at first if it seems like no one is reading your work. But don’t despair! Just keep writing, reaching out to make new friends, and sharing on other social platforms. It’s a process and you have to work at it.


What's the best thing that's happened so far in your Wattpad experience?

By far, being on the Wattpad Featured List is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Apparently someone in the Wattpad Headquarters thought my little story had some potential and they selected it to be on a list that gave me some serious exposure. So many new readers showed up because of that and I still smile every time I think about it.


Do you find all that you've done worthwhile?

I can confidently say yes to that. I have worked hard with Polaroids and Postcards, my readers love the characters nearly as much as I do, and my story is reaching its final chapters. I don’t know what will happen after I post the final update very soon, but I do know that I will feel completely comfortable knowing that my Wattpad readers will be there for me and Jason and Della. It’s been one heck of a ride, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.




Hannah's excitement about serial stories really has me wanting to try it out someday! And while we're at it, I (Lisa) will be offering you a list of few sites you could check out for their serials and maybe consider posting on.

Wattpad

"... is an Internet community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres ... It aims to create social communities around stories for both amateur and established writers... The platform claims to have an audience of more than 65 million users, who can directly interact with the writers and share their opinions with fellow readers." - Wikipedia

"Wattpad takes everything you love about storytelling, and turns it into a social, on-the-go experience. The result is a one-of-a-kind adventure in creation and discovery.

"Today, the global Wattpad community is made up of more than 65 million people. We’re proudly based in Toronto, Canada, but Wattpad stories transcend borders, interests, and language." - Wattpad



"Sweek managed to attract tens of millions of writers and readers, stories and interactions.

Writing and reading habits are changing rapidly, due to the 24/7 presence of our smartphones, social media and a shift to shorter stories and serialized reading. These are exactly the reasons why we developed the Sweek writing and reading app translated in over 14 languages, with publication of stories possible in over 60 languages." - Sweek


Storybird

"Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. We curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images
into fresh stories.

It's a simple idea that has attracted millions of writers, readers, and artists to our platform. Families and friends, teachers and students, and amateurs and professionals have created more than 5 million stories—making Storybird one of the world's largest
storytelling communities." - Storybird



"Welcome to Underlined! We're all about sharing our love of books and writing with the world, and we are thrilled that you've found our community. This is a place where you belong, where you can join the conversation, where you can be heard, and where you can be YOU!

If you love to read, write, or just want to connect with fellow book nerds and authors, then find your new home on Underlined!

By creating an account on Underlined, you get a personalized experience where you can create, connect, and share." - Underlined


Tapas

"Tapas Media is a next generation media company offering bite-sized content through its online mobile platform, Tapas. Tapas Media properties, which consist of the Tapas mobile app and Tapas.io, boasts over 3 billion content views to date, from over 1.6 million readers, primarily in North America. Tapas Media provides a best-in-class reading experience for story fans on mobile devices and the web." - Tapas

"Radish is an exciting mobile fiction platform for serialized storytelling. Our wide variety of stories are published and read in bite-sized installments optimized for the smartphone reader. It’s the literary equivalent of addictive TV shows, right on your phone!

Radish is revolutionizing the way that stories are consumed and produced. Readers can access thousand of serials across genres and connect directly with their favorite storytellers in live community chat rooms. Authors can publish their own original stories, revive backlist titles with a young, mobile readership, and pre-release upcoming books to build advanced buzz—the opportunities are endless!

Built to be both user and author-friendly, Radish strives to present the newest and brightest in entertaining, diverse serial fiction to readers while providing authors with innovative ways to build readerships and monetize their work." - Radish

*** note: pls use your own discretion with these sites

Before we end this I'd like to take a moment to thank Hannah for answering all my questions, and you guys!! Her story is so cute and entertaining and all about wanderlust so please check it out -


Jason Lovett, a no-nonsense guitar-player, is leaving New York to get to a career-making gig in LA. But before he gets far, his car breaks down. Being stranded without a car or money and running short on time to get to the performance of a lifetime, he resorts to his only hope: hitchhiking. Little does he realize that he will be stuck with a strange girl with lavender-colored hair, who drives a Volkswagen Beetle & goes by the name of Della Rae... 

Who knew traveling with a crazy-haired girl who has cameras, a blog, & an odd fascination with postcards could change so much?




your turn now - what do you think about serialized stories online, and what are your favorite stories out there? I'd love to know!!

xx lisa

ps. you know that I've started writing for the magazine oh beloved one, right? well, their january issue is out in print and online. read it here - it would mean a ton to me <3



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16 comments

  1. I've read quite a few great stories on Wattpad. I haven't read Hannah's yet though, I need to.
    Great post!

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    1. THAT'S TOTALLY AWESOME !! you should try Hannah's someday definitely. thanks so much for your comment!!

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  2. *reads title*
    *glances at serialized story that is on my blog*
    *reads post*
    *this was not a self-promo*

    xD

    I like the idea of serialized stories a lot. The idea encourages me a lot. Currently, I have one on my blog running right now. :D It's fun because I don't know what comes next because I'm writing as I go. :D

    Love this post!

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    1. Hahaha yes I saw your post! Great coincidence I say! And it's okay if you promote yourself sometimes XDD I like the idea so much myself but if I were to write one, I feel like I should have it sorta planned out first at least, in case I get stuck!!

      Aww thanks Ivie!!

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  3. Oh I love reading stories on blogs. I haven't got into Wattpad I have heard of it. I want to post some stories on my blog soon. My favorite stories posted on a blog is The Powes That Be on writefury.com
    This looks like an awesome story!!

    astorydetective.blogspot.com

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    1. So do I! (When I have time). I'd say that Hannah's story is a great place to start if you want to check Wattpad out!! I should really check that story by Writefury - I plan to read her indie book soon ;DD

      thanks for commenting Rakayle ^-^

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  4. Oh my goodness, what a lovely and interesting interview! I loved it so much! Makes me really want to do a serial on my blog. :D The question is, would I write an original story or a story I've written before? If the former, I would need to carve out time I'm afraid I don't have. If the latter, what if I wished I'd waited so I could submit it to some contest or other publishing opportunity that pops up?

    I guess I'll have to think and pray about it some more. :)

    AMAZING POST! <3

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

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    1. EEP so glad you liked reading it Lila!! It would be super cool if you did a serial - I'd totally read it! Those are really good questions which bug me too when I think about it. A lot of places won't accept previously published work, and time is such a big issue for us students lol Maybe one could adapt the already-written story into something shorter and post that?? Idk just thinking out loud. Definitely agree with you that one should think and pray carefully first!!

      SO HAPPY YOU ENJOYED GIRL <333

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  5. Hannah is one of my friends from Twitter/Instagram and she's so great and I really enjoyed this post! I have heard so many good things about P+P and I'm so looking forward to reading it! Unfortunately I have a TBR calling my name too and . . . :/ Thanks, Lisa, for spotlighting her!!

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    1. YES that's great that you know Hannah!! P+P is SO GOOD YOU NEED TO READ IT! AND THE CHAPTERS ARE LITERALLY REALLY SHORT SO YOU COULD LIKE READ JUST ONE EVERYDAY AND IT'D ONLY TAKE FIVE MINUTES OR SO!! tbrs are the worst honestly. YOU'RE SO WELCOME and she so deserves it !! It was fun to do this!! THANKS HANNE!!

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  6. Thank you so much for spotlighting me, Lisa! You're so great. This was such a fun interview!!! Xx

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    1. AWWW YOU'RE SO WELCOME HANNAH IT WAS MY PLEASURE AND SUCH FUN TO DO! THANKS FOR OBLIGING ME <333

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  7. This is great!! I've considered doing a serial for a loooong time now...maybe this'll be the final push? I've heard a lot about Wattpad, but haven't really looked into it at all, tbh.

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    1. YAY THANKS JULIAN !! I'd love to see a serial on your blog <3 And Wattpad is pretty great IF you find the right books. ;D

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  8. Thanks for the insight, Lisa! I've often briefly considered the idea of using platforms like Wattpad, and this is definitely encouraging! You've made the wheels in my brain begin to turn!

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    1. thank you for reading and enjoying Emily :DD I think it's really worth considering, as Hannah says! I'm so glad this was helpful for you - all the best in whatever project you might be considering!!

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