Novels written using cellphones

For some years now, novels written with cellphones and read in cellphones have been really popular in Japan. In fact, they reached such a big audience that soon traditional publishers saw the opportunity and started to print them like traditional novels. Among the best selling novels category during the last 3 years, 4 of the top 10 novels in Japan were written with cellphones.

Novels written with cellphones have a very conversational style, they have short sentences, and sometimes they have too many abbreviations. Their style is a consequence of the characteristics of the medium used to write them and read them. Using a cellphone to write a 100,000 or 200,000 word novel is not an easy task, and being able to read it until the end in a small cellphone screen can be pretty painful. To make the reading easier, sentences are shorter, there are many spaces in between each paragraph and in most of the dialogues the characters hardly ever say many words in their interventions, not even a line.

The other day I found a whole shelf in Kinokuniya dedicated to books written with cellphones that have been successful in their digital form (having been bought and read from cellphones) and are now being sold in “analogic” format.

Cellphone novels

Cellphone novels

3 Comments
  • Brad F.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:53 am

    I think printing them out onto paper kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it? The whole hype is that they’re great for reading on cell phones.

    By the way, I love Kinokuniya. I saw my first one in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a shame there isn’t one in Singapore. Well, that I know of any way.

  • uberVU - social comments

    December 29, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Japan_Blogs: Kirainet: Novels written using cellphones: For some years now, novels written with cellphones and read in cellpho… http://twurl.nl/6gkzez

  • Scarletmego

    December 29, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Sorry to point out, but Keitai novels jumped the shark last year. It was more of a fad among the teenaged girls, and traditional publishers printed them on paper for the curious among the other demographics.