Meet The Wattpad Stars: Gavin Hetherington

Today we introduce you to Gavin Hetherington, a pioneer who explores the chat story genre on our new app Tap by Wattpad.

Gavin joined Wattpad in 2014 after he came across a successful Wattpad writer on Twitter. He decided to upload the first story in his Abysmal Sanctuary series and watched as the accolades began to roll in. Everything changed when Gavin was discovered by Wattpad Star Kelly Anne Blount who invited him on stage at WattCon in New York in October 2016 to talk about his Wattpad writing experience.

Since then, Gavin has had some great moments working with Wattpad. One of his strongest memories though, came during a train ride home after being invited to be a Wattpad Star:

“It took a while for me to believe it, but as soon as I did, I was overjoyed...the first moment I got to sit down by myself and really think about what happened, I cried a little because grown men cry too when they realise one of their dreams just came true.”

Now Gavin is tackling a new challenge, chat style storytelling: “The best way to rejuvenate your creativity is through doing something totally out there...a writer needs a challenge to ensure that our imaginations are still in check.”

His first story, The Riddling of Rhiannon, showcases the tension and pacing that makes these chat stories “a 5-minute adrenalin boosts [that] gets you excited and scared and hungry for more.”

Gavin’s Tips for Chat Style Writers:

  • Open Big: Tap requires that immediate rush that you don’t get on Wattpad because the stories are longer, so you usually have to wait for that big bang.

  • Have Fun: Write a conversation you would find yourself having in real life, or recreate scenes from your own life just to get started and to really nail the authenticity of voice

  • Brainstorm: When I get asked to write a story, I have a complete idea of what it will be about. For example, for ‘The Babysitter,’ I just imagined what a mother’s worst nightmare would be and that would be the realization that you’ve left your kids under the care of a psychopath. Having a scenario will help you immensely and it will get you really excited to write it.

Gavin has this to say about the appeal of horror-focused chat stories: “Tap is immediate and helps us impatient folk who devour scary stories in one go. That’s probably why the Horror genre is popular on Tap; they’re exhilarating to read, and I have read quite a few [stories] on Tap now.”

In the future, he plans to experiment with mystery and romance themed chat stories. He’s also interested in using Tap to promote the same positive messages of female and LGBT empowerment that can be found in his Wattpad stories.

“It’s remarkable how revolutionary Tap feels already, and it hasn’t even been two months since it launched!...Not only can it stand alone and provide entertaining stories, but I’m imagining how complimentary it will be to my own, longer works on Wattpad. I’m even planning on doing a full-length retelling of my ghost story, Fen of Stagnant Waters, on Tap in the form of messages.”