So I just saw Jenna’s new video and thought. what is a truth you think authors should hear?
You’re not garanteed that people will like your work, or that you will get a lot of reads.
Diversity is perfectly normal. Not every protagonist has to be a white girl with bright eyes and light, smooth, milky, flawless skin.
Better representation, and if you misrepresent a person/a group of people in anyway, you deserve criticism.
Placed into Writing Discussion!
Hard Truth #1 (I have loads and I’m going to keep posting if I remember) – You’re not entitled to reads, honey. Maybe your story isn’t what people are looking for. Maybe it’s not very good. Maybe you don’t have enough of it. Maybe you haven’t been promoting yourself enough. Maybe you need to realise that people have a life and they don’t exist to read your stories to make you feel better
Hard truth - dear authors, if you think that just because you and your stories are so popular and successful that some people will not give criticism on your stories, then you’re clearly delusional. And save the “I work very hard on the story” excuse.
Hard Truth #2 – if you wanna release your story to the public, you have to understand that people are going to have their opinions on it and they are allowed to share them. This isn’t a dictatorship, so stop acting so entitled. If you can’t handle it, don’t press “publish”.
Hard Truth: Do a lot of research on certain groups of people, religion, countries, etc. before you write a story. That way you do not offend a lot of people e.g. making a Muslim woman in a hijab wear sleeveless or any revealing outfit would cause an uproar and I don’t blame anyone that finds this offensive because I do agree with them that it is inappropriate.
Hard Truth #3 – If you’re freaking out and lashing out at people for saying they wish there was a little more diversity in stories in general (not even your story in particular), you probably have some implicit biases you need to work through. A black person doesn’t have to be that different to any of your other characters if you don’t make a big deal out of it. In fact, if you saw different races as equal and not monoliths, you wouldn’t be freaking out so much about making a character of a different race.
And If you do that and you still get attacked, I will 100% defend you. Just message me.
Hard Truth #4 – If you really struggle to represent a character who isn’t exactly like you, or can’t even be bothered to put in a little research or empathy, you’re probably a bad writer. Imagine a story full of a bunch of people who looked and acted exactly like Shannii?! It would be interesting for about 1 chapter and then it would get old fast
Hard Truth #5 – If every single one of your stories has an author insert as the main character, it makes you look narcissistic.
Hard truth - If readers tell you that you have grammatical errors and you aren’t willing to correct them, then you’re careless and lazy
Hard truth: people criticise for a reason. Criticism is helpful if only you actually listened to it instead of being offended.
#2 maybe no one will read your story. There are millions of stories, if not billions don’t expect a read so quickly. I’m still waiting for 1 read on my story and it’s been out for half a week
My hard truths:
1. Be patient - I’ve been on wattpad for a few years and I didn’t get 700 reads until recently. I promoted my story, talked to other users, stayed active, posted regularly and I still had to wait! Gaining readers is and will always be hard. Readers don’t owe you anything and if you want consistent readers then you need to do what will appeal to them - This. Takes. Time. The amount of time you do something for is not a free pass for success.
2. Be humble - You could be 14 writing fanfics or 40 in the industry having written for decades - you aren’t owed anything If your work isn’t taking off then it’s up to you to fix that. It isn’t the wattpad’s fault or the readers. It’s you.
I have come to realise that you must plan the lore of your story world.
Else, it’s hard to get the story to work together if you haven’t planned how the environment, people and laws work.