Distraction, or possibility?
After a few weeks mulling and several hours research, I’d say it’s the former over the latter. But I’m open to hearing about the experience of others.
I’ve already published my thoughts about Wattpad — Library, Roller Rink, or Click Farm? — and despite a few sensible comments by experienced authors who view the site with kindness, I still maintain it’s a mountain of garbage encircled by click-vultures.
And my early conclusion about webnovel publishing is more or less the same: a genre dominated by bad writing, bizarre cover art, and a community of largely anonymous individuals buying votes and likes and clicks with votes and likes and clicks of their own.
On the other hand, the idea of serializing some of my work appeals. The format offers instant gratification, useful feedback from intelligent (?) readers, a chance to build and understand an audience. With that in mind, I went so far as to build an account at Royal Road. I took it down the next day.
I set out wanting to enjoy the experience. Maybe I’d find a novel that drew me in and carried me along. But that didn’t happen, and at the moment it looks like pursuing the webnovel world would me more time spent in the effort of publishing than the craft of writing.
Meanwhile here are just a few places I found where webnovels are happening, for better or worse. This WP post also offered some keen insight.
Web Fiction Guide (not a publishing forum, but a resource of links to existing novels)