Whether you forgot to save it to your library or can't find it in a sea of old reads, here are a few expert-level tricks for finding a lost story.
Why Stories Disappear
Unfortunately, Wattpad's app doesn't keep a history of everything you read. If you don't save a book to your library, you may have a hard time tracking it down. Even if you have saved it, when books are temporarily taken down by the author, they can be removed entirely from your library. For avid readers, they may also end up buried under the many other books you have read since. Today, we're sharing our best tips for tracking down a story you remember but can't seem to locate.
It's important to note that these techniques will only work if the story is still published on the app. There are many reasons why a story may no longer be available at all. You may not be able to find a story if:
The author's profile was taken down (by them or by Wattpad)
The book was unpublished or deleted by the author
The author has blocked or muted you
The book was removed for violating Wattpad terms
Start With What You Remember
When you're looking for a particular story, a good place to start is with whatever you can remember. General concepts like "romance novel" are probably too vague to search, but character names and locations can be very helpful.
Write down any useful details you remember. These might include:
Character names (especially the unique ones)
Words that might be in the title
Any specific words you remember them using
Specific themes (like "football" or "werewolves")
Skip Wattpad Search, Use Google Instead
Wattpad's search is notoriously difficult to use and often won't show what you're looking for, so don't bother with it. Instead, use google and start your search with the phrase "site:wattpad.com". This will narrow your search to Wattpad only. (You can also use this trick for other sites too, just swap out the url.)
Then, type in your most unique keywords. If you were looking for the book I'm a Gay Wizard, for example, you might try:
site:wattpad.com gay magic Blake
If you don't see the story at first, try adding some other keywords. In this example, you might do something like this:
site:wattpad.com gay magic Blake candles school
Try Some Special Search Tricks
If you're still not finding what you're looking for, consider some advanced search tricks. If you have a sentence or phrase that belongs together, put the phrase in quotes. Here is an example of how that might look:
site:wattpad.com gay magic "Marduk Institute" Blake
You can also use this trick to tell the search engine that a particular word is especially important.
When you keep getting search results for something that isn't what you're looking for, you can also use the - symbol to remove certain words. If you kept getting a book called Wizards of Lancashire, you could remove "Lancashire" from your search results.
site:wattpad.com gay magic Blake -Lancashire
Just Remember The Cover? Try Image Search
If you're not making progress with your search and you have an idea of what the cover looked like, switch over to image search. Type in the same search keywords then click "Tools" beneath the search bar. This will open some special features, including "Color", which allows you to select a color for the image you're searching for. If you remember the book having a red cover, you can select the red hue under Color and it will filter only results with that general coloring,
One Final Shot: Ask Reddit
Reddit has a dedicated Wattpad forum where readers and writers go to chat about the app. If your searching has gotten you nowhere, this is a good last thing to try. Readers often post under the tag "Looking For" to ask fellow users to help them track down lost stories. Add as much detail as possible in your post, including when you first found/read the book. The internet hive mind can sometimes find what you're looking for.
Trying to find a book but can't remember the exact details? Ask for help in the comments...