Sometime ago, I started reading a manga (=Japanese comics), called Watashi Ni xx Shinasai, which focused around a young girl. This particular girl found joy in creating and sharing her stories with others, though she kept her identity a secret from all, but her cousin and parents. When I first came across it, I had no intention of reading it, since it was labelled as romance and I usually get bored by such stories (before you start throwing rotten apples at me, I don’t hate this genre, nor do I find it boring per se; it’s just that most romances are the same and they lack that certain something to pick my interest). However, one way or another, I stumbled upon this manga again, after some time. Truth be told, I came across some page where the story of the princess was mentioned and, as expected, curiosity got the best of me. I flipped through the pages, eager to know more about the world of the princess of the frozen underground world. Somewhow Yukina’s world managed to capture me.
Starting from her world, I became more and more curious about the genre of her stories. They were all Cell Phone Novels (CPN) and I had no idea what those were. At first, just like any earthian would think, I also believed that they were some sort of novels written from one’s phone. But no. Those were a different kind of novels. Written from a cell phone, yes. However the writing style was entirely different from a regular novel, as I came to learn later on.
Long story short, after some time, while waiting for the manga to update (and see what else was going to happen in Yukina’s story), the curiosity got the best of me and so I landed on Google, trying to find out what Cell Phone Novels are, and where I could get the chance to write one myself. I was thrilled to find textnovel.com, where some information on the genre awaited to be read, too. That’s how I learnt that this particular genre is practically an ongoing serial literature that consists of short chapters and is mainly based on minimalism. The key factor seemed to be the line breaks and the use of white spaces, just like in poems. I guess, to me, it looked like the epic poem, which incorporates both the epic and lyric styles in it.
I was more than happy to give this genre a try.
To be honest, I could hardly sleep the day I came across the site. All I could think of was the great adventure awaiting right around the corner. To that added the adrenaline rush, caused by the mere thought that I’d be keeping my identity a secret. Why? No particular reason. Or maybe just the fact that I feel a lot better when writing under a pen-name.
I spent a couple of days trying to come up with a good pen name. And after some time, I found it. Finally.
It was perfect. A name so simple, yet so delicate.
But… I had to give it up.
Around last year or so, I had to go on hiatus, a long one indeed. School work took over my spare time and I couldn’t really do much anymore. I know I missed so many things, so many good stories to read around that site, but it couldn’t be helped.
Now, when I came back, I have to say that it didn’t feel as comfortable as before to write under my previous pen name, so I started searching for another. That took me a while too. But, I guess I can still keep Hirondelle as a first name for my present pen name, no?
I drifted away. Back to the Cell Phone Novels.
My first Cell Phone Novel to write was “Quest”, but somehow, I ended up deleting it. I might still have a back-up copy somewhere on my laptop, but still. Aside from this one, I wrote a couple more pieces (some of which are currently set to private), and one of them actually brought me an award! In 2013 I won the Editor’s Choice award for my CPN, “Chidori (A Thousand Birds)“.
I was thrilled.
Sadly, though, I had to put my writings aside for a while, shortly after the achievement. (I’m sorry for my readers who were waiting for updates…)
Anyhow, while I was still active on the site, before I went on hiatus, I continued to write and read Cell Phone Novels, and I came in contact with some really good writers. Aside from that, I tried to offer aspiring cell phone novelists some help with their CPN writing, which I plan to continue now too. Why? Because I know how it feels like to have no-one tell you what you can do to improve your writing style, or what to do so that your story fits into the CPN genre. Besides, it’s fun. I get to read a bunch of new stories.