The concept of rendering a novel through cell phones and mobile phones seem to be catching up the world fast and quick. This type of novels involves original works written on cell phones and transmitted by text messaging. These novels usually have chapters of about 70 to 100 words in length. The cell phone novels originated in Japan and were soon identified as a unique literary genre that became popular. The chapters are sent by SMS texting, with the identities of the authors undisclosed. Authors of mobile phone novels use fictitious names and identities.
The origin of this cell phone novel concept may be attributed to young women who used to text on topics like love, pregnancy and relationships. It soon spread to other topics and other user groups. A Cell phone novels have now become international, with these also becoming popular in China, South Africa and Germany.
The cell phone novels come in three main formats namely WMLD, JAVA and TXT. These novels create a virtual world for the youth who get hooked on to it via their mobile phones. Writers can write in first person like seeing themselves in the story. Readers can download novels and read it on their personal mobile phone, just like an ebook.
Cell phone novels took off from Japan, and are very popular in many parts of East Asia, with many online writers being university students. Thanks to the word of mouth, its popularity spread out to Taiwan, China and South Korea soon. The topics on which these novels are based on, are generally associated with teen culture and emerging trends, which are well sought content among the youth.
Cell phone novel sites do brisk business. Maho i-Land is one such site that has over a million titles, mainly by new writers. Though the first cell phone novel was introduced in Japan in 2000, it is still to take off in the US in a big way. But indications are that the teens in the US are not very particular about the concept of cell phone novels. Sites like the Figment that were intended to be a Facebook for teen fiction, realized this even in their beta version.
However the growth of cell phone novels taking off in North America cannot be ruled out.
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