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The Wattpad Formula: A Descriptive Study of Trends in Romantic Relationships in Selected Filipino Wattpad Stories

Abstract

Romance is a genre that is often seen in media but is also overlooked. The formulaic nature of romance novels is apparent to anyone who is exposed to them. Films and TV shows, at least the mainstream ones, that focus on romance almost always have a heterosexual couple onscreen. The story when summarized is simple: they meet, they get together, and they live happily ever after. However, the appeal of romance is still strong until today. Online literature has been around since the internet evolved from a military weapon to something accessible to everyone. Nowadays, through different websites, anyone can write or upload their literary creations. This activity became more proliferate when Wattpad was put up. This study looks into the common elements of a romantic relationship depicted in teen romance novels. Specifically, this thesis delves into romantic relationships found in stories uploaded on Wattpad, a Toronto-based free online community for writers. Using structuralism, particularly Vlamidir Propp’s 31 functions, this thesis, through content analysis, describes and analyzes the common elements of romantic relationships. This study describes a certain formula which encompasses all the stories analyzed. It discusses in detail the stages undergone by a romantic relationship in order to describe the entire process occurring within a story. Moreover, this study also discusses the possible reasons for Filipino Wattpad stories having this form.

Keywords: Wattpad, romance, relationships, romance novels, Propp, functions, structuralism

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