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Japanese High On Cellphone Novels

It’s really an eye opener to read about this, keitai-shousetsu (mobile phone novels). The tech-savvy Japanese nation has once again ventured into a realm of internet literature that I had not the faintest inkling about. And yet the latest entertainment fad has been floating around in the web sphere seven years ago. A Japan community-based Web site, Maho i-Land brought this idea online when it made it much easier for the hidden novelists in us to turn our stories into a real book complete with cover page and chapters. But it wasn’t till telco companies in Japan offered affordable rates and high-speed mobile Internet when it really fuelled the craze bringing it to its current status. Fat chance for us, Malaysians though as our technology are still a far cry from the Japs and the eye-popping charges our telco charges are enough to make us, the commoners cry. Boo hoo.

Since it’s a community based thing, mobile-novel writers get instant feedbacks from their readers which egg them on and even plays a part in changing the course of the stories. But with every hand trying to get a dip in the bottle of honey, it almost always creates some sort of negativity. It might tighten the creativity rein of the writer who now have to write to please and that’s not fun. Chaco felt pressure that’s for sure. She is the writer for “What the Angel Gave Me“. Another writer, Satomi Nakamura even broke a blood vessel on her right little finger while tapping away on her tiny cellphone screen. Ouch…

Publishers are even cashing in on the mobile-novel genre. To date, it has been over two dozens of popular stories on Maho i-Land being printed. And it seems to be turning into collectibles too. Cool idea into a  money-spinner.

Go read the whole article by Yukari Iwatani Kane – Ring! Ring! Ring! In Japan, Novelists Find a New Medium at Wall Street Journal site.

Other reads :
O’reilly Radar – A mobile read (with white spaces)
Cellphone novel downloads outstrip paper books in Japan
Cellphone novels bring kinky storytelling to the hard of seeing – 2006 news