Texting A Novel

If you’re someone who struggles with how intimidating the length of a novel can be perhaps you ought to just take it chapter by chapter; or perhaps even text by text? Several years ago in Japan a new trend began to take hold in which an author sent out bits of a novel to an audience via text messaging. Textually reports that a forerunner in this field who writes under the pseudonym Yoshi started out “using a promotional campaign that consisted of passing out business cards to about 2,000 high-school girls in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station.”

From there the audience registers on a website that provides these tidbits that are presented in a mobile format.  Boingboing describes the success of this first book entitled Deep Love, which is “a story about a 17-year-old girl named Ayu, who finds love through a chance encounter.” The site had over 20 million hits within three years. They also go on to discuss the tech behind it. “Mobile phones can receive e-mail of up to 1,600 characters. While this is more than adequate for most personal use, the limit presents unique challenges to the author of a novel. Yoshi, however, not only managed to overcome this challenge but even turned it to his advantage by keeping the prose concise and fast-paced. The novel maintains a straightforward, conversational style and avoids the use of difficult words. Thanks to this quality, the story has found favor even among people who do not typically read novels.”

While this is all very interesting, and the new format or “genre” has become wildly successful in Japan and several other European countries, what puzzles me is why hasn’t this phenomenon taken hold in the US? Both these articles were from the early 2000’s, and the initial site having started in 2000. Why aren’t American teens getting their vampire erotica delivered in tiny daily affirmations that can easily be passed off as a regular text? Does this say something about literacy in a younger generation, even through a media that they have grown up with. Perhaps we’re just waiting for the right author. Check out more about the Japanese site here.

*I own the rights to this image*

A work in progress

  2 comments for “Texting A Novel

  1. aspangle
    February 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    You know, I actually did hear about this. It’s a very interesting idea but what I don’t like is that novels and writing are becoming more electronically available. To me, picking up a book will never get old and I think that it’s sad that there are some forms of novels that can only be read on a computer screen or some sort of device. I do find it very interesting that people are able to produce such works, but I think that it could be more harmful than helpful.

    Although it isn’t the same, there was someone who produced some sort of sentence or paragraph or something that was to be tattooed onto a visible part of someone’s body and each person received a separate word. There would be people with tattoos on their face or arm or hand. It seems very creative, but should that be called literature? I don’t know…

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