The novel I’m finishing is based on a short story I wrote last year, which won a medal in a Wattpad writing contest. Should I leave the story up or take it down since I’m planning on submitting the novel form? (The short story is basically the first two chapters of the book. . . but I’m already making revisions and improvements to those two chapters.)
Dear Wattpad Woman…
Leave the short story up while submitting your novel, at least, as proof of its medal status. Your future agent or editor may prefer you take it down when the novel goes into production because you’ve revised the story so much, but not necessarily. In pre-Internet days, published short stories that grew into full-length novels had no option to delete the original short story from existence. The two just existed simultaneously. That precedent prepared readers to understand and accept that there are differences between a novel and the short story that inspired it. Since you’re comfortable being on Wattpad in the first place and you’re confident in your short story despite the changes you’ve made for the novel, let your medal-winning story lead readers to your new novel.