Writing Prompt: Post 2

Finally after years of trying and waiting, you’ve been invited to the biggest party of the year. Everything is wonderful: the music, the food, the people. You then run across an ex. They’re happy to see you, but they’re acting suspicious. Why? Are they up to something and are planning to frame you? Or are they just nervous about trying to rekindle your relationship?

If you want you can send your creation to The Infinitus magazine.


Don’t forget to like and share.

Recommended: Post 10

To the 4th Power by Gadsdy (Open Novella Contest story): Thanks to mysterious power that is handed down from generation to generation, four teens gain superpowers. The story has a unique point of view, which comes from the power itself.

Fragments Of Fate by sarah3534 (Open Novella Contest story): A girl, who is cursed to be reborn over and over, is fated to die in the hands of her boyfriend (who also gets reborn) on her 18th birthday.

BEAST by IvorRichards (Open Novealla Contest story): Mark Hilsden is a scientist looking for evidence that big cats are indeed hanging around the UK. But what he discovers is much more deadly.

Wattpad Launches a Publishing Division

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Thanks to fellow Wattpader MaryFahey and an article by the New York Times, I heard about Wattpad, who let’s authors publish written stories much in the way YouTube allows people to publish videos, launching a book publishing division. At first I thought, “AWESOME!!” but then I kept reading.

According to the article, Wattpad will use a “Story DNA Learning Machine technology” to scan the Wattpad website/app stories for “themes or elements that might determine a story’s commercial success.” Once the algorithm selects a story, it’ll then be handed over to an editor for further consideration.

I can see why Wattpad would want to use this technology. They already have millions upon millions of stories. Could you image the chaos if they said, “Submit here for publication consideration”? I’d feel sorry for whomever got stuck with that job. It’s why so many stories get rejected in the first place; there are so many submissions that a person just can’t deal with all of them. So, I think the idea of having a machine help out is a good idea, but my problem is the article makes it sound like that is all Wattpad is doing.

I checked out the site for Wattpad Books, the name of the publishing division. It tells authors how to be considered for Wattpad Books: just keep writing. There is no submission form.

I am hoping that as the program grows they’ll open up other ways for authors to feel like they have a chance, other than just getting noticed by a machine. I hope they do something like a pitch day or have the Wattpad Ambassadors keep an eye out for potential stories. It would be nice if there was a recommendation day; once a month (or every three months, etc) people can recommend stories they think should be considered. There needs to be someway that the authors feel like they have some control over the process, that it isn’t all left to the whims of an algorithm.

You talk to anyone who does YouTube, and they’ll tell you the mess with the YouTube algorithm and how much stress it causes. One example is how animators had to switch over to animated vlogs in order to meet the requirements of the algorithm.

If Wattpad Books only goes by the data, how is this going to change the stories? Someone is going to figure out “the secret” and tell everyone. What if it is discovered that stories with the word “windows” has a better chance of being published? Will suddenly all the Wattpad stories be filled with the word “window” in awkward places in order to “fool” the machine? People already…”tweak” their stories in order to catch the eye of traditional publishers, so you know they’ll do it to get noticed by the machine.

What is the step after people start altering their work in order to be noticed? Will we have a controversy like with MatPat (it happened on his GTLive YouTube channel)? He got grief because his video tags were “Undertale” and “Toby Fox” instead of ones for the Heartbound game he was showcasing. He knew that Undertale tags would be picked by the algorithm better than Heartbound. (He also got grief for saying the developer’s name wrong and not linking to the game, but that’s another matter).

What I’m trying to say is that there needs to be a balance between the machine and mankind. Yes, have the machine do most of the legwork, but also have a place for authors (on occasion) be able to submit their pitch and like a thousand words. Also, have pitch days and times when the community can voice their opinion directly. Finally, have the Ambassadors kind of be “the man on the ground,” keeping an eye out for stories that they can report back as possibilities. People need to feel like they have a voice in the matter (even if it is completely ignored); they need to feel like they can do more than pray and keep writing, hoping that one day the machine will like them. Finally, if Wattpad Books is planning to do this anyway, let people know–just a simple, “some time in the future we will…” works wonders.

I’m hoping that Wattpad Books will learn from the mistakes of others, like YouTube and even traditional publishing. I think if they can figure out a way to include the community and the authors into the publishing, they’ll have more success.


Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

Please leave a review at your favorite retailer or on my Facebook page.

Open Novella 2

It’s time again for the Open Novella Contest, an event on Wattpad. The Open Novella Contest (or ONC) is like National Novel Writing Month; but instead of 50,000 words in one month, the ONC is 20,000 words in three months.

Participants choose a prompt provided by the ONC account and begin writing their story. The prompts are supposed to be the foundation of the story, but the contestants are free to alter them as they need to–the judges just need to somewhat recognize the original prompt.

The contest is divided into three milestones/goals: 2,000 words, 8,000 words, and finally 20,000. The contestants to make it to 2,000 will be judged and a list made of those who can continue to the next round. The process repeats for the second and third goals, at which time a grand champion will be picked.

If you want to know more, check out the ONC book.

Here are a couple contestant stories to get you started.

Louisiana Rain by Faye_Tallia

Salvatoria by Nyhterides

Joe Rover eBooks are available at many online retailers, such as Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Walmart eBooks, and more.

Please leave a review at your favorite retailer or on my Facebook page.

Recommended: Post 8

Side Effect by Cal1018 (ongoing story): A new drug hits New York. Everyone loves it, but it comes with a serious cost. Those who didn’t take the drug must now face the aftermath.

Multiverse Mystery | Justice League #15 by Caped Joel (review): The Justice League continues their investigation into the multiverse. This time a team looks into what is hidden in the Thanagar vault.

Crimson Trails by Shreya_VA (ongoing story): Aaron wakes to find his sister leaving the house. She soon vanishes without a trace. He must locate her, but his only clue is a necklace left by their mother. What is the connection?

Joe Rover eBooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and many other online retailers.

Recommended: Post 7

Grammar Girl (YouTube): YouTube channel that can help you with your grammar. You can learn everything from punctuation to when you use “lie” or “lay.”

Memories of Tomorrow by Escapethepeace (ongoing story): Soon after turning 20, Kallie Dowley starts having dreams of the future. At first, the dreams are of everyday events, but one night she dreams about her death. She now has one day to solve her murder.

Winter’s Tree by JenniferJonnes (ongoing story): A woman stands before a tree with no memory of who she is. A strange man approaches her; he seems to know. Can she trust him?