Today I’ll dissect two fanfiction websites and, like said title says, why I choose Fanfiction.net for posting my fanfiction over Wattpad. While this may be a matter of personal preference (it most certainly is when you boil it down), I have had (unsuccessful) experience with both websites for quite a few years. Allow me to review my interactions with both websites. I’ve posted an incomplete story onto Wattpad at least 5-6 years ago, and I’ve been posting to Fanfiction.net for over 7 years now. I’ve since taken down the wattpad story (when I remember what story I posted there, I’ll redact this statement) and I currently have two stories on Fanfiction.net. The first was an FFVII fanfic and the second is an FFIX fanfic, which I’ve removed and recently replaced with its updated version.
So without further ado, I’ll review why I’ve come to this decision, which is basically very easy to break down.
My History with Wattpad and Its Transitions
Like I’ve said, I joined Wattpad back before it blew up into this huge corporation. There were quite a few other writing websites to post original work onto, but I chose Wattpad because of its minimal appearance and simple review system. This was also back in the day when I wasn’t aware of the fact that posting original work online severely inhibits the ability of it being published traditionally. Or maybe they didn’t have those “rules” yet, but either way, I took the story off because it just plain ole’ sucked.
So I received a couple reviews which were basic compliments to the piece. I wasn’t the greatest writer back then (still far from it) and I shudder to even think of what the hell I’d put up there.
Once I removed the story, I abandoned the website, but periodically checked back in. Then lo and behold, I hear about Wattpad this, Wattpad that, apps, social media, success stories, hey wow Wattpad really took off didn’t it! Good for them.
So recently, being that my current interest is the ffix fanfic, I wondered how Wattpad was coming along and did a little browsing. Well now the site is really quite glamorous and very hard to navigate. I mean you can search and browse categories (kind of), but I mean really? They just advertise the most popular books of the website? What about the little guy? Even browsing categories, I see 90% of the stories getting the gyp. And I know there’s a lot of writers on there.
So how can they just display x-amount of books? And all the romance, romance, romance, at first glance it’s all romance ugh. I’m seriously disappointed by the browsing quality of the site. And not to take away from the popular stories on there but I see a lot of juvenile-esque type of reviews.
So yeah, Wattpad seems great if you have your own following and share your own links, but good luck trying to get your work read by folks who aren’t aware of you. Unless you have keywords up the wazoo, or are following the trends, or find the right connections on there, I see most everyone getting lost in the crowd.
If they want to make it more “social media”-ish, I would just give everyone their own blog on there to write about their writing life. And do a serious browsing makeover.
My history with Fanfiction (and Fictionpress).
Now unlike Wattpad, Fanfiction.net (and fictionpress.net for that matter) hasn’t changed one damn bit since I joined them. And that is actually a serious plus for them, at least for me. They’ve improved their uploading system (at one time, you couldn’t copy/paste from your document, you had to make a separate .doc file for every chapter you wanted to upload. That was a nightmare in and of itself) but aside from some other additions and improvements, they haven’t changed a thing. What wonderfulness.
As far as the forums I’ve visited, it’s mostly dead. It may be different for other genres/categories, so I’m a little clueless there. But the site is really quite active, and comments are at no loss. Okay so I haven’t gotten any hate or critics or anything, but fanfics are for fun in my book. I haven’t tried their beta system yet but there does seem to be a lot of people willing to beta out there. Right now I don’t have the time to beta but I’m curious to see how much its members use the beta program.
Besides all that, the biggest difference is the browsing system. It leaps and bounds and swirls and twirls over Wattpad. Browse by new, category, specific category, recently updated, complete (okay Wattpad has that option too, but what about all the works still in progress? That’s not fair), I mean the list goes on. So Wattpad, what the hey are you doing crushing the new members trying to get their stuff read? And Fictionpress, Fanfiction’s sister website which is identical to fanfiction.net minus the fanfiction, is just as comprehensive and concise.
So it really was a no-brainer to stay with Fanfiction.net.
But every other aspect is so opposite. If my rather opinionated review up there was too much, then here’s a tl;dr bullet list. Because I love bullet lists. It’s the first thing I gravitate to.
- Both websites don’t allow copy/paste and I definitely dig that.
- You can browse very specific categories in Fanfiction.net/Fictionpress. You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
- You can only browse hot, featured, and undiscovered (just keep clicking “more), and completed stories on Wattpad. You’ll find what Wattpad wants you to find.
- Both sites have forums.
- Fanfiction.net has a beta program.
- Feedback is generally the same. You have to ask for what you want (doesn’t mean you’ll get it).
- Wattpad’s visually snazzy, but where are the options? See the next bullet.
- With Fanfiction.net you can adjust everything while you read: font, font size, text width, light/dark, spacing, it’s wonderful.
There are people who swear by Wattpad, and then there’s folk like me who swear by Fanfiction.net. I really don’t know how successful Fictionpress is as far as original fiction goes, but if anyone who’s serious about getting published (even self-published), you wouldn’t post your original/final work online anyway.
Is my two cents.