Your First Problem on Wattpad

Many writers find Wattpad a useful resource. For beginning writers it can be a way to get feedback on your writing from other people without paying some internet stranger for a ‘critique.’ For more advanced writers, even well-known writers, it can be a way to gain new readers— often younger readers who can’t afford to buy many books right now.
When you start up on Wattpad, your first problem is finding Wattpad friends. I think when I joined, I got to add my Facebook and Twitter friends who were also on Wattpad. Alas, most of them did not stay active on Wattpad. And you need a core of active Wattpad friends who will at least read the first bit of your story.
If you ‘follow’ other Wattpadders, they might ‘follow’ you back. Or not. But be selective! If you are fairly serious about what you write, avoid following a lot of teenagers who write nothing but cheesy fanfiction. Or, worse, smutty cheesy fanfiction. [‘Cheesy’ is just another word for ‘low-quality’ or ‘second-rate.’]
You want to follow people who are writers-like-you. If you write science fiction, don’t follow a load of romance [or sex-romance] writers. If you are Catholic and put Catholic things in your fiction, Christians who are Evangelical and have biases against Catholics might not be good choices, but Evangelicals who won’t mind your Catholic faith as long as you seem to know the Bible are fine people to follow. If you write lesbian romances, you don’t want a straight, conservative follower who is uncomfortable with lesbians or who fears lesbians as people who might lose him his job.
One way to find Wattpadders to follow is to read the works of others on Wattpad. If they have written works you like or can stand, follow them. Also make encouraging comments, and very kind criticisms if warranted. But this can be hard as many of the stories are weak. Keep trying, though.
Make sure your author photo and description are set up early. Also, don’t let your author bio be generic. Tell the things about yourself that are unique, and even things that some people might not like, such as your political or religious/antireligious convictions. You want to attract the like-minded and scare away the other kind.
My author photo is an older one, since Wattpad is a very ageist, youth-oriented zone, and anyway I have few recent photos of myself I wish to share with the public. I also have a ‘cover photo’ of a kitten in a boot. I like photos of kittens in boots. [Note to self: remember to take pictures of my current kittens in a boot while they are still small enough to fit.]
My profile page is not perfect, but at least I haven’t left important things blank, which would signal to other Wattpadders that perhaps I wasn’t serious about Wattpad and didn’t intend to stay active there.
Being active on Wattpad is the best way to meet more Wattpadders. Writing something on Wattpad, and posting to it regularly, is another way to get attention there. Wattpad stories are like the old movie serials [that I am not old enough to remember.] It’s exciting to the readers to experience a story part-by-part as it is posted. Though some more experienced readers pick only stories that are finished to read, since many Wattpadders lose interest in a story and quit writing it.
If you think Wattpad is for you, you might want to read ‘The Writer’s Guide to Wattpad’ by Benjamin Sobieck, and co-written by many Wattpadders. It will give you some advice to get started. There are also Wattpad guides on Wattpad itself, and some of them are worth reading.
If you join Wattpad, or are on Wattpad already, please feel free to follow me there:  Currently I am following everyone back that follows me, though in time I may unfollow some (and I hope they will unfollow me back) if we are very incompatible. I am currently working on ‘What Do Readers Want?’ which gives some writing tips in what I hope is a faintly amusing way. I also have some old stuff that I need to work on at some point, or take down.

Could Alien Invaders Exterminate Rural Humans without Ruining Earth?

I was bored yesterday, and so I watched Independence Day. Again. And at one point a character said that within 36 hours the aliens would destroy every major city. Which meant the human race would be exterminated.

Hello! What about the rural people? For the rural people getting rid of the cities would be an improvement. We give them the farm goods that keep them alive, and they give us drug dealers, taxes and laws that limit our ability to make a living. In other words, they give us liberals.

Well, I guess the aliens could use their visually cool explosions to kill the rural people like they killed the city folk. But rural folk are more spread out. They would have to explode us house by house, and each explosion would damage more of the Earth.

The aliens want the Earth for something. That’s a big, expensive space fleet they have. Why expend it— risk it— if they didn’t care whether they conquered Earth or not?

The aliens are somewhat like humans, so they need food to live. Where will they get it if they blow up all the farms? They would be better off enslaving all the farmers and taking their produce, or else driving the farmers off their farms and replacing them with alien farmers.

Each alien explosion drives up more stuff into the atmosphere. Their explosions aren’t nuclear, but they could cause a nuclear winter all the same— after all, a massive volcanic explosion once caused a ‘year without a summer,’ and may have caused US westward migration and affected the history of the Mormon church.

Would the aliens really want a world that is all ashes and suffering unseasonable coldness? Which would be made worse if solar cycle theory of Global Warming is true— the theory says we are at the end of a warm cycle and the start of a cool cycle. See ‘Dark Winter’ by John L. Casey. 

I would say that enslavement is a far more likely fate for rural humans than extermination, when the aliens arrive. After all, the aliens have a motivation. They are not just conquering Earth for the hell of it. They want to use the Earth, not ruin it, and why wouldn’t they use the surviving humans if they had to avoid killing them to keep the planet useful? Human beings are concentrated in cities. Without the city folk or military bases, the rural population would be easy to control.

The writer’s lesson is this: if you are going to have an external force destroy or threaten the Earth, think about the external force’s motivation. What do they want? How will they preserve the things they want about Earth while conquering it? You can’t just say that since they are aliens we can’t understand their motivations. In a real world alien invasion, humans may never know all the details of what the aliens want, unless they tell us helpful hints like how they want humans to die. But we can surmise from what they do. If they destroy mineral mines, they may not care about exploiting our mineral wealth. If they destroy our atmosphere, they aren’t planning to breathe here. If they spare certain things— farms, exotic African animals, meek-and-obedient humans— we can guess that they want these things for some purpose.