Beautiful web sites for budding authors.

March 15, 2015 | By | Reply More

One of the main things that can help an author just starting out and mastering his or her craft is receiving meaningful feedback. Now, getting your friends and family to read your stories is all well and good, but that method does suffer one fatal Achilles Heel . . . they’re, you know, your friends and family. Getting usefully honest feedback is sometimes difficult as they might value your relationship more than bruising your feelings.

So here’s a few beautiful web sites where you can go, upload your stories, and get real feedback from total strangers.

One serious word of advice, before trying out these services, develop a thick skin and never take criticism personally . . . any review of your work is only ever one person’s opinion. Also, try to look for patterns of feedback. E.g. if thirty out of forty people who have given you feedback say that your world-building is top-notch but your characters need a little work, they may, in aggregate, have a point.

Just like the online gaming world, there is a sub-category of user who falls under the troll/griefer category. They probably won’t even read your work, but they might throw some spicy insults your way just to see if they can get a rise. Never feed the trolls (respond)! It only encourages them to come back to bite your hand.

If you ever need to top up your happiness levels when it comes to picking up bad reviews, just head on over to Amazon, find your favourite novels by really top best-selling authors and have a read of the semi-illiterate 1-star review tripes & gripes that even works of total genius receive, and you’ll soon develop a healthy sense of perspective.

Fanfiction.net – www.FanFiction.net

This is mainly used for writing stories in existing worlds that belong to movie and TV series (Twilight, Buffy etc), or the more popular authors – Panem from the Hunger Games, Tolkien’s Middle Earth etc.

One word of warning here – and I saw this happen to someone I know – if you start writing a successful and well-read spin-off, find you don’t have the time to finish it off and then halt halfway through, expect some seriously deranged and rude criticism from fan readers who are desperate for you to continue.

Wattpad – www.wattpad.com

Wattpad is another web site where budding authors can publicly share their writing and have it rated and commented on social-network style. It runs with a film-like rating system – G, PG, PG-13, R etc. – but this is voluntary and not-always accurate (I think at least a quarter of the books have been left unrated by their creators).

Feedback on your work at Wattpad can be helpful, but can also wander into the blunt and rude, so don’t sign up for this service unless you can take flack from the odd idiot.

Beautiful web sites for budding authors.

Beautiful web sites for budding authors.

Write on by Kindle (Amazon) –  https://writeon.amazon.com

This is a new kid on the block, but basically aims to do more or less the same as Wattpad. It’s still early days as far as working out if this service is going to be any good, but here’s their own blurb …

Write On is a story lab–which means we’re all about experimentation. Wondering if the crazy idea that’s been keeping you up at night is crazy-good or just crazy-crazy? Write it up, share it, and see. Have a story that’s been in your desk drawer since college? It deserves to see the sun! In the weeds of drafting your novel? Post sections as you go and let readers keep you motivated, keep you company, and keep you moving in exciting new directions.

Authonomy – www.Authonomy.com

Authonomy invites budding writers to post their unpublished novels and short stories for visitors to read online. Authors create their own personal page on the site to host their fiction. Visitors to Authonomy then rate and comment on these submissions – and can personally recommend their favourites to the community. This site is owned by HarperCollins and is more suitable for the older budding author – not least because they request you be aged 18 or over to sign up for the service. I think this is because HarperCollins use the service to head-hunt talent for their list, and trying to get a legal minor to sign a publishing contract is a world of extra legal pain for them. Although it has been done before (Christopher Paolini at 15 with Eragon).

Amazon – www.amazon.com / .co.uk / .ca

Of course, there is one serious way to get feedback – but it falls into the ‘training wheels off’ ‘live-fire school’ category, and this is upload your book for sale as an e-book on Amazon and see what real readers think in your live reviews. Readers are notoriously unforgiving when they have paid for something and they find mistakes or faults in the work. If you’re just starting out, you might want to share via the non-commercial services listed above, before you try to find a paying audience.

There are a couple of other services set up to compete with WattPad – I have never used them myself, but if you have, let me know of your experiences and I’ll share them here.

www.figment.com
www.fictionpress.com

Also, drop me a line if I’ve missed any worthy fiction sharing web-sites off the list and I’ll check them out with a view to adding them here.

Here’s one suggested by Ben . . . National Novel Writing Month at http://nanowrimo.org/

Category: Writer's Dojo

About the Author ()

I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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