About UltraRob

Rob is a teacher, writer and entertainer based in London, Ontario, Canada. He is a teacher at Fanshawe College, Head of Wiseman Educational Services, Organizer of the Forest City Go Club and the founder/producer of the Kung Fu Action Theatre audio drama production group. He is married to his beautiful wife Connie, and owned by his dog Winston.

Webfiction Statistics: Joara

This is part of a series of posts sharing some of the research material I collected while researching my book How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels. There was a lot I found that I couldn’t fit into the book, so I thought I’d share it here.The categories listed are translations of the ones the sites use, not my own categories.

Joara.com is South Korea’s oldest webfiction site, having started around the turn of the century. It has millions of users, and a large variety of stories because of its age. I sampled it in July 2019, since that’s when I found a way to scrape data from it.

This chart is based on the number of stories in each of the major categories on the site. Given the number of users and age of the site, I suspect these numbers have been pruned to only include “real” stories as opposed to random fragments and other pieces which would make up the bulk of many sites.

Interestingly enough, this looks like a site where Romance doesn’t rule the roost, however there is a bit of an illusion on this site. While Fantasy is indeed the number one category, if you add Romance, Boys Love and Romantic Fantasy together (since on most sites they’d all be grouped as simply Romance) they combine to 21%, which makes them the second largest category on the site.

Overall, however, I suspect Joara’s membership is more male than female looking at the categories. The dominance of Fantasy is a clue, but so is the popularity of Parody/Humor (which you don’t see on female-majority sites) and Fusion is a mixed genre category that’s mostly other types of Fantasy, so fantasy is really closer to 34%. (Or 40% if you assume most Game stories are LitRPG fantasy stories.)

Not a lot to say about Joara,it seems to follow the fairly typical patterns you’ll see in most webfiction sites. Although, I do note that it’s lacking a mystery/thriller/suspense category, which is also one that tends to be more popular with young female audiences than male ones.

GenreNumber of StoriesPercentage
Boys Love162938%
General Fiction (Unclassified)124596%
Romance Fantasy88294%
Literary Works70334%
Light Novels65623%
Martial Arts36192%
Girls Love6000%

Webfiction Statistics: Shosetsuka ni Narou! (Let’s Become a Novelist!)

Shosetsuka ni Narou! (Let’s Become a Novelist) is Japan’s oldest and most popular webfiction site, and continues to be a place where publishers find their next hot new novelist. Many light novels, including Rising of the Shield Hero, That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime, Kobosuba, RE:Zero, Overlord and a huge list of other titles all started on Narou.

Narou isn’t shy with their genre tag numbers, so it was fairly easy to find out what people were writing on the site.

Narou Genre Tag Pie Chart

Of all the sites I’ve looked it, Narou has perhaps the most balanced and honest selection. By that I mean I can look at those categories and numbers and see the tastes of many ages, sexes, backgrounds, and interests all being combined there, not just a bunch of teen and college age writers.

Narou is still dominated by the big two of Fantasy and Romance, which would be Fantasy 27% and Romance 29% if you combine the sub-genres together, but it does have a bunch of other categories like Poetry, Essays and Pure Literature, which are rare on most webfiction sites.

One thing that does strike me about Narou was that what we would call Science Fiction is broken up into Science Fantasy (2%) and Space (>1%) which shows that harder science fiction doesn’t seem to fly on Narou. I have a theory that youth are intimidated by science fiction, and so they don’t really feel comfortable writing it. Fantasy is so much easier, and requires less research or chances of getting things wrong.

Detailed GenresNumbers
High Fantasy80578
Real World Love46320
Human Drama43796
Low Fantasy34612
Alternate World Love30482
Pure Literature14750
Science Fantasy10168
Fairy Tales8820
Mystery (reasoning)5435
VR Game4247
Post Apocalyptic (panic)1611
Game Playthroughs (replay)346

I should note that I have removed the category of Unclassified stories from the list for clarity, which were 253,774 of the stories listed on the site.

Webfiction Statistics: Fictionpress.com

This is part of a series of posts sharing some of the research material I collected while researching my book How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels. There was a lot I found that I couldn’t fit into the book, so I thought I’d share it here. The categories listed are translations of the ones the sites use, not my own categories.

Fictionpress.com is one of the oldest English-language webfiction sites, being a sister site to Fanfiction.net, which is the oldest and largest collection of fanfiction in the world. While nowhere near as large as its older sister, or Wattpad, Fictionpress does have almost 600,000 stories on the site.

Fictionpress makes its numbers public, so they were easy to get. Interestingly enough, the site splits itself into Fiction and Poetry, and the Poetry section is much larger than the Fiction section. This makes Fictionpress one of the web’s more popular poetry sites.

The Fictionpress graph data below was gathered in December, 2017, and omits a number of micro categories to make the chart readable. Those categories can be found in the raw data at the bottom. The General Fiction category is the default on the site, and is where anything un-categorized goes, so I have included versions of the chart with and without it.

With the General Fiction Category
Without the General Fiction Category

As you can see, if we eliminate the General Fiction category, we end up with a chart that looks pretty similar to Wattpad and most of the other sites. These numbers show the teen focus of the site, with Young Adult being the third most popular specific category

What is interesting about Fictionpress is how Horror and Supernatural both get their own categories, and how Humor and Science Fiction are both pretty prominent. Fictionpress is an older site, so it’s gone through more than one wave of popularity for Science Fiction, and I think that’s why it’s got a higher percentage here than it does on most sites.

Fictionpress and Wattpad have similar profiles, and here are their percentages in their top categories. You can see where Wattpad’s focus on Romance really sticks out, and how Fantasy is still a fairly popular Fictionpress genre.

General Fiction11700020.09%
Fantasy 9600016.48%
Young Adult573009.84%

Overall, Fictionpress is another site where mostly young writers share their stories. Since it doesn’t have a mobile presence like Wattpad and Webnovel, it is slowly fading into history as young people tend to like using their phones for reading and writing these days.

Webfiction Statistics: Wattpad

This is part of a series of posts sharing some of the research material I collected while researching my book How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels. There was a lot I found that I couldn’t fit into the book, so I thought I’d share it here.The categories listed are translations of the ones the sites use, not my own categories.

Toronto-based Wattpad.com is the largest English language webfiction site in the world, with over 80 million users. Those users are primarily female, with 70% of Wattpad users identifying as female, about 15% male, and 15% preferring not to say. Most of Wattpad’s users are also young,

Here is the breakdown for Wattpad’s 7.04 million genre tags collected on December, 2017 using Wattpad’s search function and searching for broad genre categories and recording the numbers. Wattpad claims to have had more than 400 million story uploads, but many of those will be fragments, and that counts each part or chapter as a separate story uploads.

Thus the data below is incomplete since it’s based on genre tags and stories can have more than one tag, although it does tend to match the data for other webfiction sites in terms of percentages. Wattpad has since changed their search display numbers to only show the top stories in each category, so it’s hard to get more current data. Also, I omitted Fanfiction and Unsorted, which would be the largest categories at the time, and didn’t record the data for them.

Romance naturally rules the roost on a female dominated site, and likely a lot of the Teen stories are also romance as well. Action being so high seems a bit odd, and might be a statistical anomaly created by stories having more than one genre tag. Some writers might classify any story which has action elements in it as action.

Fantasy is smaller than you might expect, being a pretty universally popular genre, but I strongly suspect that Action and Adventure could be grouped together into a single group with Fantasy. Not that there won’t be pure adventure and action stories on a female-dominated site, since girls like those too, but it would make Wattpad match most of the other sites out there.

Mystery is an interesting one, since Wattpad seems to have the highest percentage of mystery stories out there of any site I looked at. Then again, women do seem drawn to mystery stories more than men, so that might make sense. Humor and Horror are also higher on Wattpad than most of the other sites I looked at, but that depends on the readership.

Thriller falling closely behind horror is not a surprise, and Science Fiction is about where it is on many sites. Historical, Middle Grade and Post-Apocalyptic round out the chart. Smaller genres on most sites as well.

Here are the actual numbers:

Science Fiction154000
Middle Grade9100
Post Apocalyptic6900

Now, Wattpad also had clubs (they’ve replaced these since) at the time which had membership numbers for how many people were a member of each club available. Being curious, I grabbed those as well, and they chart out as below.

These are a bit different from the tag stats, but they show where the interest in the Wattpad readership was. People who joined a club were dedicated fans of those genres, and may have been readers more than writers.

Teen Fiction9491513.87%
Short Story305564.47%
Science Fiction219263.20%
General Fiction193022.82%
Historical Fiction129091.89%

Since I took these, Wattpad has reorganized it’s categories and revamped the site in many ways. They’ve now put a big emphasis on diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion, and in fact those are major story categories on the site. Unfortunately, I can’t say how major because they’ve buried their real numbers too deep for me to find and don’t seem to want to share.

Webfiction Statistics: Qidian.com

This is part of a series of posts sharing some of the research material I collected while researching my book How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels. There was a lot I found that I couldn’t fit into the book, so I thought I’d share it here. The categories listed are translations of the ones the sites use, not my own categories.

Qidian.com is China’s largest webfiction portal, with tens of millions of users and a steady stream of stories being published on it. They show their data by category on their front page, so it was easy to find, and this was the site that inspired me to start collecting webfiction site data to compare.

There are 2.9 Million stories on the site, and as you can see Romance/Women’s Fiction and Eastern Fantasy (Xuanhuan) are the largest categories. Urban (also called City Stories) refers to stories set against a backdrop of modern life, and would include business stories, dramas, superhero, comedies, slice-of-life, and most non-mystery/suspense stories (which have their own categories).

Cultivation stories are the famous Xianxia stories that are so popular in some parts of the web, while Martial Arts are Wuxia and Kung Fu stories, which were the Chinese equivalent of Westerns.

Western Fantasy is Dungeons and Dragons/Tolkien/Game of Thrones type pseudo-European fantasy, Scifi is what you’d expect, and Light Novels are anime-style stories. Games are likely litRPG stories and e-sports stories, while History will be historically-set tales. (Stories set in actual history are a prickly subject in China, so it only being 3% of stories is normal despite their love of historical tales.)

Sports aren’t that popular among Chinese youth, and Military stories are probably so low because most of the readers and writers on the site didn’t do military service. Writing about the military in China could also be a prickly subject, and is probably best avoided as well. Reality is just true-life stories, or ones that claim to be, and aren’t that popular either.

Overall, you’ll find that the percentages you see on this site compare fairly well to the percentages you’ll see on other sites. Despite the culture differences, the same genres tend to dominate overall on pretty much every webfiction site there is.

I collected data on the site in December 2017 when I started doing research for the book, and then again in July 2019. Since I collected the data twice, here are the comparative numbers.

Genre2017 Numbers2019 Numbers
Eastern Fantasy619680721722
Cultivation Fantasy211139236460
Western Fantasy134198159241
Light Novels91106113490
Martial Arts3700345378

How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels

Rob’s newest book is available online! After three years of research and writing, your guide to the secrets of writing successful webfiction has arrived!

You can write the Light Novel or Webnovel you want…

Right now, writers just like you are making stories that are setting the world on fire. Light Novels are getting turned into games, anime, and movies, while Webnovels are making authors into millionaires with legions of fans.

And, all of them started with just an idea, and a little creativity.

You’re creative and you have amazing ideas – you just need a little extra help in shaping those ideas into something that brings out their potential. Let a writing teacher with over twenty years of experience guide you through the writing process of making your story dreams into story reality.

In this book you’ll learn…

  • The 10 things popular Light Novels and Webnovels have in common
  • How to master the 8 major webfiction genres, including Isekai, litRPGs, Fantasy, Slice-of-Life and Romance
  • About all 3 styles of Asian light fiction – Japanese, Korean and Chinese, and what makes each of them special.
  • To use the 5 levels of story to build solid serials that get read to the end
  • 12 simple steps to turning your ideas into epic stories
  • And…so much more!

Rise to the challenge, and show the world what only you can do. This is your opportunity to show off your ideas and join the ranks of writers who are blazing trails across the world.

Get How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels today!

Starting making your own legend.

Rob on YouTube

I finally completed a project I’d been meaning to do for a while – convert my various podcast episodes to YouTube videos so that a whole new audience can find them. Thanks to the amazing folks at repurpose.io, the various old episodes of Kung Fu Action Theatre and The Department of Nerdly Affairs are now available on YouTube for anyone’s listening pleasure.

Each in their own organized playlist for convenient listening!



How to Write Manga

My new book is up! What started as a revision of Write! Shonen Manga turned into an almost complete re-write with lots of new material and approaches. This book now covers how to…

  • Write both Shonen and Shoujo manga.
  • Master the Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu story structure that makes manga unique.
  • Create epic battle manga like NarutoMy Hero Academia and One Piece.
  • Design manga characters that your audience can’t get enough of.
  • Grab your audience and keep them reading until the end.
  • Make your stories come alive with emotion.
  • Craft romance and slice-of-life manga that your readers will love.
  • Produce four-koma gag manga.
  • And so much more!

How to Write Manga will give you the simple and essential tools you need to write your manga your way.

Get your copy today!

J. Michael Straczynski on the secret to his writing

Yep. That’s basically it. You need to write until it’s instinctual, and that comes with a whole lot of practice. (Which he’s had, in spades!) Always keep writing!

Write! Shonen Manga is now available on Smashwords for Free!

Last summer, I began revising my book Write! Shonen Manga towards a second edition, however the more I wrote the more it turned from being a second edition into not one, but two different books! The first of these was All the Write Moves which was published last fall on Amazon, and the second one is the upcoming How to Write Manga, which will be released this summer.

How to Write Manga will be an almost a totally different book, and at first, I just removed Write! Shonen Manga from publication and was going to let it vanish into obscurity. But, the truth is, I’m leaving so much useful information from Write! Shonen Manga on the editing floor that it seemed a shame to take it completely out of availability.

Thus, I have decided to compromise- Write! Shonen Manga is now available on Smashwords as a “Choose Your Own Price” book. If you want to get it for free, go ahead and grab it in the format of your choice. All I ask is that if you like it, you leave a review on Smashwords so that others can find it as well. And, if you really like it, consider picking up How to Write Manga when it becomes available.