Admit it. Every Wattpad Writer, including you, dreams of hitting that 1M read count. If you’re like me, and have been hanging around the orange website since circa 2013, you’ve first-handedly witnessed the success story of Anna Todd, the author of the infamous After series. You’ve daydreamed of being up there one day, with a verified ‘tick’ beside your account name. You’ve clicked on that ‘Create’ button and tapped away till dawn, religiously posting chapter after chapter, waiting for the magic to happen.
But it didn’t.
You could hardly accumulate a few hundred or thousand reads, and a minuscule amount of votes and comments. You feel betrayed and dejected. Your dreams are shattered. But don’t you worry, child, because fairy godmother is here. And I’m going to show you what it takes to hit that 1M+ on this absolutely lovely website.
Three Genres Only
Wattpad boasts of around 22 different genres. But let’s face it. Only three of them are the real deal. All the others are jokes. If you’re not writing a “Manan” fanfiction (don’t ask me what that word means. I don’t know, and something tells me I shouldn’t Google it.), or a CEO Billionaire love story, can you really call yourself a writer? I mean, how dare you call yourself a writer, you stupid fool? Ditch that complicated historical thriller you’ve been working on. Ain’t nobody got time for that ish. All we want is some good ole’ Fifty Shades-y smut.
You’re Doing Your Protagonist Wrong
Seriously. As a writer you should have this rule absolutely by heart: your protagonist has to be a seventeen year old American girl with brown hair and social anxiety. How can you get this wrong?! See, she can’t be blonde ’cause then you can’t call her ‘plain’. And she can’t be an extrovert ’cause then she’ll be too busy with her life to overthink paragraph after paragraph and you’ll have no book. Can’t be a guy ’cause…I don’t know. She just can’t be a guy. Don’t ask silly questions. She has to be sarcastic, though. Her drastic life struggles have made her really sour and cynical, so keep that in mind. And she has to have this best friend who seems like the coolest person ever but somehow has your loser protagonist as her only friend.
Pour In That Forbidden Factor
You gotta make your readers pine for the characters, man. Falling for the dangerous bad boy. Or the player with a ball of mush for a heart. Or the sexy boss in a black suit, or that muscular teacher who is secretly in a gang. Tear your protagonists’ life apart by getting her into a contract marriage with a heartless man, or get her kidnapped by Justin Bieber. Don’t forget to put in some diversity, though. You can’t be a white supremacist. Let an Indian Bollywood girl bring a ‘firang‘ home to her orthodox parents. Or a burqa-clad Muslim woman commit haram. Your possibilities are endless. Come on, man, think out of the box! Let your imagination go willld….so wild it gets
lost in the woods and never comes back.
Love Scenes. Lots of ’em.
Dude. Try to understand. We don’t want to read about your protagonists’ relationship with her father. (Unless it involves…you know…). We don’t want a story about subtle friendship with zero romance in it. We don’t take precious time out of our lives to stay up nights reading about how your protagonist is trying to crack an impossible number code. So here’s the thing: we want smut. Lots of it. Plain and simple. We want a really hot guy, preferably dark-haired with some tattoos, loud and crass and a complete asshole. And we want a supposedly ugly, really shy virgin girl. And we want this cute (not so)little bad boy to steal virgin girl’s cute little flower. And don’t forget to include explicit details. Ambiguity doesn’t go well with us. Simple enough, right?
The Perfect Title and Cover
And lastly, every good book needs the perfect cover to pull the readers in. Go for the most obscene one you can find. A hot make out shot or a pair of naked legs will work wonders. Make your book title niiiiiice and loooong. Give away the whole plot in it if you can, because, let’s face it, we all need to know what we’re in for beforehand. Include words like ‘Bad Boy’, ‘Sexy’, ‘Player’, ‘Virgin Girl’, ‘Bet’, ‘Arranged Marriage’, ‘Billionaire’, ‘Arrogant’ etc. for bonus points. You don’t know yet. But I do. So believe me, everything depends on the title and cover. Especially if you can couple them with the steamiest scene of the book for a blurb.
So now, you know it all. You have the sacred knowledge, the key to everlasting Wattpad success. These are very, very precious lessons. Their power is almighty, above all forces on planet earth. And I give them to you, you trusted writer. Use them wisely. Sell yourself out. Leave no shred of dignity intact, in order to achieve the golden ‘M’ number. After all, that’s what all good writers do.
And always remember: only losers play fair. So don’t be one.
Image Sources: Public Domain Pictures, Pinterest, Zimbio, Giphy, Wattpad, Duolingo.