Writing Sites in Review: FictionPress

Writing Sites in Review:



Of all the writing sites I have visited, this one has more than its fair share of hoops to jump through as well as rules. When you first join, you cannot post stories for 3 days, you cannot send private messages for 3 days … in fact, you have to wait 72 hours to do ANYTHING on that site.

Here, a quick breakdown of the rules, regulations, and why I do not suggest this site.

1.  All writers, no readers.  I posted the first 3 or 4 chapters of The Red Fang there more than a month ago, and in that month there have been exactly ten (count them, people, 10) reads between all of the chapters and only 1 review, and that review was done by an author friend of mine from XN.  There are many contributing factors to the dismal amount of reads, or the lack thereof, that seems to plague the site. First, your place on the theme pages has nothing to do with your ratings. New stories are posted on top of the old ones, so as new stories are posted, your story steadily moves down the page until it is completely buried. And since most readers seldom get past page 1 when scrolling for something interesting, your chances of getting read decrease with every single story that gets posted. Second, since this place attracts writers and not readers, no one is really reading anything. They come to the site to showcase their work, not read other people’s stories and novels.

2. Too many rules to name. Aside from having to wait 72 hours after creating an account to actually use the account, you are not allowed to post stories to the forum. You may not include links to any content outside of FictionPress so you cannot promote your own website or any other site that hosts your content, not even your own personal blog. This no link rule applies to your forum posts, to personal messages sent to other members, in the community posts, nor embedded in your stories or other content. In addition, you cannot mention another site or link to another site in PMs, the forum, or your story posts.

3. That private message? Guess what, it isn’t really ‘private.’  All private messages not only go to the intended recipients’ mailboxes, but also the site mailbox, so the administrators and moderators can read the entire conversation.

4. Limited content rating. In addition to all the rules, you cannot post any content that is considered to be rated above an MA rating, which means it cannot contain graphic violence or sexual content, illegal actions, or any situations or scenes that would not be suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

5. Teenage safe haven. Like 99% of the ‘writing’ forums out there, this one is also a home to a very large amount of first-time writing teenagers. As I have pointed out, if you want actual readers and not a lot of teenage writers reading and reviewing your creations, then FP is NOT the place to be posting.

All in all, I would have to rate this site at the low-end of the heap as well. There are too many rules, too many hoops to jump through, no rating system or way to get noticed, too many writers and no actual readers, no traffic, and way too many inexperienced teenage writers to appeal to the more mature, more experienced writers out there. The community and forums are a joke at best, with no real feel of ‘community’ that you would expect in a circle of writers. My rating? Two giant ‘thumbs down’ and stay clear of this place if you want to actually get your creations read.

2 comments on “Writing Sites in Review: FictionPress

  1. One thing FictionPress has going for it is the software backing everything up. At least once you actually find a story you want to read (the search is not so great). I find that people do read things there, maybe it’s not millions of views, but there ARE people reading there. The content restrictions are an issue though, I agree with that.


    • The problem is not that you don’t get reads, it’s the amount and quality/type of reads that you get on FictionPress. As I pointed out, getting a few hundred reads from other writers is not building up a reader fan base. Unless you are new to writing and need the input, posting on FictionPress is utterly useless for getting your name out to the masses. If you are ready to actually start building your reader base and getting input from those who matter, the readers, (after all, that is who your target audience is last time I checked) then it is time to go out and get your feet wet. You are not going to do that unless you move away from where the writers are and move to where the readers are. If you are still looking for feedback from writers, then it has its uses. Bottom line, FictionPress is not going to gain you the thousands of reads that you need to build up your fan base. And if your ultimate goal as a writer is not looking to build up a reader fan base, then why are you writing?



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