In 2005, the Japanese use of emoticons — kaomoji, or face marks — far outstripped Western usage. And, in 2008, Yume-Hotaru's first novel became a best-seller in Japanese bookstores; he wrote it entirely with his thumbs. His novel, First Experience, a story about love and sex in high school, became a top title in one of Tokyo's biggest bookstores.
Since it emerged in Japan nearly a decade ago, the cell phone novel -- keitai shosetsu — has moved from a little-known subgenre to a mainstream literary phenomenon. Today, keitai shosetsu sites boast billions of monthly users, while publishers sell millions of copies of cellular stories taken from phones and turned into paperback.
By 2007, half of Japan’s 10 best-selling novels were written on cell phones,
I began wrestling with this thought a few years ago when netspeak began appearing on cell phones. (“R u listening? Lol.”) And, to some extent, leet (733T) speak became a secret code. (Oh, I was so proud of myself when I deciphered someone’s e-mail address—disbm3g—as a phonetic of her name.)
Last week, a neophyte writer in our bricks-and-mortar group read an e-mail diary: Letters written to herself. While the writing was rough, it was insightful in an epistemological way. I think she’s on to something if it can be polished.
Similarly, “Big Biz @ the Mall” was an experiment in the quotidian way people write on Facebook and in their instant messaging. (You can read “Big Biz” diary writing in The Corner Club Press,, pp. 50-51, at http://www.thecornerclubpress.com/uploads/6/0/5/3/6053731/the_corner_club_press_issue_4.pdf)
I’ve just subbed a second story in the same style to another market. “Movin to the Moon” follows a girl in crisis...
“R u suffering a midlife crisis” she asks, all serious like Dr. Phil.
Just a tiny one I tell her, but it might be PMS. Then I see a guy w/ a mic interviewing people. Hes got a PA system and is wearing a necktie so I know it’s the real deal. I shout ITS SHOW TIME!!! All the geri freaks wake up and stare. “Time for Beauty and the B***h!” I shout to the old guy near me.