How to be a Great Wattpad Critic (In 5 Easy Steps) 

For this weeks post I’ll be focusing on something that has been a big part of my Wattpad journey: critiques. They’ve helped me not only teach others, but gain friends, followers, and feedback for myself. While it is tons of fun, being a Wattpad critic isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here are 5 steps to get your critic journey going, and going well.

1. Advertise! 

Wattpaders won’t know you’re a critic if you aren’t advertising! Head straight to the designated help thread and post an advertisement. Here’s mine, made from a simple photo editing app. Picture advertisements will help you stand out in a long thread. 


2. Ditch the Complicated Sign Ups

I’ve mentioned in past posts about how much I hate special forms when seeking help from other Wattpadders. Forget forms, special passwords, etc when having others request your service. Keep is short and sweet. Explain what you’re willing to help with and your payment. Don’t ask for story descriptions, titles, or say, “what you’re looking for help with” etc, either. I’m going to get real here. If you’re a critic, you should be helping with everything, not ignoring some things and pointing out others. 

3. Don’t Sugar Coat, but Don’t be Mean Either

ALWAYS be polite and honest when performing a critique. Even if the book is literally the worst thing you’ve ever seen and every sentence makes you want to rip your eyes out, don’t resort to saying things like, “this sucks.” But don’t only point out the positives either. Our job as critics is to help others improve their work. Even seasoned writers feel hurt when getting negative feedback. It’s part of the writing process. 

4. Always Re-Read Your Feedback

Having a sophisticated, grammatically correct feedback post or comment will not only improve your reputation with the author, but can even attract others to seek your feedback after seeing your post in the comments section. Always re-read your feedback before posting to make sure there are no errors, and to see that you’ve said everything you meant to. 

5. Respect the Author’s Feelings

Many times, authors will be very unhappy with even the slightest amount of negative feedback. They may say things like, “Thanks, but I disagree.” Or “Thanks for your feedback, but I’m not changing that.” And you know what, that’s OKAY. Never feel like you wasted your time doing a critique for someone who doesn’t want to listen right now. Eventually they may change their minds and fix their work, and your comment will still be there for reference. 

Ten Things Every Writer Wants for Christmas

Hi everyone! I normally go in to detail about my posts, but this one is pretty self-explainitory. So here are ten things that are on every writers’ (or at least this writer’s) wishlist. 

1. A Publication

This is a no brainer and pretty obvious. Every one of us has that deep desire to see our name in print. 

2. A Distraction-Free Workspace

I, like many other writers, have trouble focusing on my work. It would be nice to have a quiet space to just let inspiration happen. 

3. A Cure for Writer’s Block

Becuase it can seriously be the worst thing ever at times. 

4. To Actually Finish Our Work

I’m usually a quick book-writer, but sometimes things just take so long. 

5. More Social Media Followers

We all see professionals doing what they love and having thousands of followers. It would be nice if Santa could bring those to all my social media pages. 

6. Hearing Back from all of our Submissions

A lot of us are constantly in the process of writing and submitting pieces, which causes an eternal waiting process. It would be great to have some good answers this holiday season. 

7. A Job in Our Field

Keep your heads up, college writing majors! 

8. Financial Stability

For writers going back and forth with freelance jobs or short contacts deals, making ends meet as a writer can be tough. 

9. Writing-Themed Accessories

Really, who doesn’t love a cute journal to scribble down ideas, fancy pens, etc? 

10. People to Actually Read our Stuff

Sometimes we can have a lot of followers, but not a lot of people actively reading a critiquing our work. If you have a family member or friend who is a writer, ask to read some of their work. I guarantee, it’ll be one of the best gifts you can give them. 

Time Traveling Through Your Old Stories

Last night I was snowed in and bored here in the Northeast. I thought it would be entertaining to read a book that I haven’t touched in years. I settled on my fantasy story Euphoria that I finished back in 2012, when I was 18. Back then, it was my only story that didn’t receive good reviews. I couldn’t figure out why. I created a whole different world and had a main character that was vastly different from anyone else I’d seen. 

Now, after finishing my writing degree, I caught on to every mistake, every repeated word, every time I told instead of showed. In a way it was completely embarrassing. People had to sit through and suffer through chapters of repetitive facts, info dumps, and my main character, Violet, who had to tell readers multiple times that yes, she was smaller than everyone else. 

I guess the main point of this is that we shouldn’t feel ashamed of our own stories,and we shouldn’t be scared to go back and read them (a problem that I’ve always had). Our old stories show how much we’ve grown as authors. They’re part of our journey to achieve whatever it is we want to do in the writing world. Back in the day, I was extremely proud of Euphoria, And I still am. 

Of course, now reading it had inspired me to go back and update all my old books, but that’s a project for another time. 

A Form of Denial

Hey everyone! Normally I don’t make rant posts, but after something that happened to me yesterday and becuase I’m having trouble thinking of weekly posts, I’ll make an exception. 

Anyone who knows me would know how much I love Wattpad.com. I’ve been using the website for almost six years and just about everything I’ve ever written can be found there. However, one of my favorite parts of the site is the Clubs, multiple different groups where people can chat and offer their services for critiques, editing, etc. 

I’ve always relied on the Multimedia Designs club to find some great cover artists. That’s what I did yesterday, just trying to get someone to change the wording on an already premade cover. On the first thread I went to, the user required a form. 

Many users have people submit a form to know what the people seeking their help want. A lot of users have people post “passwords” in their forms to, to make sure that they read the first post. So did this user, whose help I was seeking. 

Now, most users will list the forms that they would like right in their first post, such as: 

Title:

Subtitle: 

Author:

Password: 

This user didnt even have that in her first post. So I gave a friendly message, explained the font I’d like, and even uploaded my image in my comment so she’d already have it. Oh, and after bumping the thread repeatedly and not getting any requests in 16 hours of it being open, I thought that surely this artist would be rushing to make my cover. 

So, I wait an hour and check back to see that my request was denied. DENIED. I “didn’t use the form.” I scrolled back to the first post to find that I had to click a link that created a new window, which had a bunch of text around the standard form: (author, subtitle, title, ideas, password, etc.) 

I typed the whole form up nice and neat, only to find that I was denied AGAIN. Even though I was the only person there and thought I had the form right. Apparently, I had to copy and paste the text from the separate window into my post to make a fancy boarder show up around the text. 

Long story short: Forms are a great way to keep your requests organized, but you shouldn’t deny people if they don’t follow your form exactly the way you want. Obviously, if they’re being pushy or saying “I need a cover/critique” then yes, deny them. But don’t require a separate link and a fancy boarder or image, I even say don’t require a password. If they follow the rest of the form and are willing to give you that follow or whatever payment you requested, I’d say do the job. 

So, what IS fiction?

Every time I have to read a story for my extremely tedious fiction II class, I get frustrated when writing commentary at the end of the story. My professor always asks us to explain what makes the story fiction. I’m always sitting there thinking, “well it’s not true, so that makes it fiction.” Fiction=not real.

Fiction’s online definition basically says the same thing, but a lot fancier. It is defined as, “literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that described imaginary events and people.”

So it isn’t real and also requires the use of the imagination. Dictionary.com defines fiction as a “made-up story.” But then again, parts of nonfiction can also be made up. My professors called this “heavy embellishing.” So if parts of nonfiction can be made up, then therefore, the whole entire fiction story must be made up.

So we’re now at “a story where everything is made up and you have to use your imagination” as our definition.

But how can you relate this definition of fiction back to every single story you read in class? Well if a story has a dragon in it, the answer would be “dragons don’t exist, so that makes it fiction.” But what if the story is actually very realistic? Let’s say it’s a couple going to the coffee shop and they break up while they’re there. This has happened to millions of people. What makes that specific story fiction? In order to answer this question, just like fiction, you will have to make something up.

Things to Remember Around the Competition

I started worrying last night. Today is the first day of my very long anticipated Fiction II class. The intro class really kicked my butt so I’m pretty nervous about how tough the higher level will be.

Of course, when you’re in a writing class, everyone is always whispering about who the “best writers” of the class are. Everyone is going to be looking over your work. One bad paragraph could ruin your reputation, so it’s easy to start stressing about everyone else. Here’s a few tips on how to stay cool when you’re around another group of writers.

1. Remember that no one else is perfect: 

It’s true though! Every writer has their flaws, and everyone will mess up at some point. Let’s be real, we go through TONS of ideas before we finally have a winner.

2. Don’t let titles or fancy awards get to you: 

I’ve had classes with award winning writers, people that are top editors for the school paper, and people with tons of publications. It can feel really intimidating at some points, or even all time. (Mostly all the time for me). Just remember that you’re all in the class to learn and improve your skills.

3. Everyone has different strengths: 

I get worried in fiction classes because I’m stronger in nonfiction. Everyone has areas of writing that they’re better at than others, and that’s totally okay!

4. Be yourself! 

While it may be intimidating to be around a bunch of competition, just remember to relax and be friendly. Having a good relationship with the class will make being there that much easier.

Four tips, because I just can’t think of a fifth one for some reason. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.

Writing Just “For Us”

Have you ever had the issue of writing no longer being something you enjoy? Whenever you sit down at your computer to type something, it’s not really about being “fun” anymore. Every letter you type, you’re thinking about your fans or judgement from publishers.

Will people like this? What if they don’t? What if I’m wasting my time? 

These questions echo over and over again in your head. Finally, you just step away from the computer because it all seems just too difficult. Writing means edits and judgement and hours upon hours of work. You never write anymore, and when you do, it doesn’t feel like it used too. You’re writing and worrying about the opinions of everyone else, instead of just having fun and doing what you used to.

I’m writing this because I’ve found myself feeling this way since last year when I started a new book. Maybe it’s just because as a writing major, writing literally “is” work that is always judged by someone else, whether it be the professor or my fellow classmates.

Every time I try to write something new, I don’t even feel like I’m enjoying myself. I’m sure that a lot of other writers feel this way too. In high school, I used to write nearly a chapter a day in my novels. I’d write so much that I’d given myself carpal tunnel and developed a cyst in my left hand that I later had surgically removed.

I think the point of this post is that we need to just remember all the things we loved about writing and somehow get back there if we ever feel off track. Everything we write isn’t going to be a masterpiece. Everything we write doesn’t have to come out perfect. Just sit down and type that story or blog post or whatever it is that you want to write. You didn’t become a writer because everyone else wanted you to, but because you loved what you were doing.

So the next time you want to write, just do it and leave the thoughts of everyone else behind. Write because it’s who YOU are.