Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wattpad vs. Figment

Of the two principal social writing sites, Wattpad and Figment, which is better? As far as usability goes both sites are comparable. Both have a similar mission–to allow anyone to publish online–with similar features. However one feature makes Wattpad the winner—their mobile app for iPhone and Android. This one feature makes Wattpad the undisputed victor of the genre making it possible to read, write, and edit anywhere. Try it–it's awesome.

However I wanted to try Figment so I uploaded The Casebook of Martin Fierro to their site. Overall the feeling is a bit more amateur–with a more scrapbook-like appearance–and some of the features, like word count, do not work well (I could only see word count on the first chapter). On the plus side the environment seems more creative with less focus on fanfiction, although fanfiction still comprises the bulk of their content.

Please note that I have no objection to fanfiction. If people enjoy writing and reading it that's fine. It can be a good way for young writers to foster their writing skills. But by definition fanfiction is derivative and therefore inherently less creative and of less interest to me. Pastiche is a venerable tradition but is extremely hard to write–much harder than most young writers realize. Generally I prefer fiction that embraces broader creative possibilities.

As an experiment I decided to follow reader interest in Martin Fierro on Figment. I will continue to write my book on Wattpad and cut-and-paste chapters over to Figment. Below are comparisons of the different embedding features. I like the simplicity of the Wattpad imbed. Figment provides options for various formats. Let me know what you think. 

Brad Teare—Tierra del Fuego, 2015

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