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Cell-phone novels: A Fad or More?

I read about cell-phone novels in the latest issue of The Writer Magazine, and honestly, I hadn’t even thought about cell-phone novels before the article (didn’t even know they existed). According to the article, this genre really took off in Japan (not surprised), and is just now starting to catch on in the US (isn’t it always like that when it comes to technology/trends?). The point of a cell-phone novel is material posted serially via, you guessed it, cell-phones. 140 characters per post–sounds like Twitter to me. Two websites, Quillpill and Textnovel have popped up in the US serving this genre: post your clips on the sites, get user feedback, and, possibly win a prize for a well-written cell-phone novel.

I think this genre has potential, but it also seems too early to tell since I had never even heard of this genre before I read the article. Since the article was featured in The Writer Magazine, I’m not sure if non-writing folk know of this genre just yet.

For some people, reading novels on a cellphone works for them; for me, I still prefer to hold an old-fashioned book and read that way. I am sure there is still a considerable number of people who prefer to read books the old-fashioned way.

Also, I took a look at the two websites earlier and my first impression of both places (in terms of layout/usability of the site) was not so great. Quillpill had a cleaner look than Textnovel, but Quillpill was also pretty dark with colors. Textnovel uses lighter colors, but I can’t help but feel like the colors don’t work so well in usability either. The point of the websites is not to show off great layouts, but still…when it comes to drawing people in to use their services, it’d be better to have layouts that are usable and attractive to some sense.

But, that’s besides the point of what Quillpill and Textnovel are offering. Would I consider signing up with one of the websites to try things out? Well, I’d consider it, but I believe I could do the same (write a “cell-phone”/serial novel) via Twitter. The difference between Twitter and the other two sites is that Twitter doesn’t have the votes/feedback options. Textnovel offers a contest for the best written cell-phone novel, and one Textnovel writer is actually in the process of getting her novel published traditionally. Sounds like a good deal, right?

I’ll probably wait on this prospect since I’m already bogged down by my backlog of blog entries and other writing projects. I already post little clips of potential stories to Twitter, so I’m not sure if I’d be able to utilize Quillpill or Textnovel fully. Would you try these services out? Do you think the cell-phone novel can survive?

#amreading contest inspiration Novel 1 Work in Progress

Finding Inspiration From Others & Delays

Recently, my bus rides have been consumed with reading Blind Your Ponies, by Stanley G. West. It is a thick monster of a book, and at times it’s hard to follow the plot since West writes from multiple points-of-view, but nonetheless, I have enjoyed the story so far. It’s been captivating my attention on the bus rides to and from work that I don’t even have the time to think about using my iPod these days.

Reading the book, however, has made me also realize a lot of things about my own writing. The prose in West’s book is smart and rather lyrical; I continue to wonder if my writing will reach that point someday. Yesterday, I went back to the public library to do more research in the writing magazines; I found myself feeling more humbled by the articles I read on how to improve my drafts and my general sense of writing.

The past week or so has been dry for me, writing-wise. Things began to slip a little bit last Wednesday, but I’ve still managed to keep up the momentum for my daily Novel 1 check-in. I should really start referring to that book with its working title, so I can feel more sense of completion. Since the deadline for ABNA is already less than a week away, I’m disappointed to say that I will not have my manuscript ready for submission. Well, it was worth the try to aim high so soon; I will still continue to aim for self-publishing the book by this summer.

Well, my Muse will come back yet.

#amwriting contest editing New Year reflection

After the holidays;

Sorry I was away for the past two weeks. I spent time back in my hometown with my family and didn’t spend much time on the computer at all. I suppose that’s how holidays are supposed to be spent, right?

Well, with the holiday and the time away from the computer, I also didn’t get much progress done on outlining my novel. I’m aiming to enter the novel into the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award on February 2, so I need to really get going on my editing and revising. I need to get the novel in decent shape for submission.

Another new year is here, and during the final hours of 2008, I was thinking about what I wanted to achieve for 2009. A lot of things happened during 2008, both good and bad; however, as you can see, I survived from all the experiences and managed to learn so much from the past year. I looked over my 101 list I had started last January, and it just amazed me to see the difference in my goals then and my goals now.

It seemed like July was a changing point in my life, since I last glimpsed at my 101 list at that point, and that was also when I was last enthusiastic about posting in this blog and other places online. Will it be the same again this year?

Well, I hope that with this new year that there will be many more changes and experiences to learn from. Cheers to you all for a good 2009.

contest music My San Francisco Chronicles travel

KDFC World Tour 2008

Lately I have been listening to the local classical radio station, KDFC. This week seems to be the “World Tour 2008”, where they pay three pieces either from or about a certain country/landmark/area. The program has been fun to listen to, since they include sounds of landing at an airport or arriving by sea. It certainly does make me want to travel again….

Anyway, while they run this program during the day, there are three chances to call in and name three locations to win a dinner and enter to get a chance to win airfare to the destination of the winner’s choice–anywhere in the world. I had been trying to call in yesterday and today, but I kept getting the busy signal. I would love to win the airfare to travel wherever I want to go…I would really like to go to Brazil or Wales or Germany right now to meet some friends.

I guess there’s still a chance over the next couple of days to call in since this program lasts until Friday. How do I get through to become the twelfth caller though….