In Japan, the cellphone is stirring the nation's staid fiction market. The WSJ reports.
"Young amateur writers in their teens and 20s have found a convenient medium in which to loose their creative energies. For readers, mostly teenage girls, the mobile novel, as the genre is called, is the latest form of entertainment on the go.
... Mobile-novel writers like getting instant feedback from readers. That encourages them to keep going or even to change stories to suit readers. Of course, the close interaction between reader and writer can sometimes be too much. A 27-year-old woman, who wrote a sad love story called "What the Angel Gave Me" under the pen name Chaco, became so popular two years ago that she was getting 25,000 unique online visitors a day. Chaco, who won't disclose her real name, says she felt pressured to update her novel and respond to comments every day to keep readers happy.
"I was getting only one to two hours of sleep a night," says Chaco. Her phone was ringing with email messages from fans at four in the morning.
... Nobody knows how much staying power the genre will have, or whether authors who specialize in writing about their own experiences will run dry.