Monday, January 21, 2008

Cell Phone Novels - Japan's Next Big Export?

Okay, until yesterday's article in the New York Times, I'd never even considered the possibility of someone writing an ENTIRE NOVEL on the keypad of their cellphone.

That was right up there with the apocalyptic fantasy of getting stranded on a desert island and composing the great American Novel, line by line, in the sand and being forced to commit the new lines to memory before the next tide came in...

But some thumb-tapping pioneers are doing it - and it's seen as alternately: a brand-new genre (complete with :)s and OMGisms); or a way to get new readers excited about printed novels (the cell-phone novels are uploaded to websites and the most successful ones are published by 'traditional' publishers as actual books); or as the shrieking death-knell for literacy...

Um, that last one seems a little extreme, but it's definitely a fascinating development from text-messaging to novels.

It would certainly change my productivity (in a downwards way.) Here's my first attempt:

I think this whole cell-phone-novel movement also shows that the desire for a good story transcends medium and transcends generations - and that's good news for all of us writers, even if 5 of Japan's top 10 novels last year were written on cell-phones!

What do you think?



Anonymous said...

Good lord, that's too much. It took me a while to get used to typing my drafts right off the bat, having come from a background of hand-writing everything first and then typing it after several rounds with the red pen (I still have the red pen, too).

I frankly miss the hand-writing bit. I should go back to that, but I'm so spoiled now.

Unknown said...

This blew me away. I've already told so many friends about it. The article suggests cellphone novels tap writers/readers who otherwise wouldn't be writers or readers at all, but I'm not convinced. If this is the first generation to truly grow up on text msg-ing, it only makes sense they'd bring their creativity to whatever medium's at their, um, fingertips. So the writers might've eventually become writers anyway...right?

But, then, I suppose it wouldn't be so easy to get mass distribution if that medium had been quill and ink...

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Check out

for a translation of one of the most popular cell phone novels!


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

that was