Thursday, September 4, 2008

Text your own novel or collaborate with others on a story with Textnovel

Many of us have recently read about the popularity of mobile novels (read on a cell phone) in Japan and other countries. In addition, some of us may have also read about a Japanese young woman who wrote a best selling novel entirely through text message on her cell phone. With the aid of Textnovel, your students can now do the same thing! Textnovel is a free and easy way for students to create their own private or public novel through text message. In addition students can also participate with others in creating a collaborative novel on Textnovel. Additonally the novel can be read on cell phones. Anyone can subscribe (as long as your students make it public) to the novel and get updates on a cell phone as it is being written or once it is finished. This could be great for parents! You can use any basic cell phone with textnovel, no need for a smartphone. Since students are using text messaging, they do have to write their entries in 140 characters at a time. As a result, students can write their novels on-the-go. When a thought stirs them, they do not have to have computer or Internet access.

Learning about Genre's
Textnovel allows students to select the genre of novel such as thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, autobiography...etc), then they can text their novel to ADD@TEXTNOVEL.COM. In the message they first type their special code and then the chapter number they would like to add on to such as 197:2, then they are free to type away. It will show up on their private or public (they decide or the teacher can set up the account and decide) account within a minute or less!

A Few Project Ideas
Collaborative class textbooks
(where groups of students are in charge of different chapters). Students in the class could subscribe to the novel and get updates to use for review.

Research Notebooks
students who are doing long-term research projects such as a history term paper, could send their "notes" and "ideas" to a personal Textnovel. Which could be the starting point for their research study. It also documents their thought process.


Tower of Chatter said...


Thanks for the great comments about Textnovel. We really want this to be a tool that teachers and kids feel comfortable using.

You did a great job summarizing how to use Textnovel too! Only thing I would add is this: because you can add new text to your story by an MMS text message (rather than an SMS text message), the addition is not limited to 140 characters! This means you can make your addition pretty much as long as you want.

Thanks again and I hope that teachers and students find a way to use this as a tool to learn to explore student's abilities to be creative writers and thinkers.


Gwendolyn said...

What an incredible idea for ALL students and teachers ! In addition, writing can finally become a fun and easy process for those students who otherwise might not have the desire to write.

I can't wait for my children to try this out. It would be great if they could collaborate on stories with friends--each taking turns writing chapters--to see what kind of fun emerges.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed the great review of Textnovel, Liz. I'm going to start telling all my neighbors who have kids that this is a great option for all that annoying texting they see their kids doing.

This kind of texting is productive. As for use in the classroom? Some schools don't allow kids to bring cell phones to school, but for the those that do, and for the open-minded teachers that allow the use for educational purposes, it has a lot of potential.

Cheryl Tardif said...

I’m a Canadian author who’s taking cell phone novels to a whole new level. I’m not only writing my next novel on the new iPhone 3G (using the Notes app), I have a character in the novel who uses an iPhone.

I’m an established author with 3 bestsellers available, a 4th with my agent in New York and a fifth nearly finished. Then I’ll be able to focus on ‘Finding Bliss’, the first novel written on an iPhone 3G using Notes.

My novel will be written in my own style, not in cell phone lingo. It won’t read the same way as the Japanese cell phone novels; it’ll be more current.

I expect that Finding Bliss will come out in book form and hopefully e-book as well. I’d also like to see it as a downloadable application on the iPhone and any other cell phone.

My story has been in the news in Canada a lot this past week–TV, radio, newspapers and online. I’m looking forward to doing something different and exciting.

Read more about Finding Bliss

P.S. I am always open to interviews.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Whale Song, The River and Divine Intervention

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