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Best 4 Cell Phones for Noveling

What? Write a novel on a cell phone? That’s the silliest thing you’ve ever heard. But guess what “Eternal Dream,” “The Red Thread” and “Love Sky” and “Deep Love” all have in common? That’s right – they are all novels written entirely on cell phones that became books and sold over a million copies. The first successful mobile phone novel (”keitai shousetsu”) was written by a Japanese man who called himself Yoshi beginning in 2000 but the format really took off in 2003, when unlimited data cell phone plans gained a foothold in Japan. Today, thousands of Japanese novellers converge at Maho no i-rando to tell their stories, which often take the form of diary-like, confessional romances.

It’s a bit like a cross between Twitter, LiveJournal and NaNoWriMo and, though all three of these sites are wildly popular, an English-language equivalent of Maho no i-rando has yet to catch on (excluding The Onion’s satirical “Noveller“). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on the next big literary wave to hit (check out this feature on cell phone novels from The New Yorker). All you need is a decent smartphone with a steady 3G connection, an intuitive keyboard a blogging/instant messaging app or two (Tweetdeck and Wordpress will work) and perhaps the luxury of copy and paste and you’ll be well on your way to being the new micro-literary sensation. Here are some phones to get your thumbs inspired:

Samsung Omnia II

This Windows Mobile smartphone can hop on Verizon’s vast 3G network or WiFi – but that’s nothing to write home about. What the Samsung Omnia II really brings to the table as a novel-writing cell phone is its newfangled Swype technology. Developed by the fine minds who brought us T9 text input (remember life before QWERTY?), Swype let’s you pound out the words-per-minute at lightning speed on a virtual QWERTY at rates that rival (and by some measures, exceed) those of the iPhone.

BlackBerry Bold

Jetsetting executives have been churning out thousands of memos, emails and business proposals on BlackBerry smartphones for years – making the leap to novels just makes sense. The BlackBerry Bold has one of the best physical QWERTY keyboards among all the BlackBerry phones and the Wordpress for BlackBerry app is about to come out of beta. Happy noveling!

HTC Droid Eris

CNet ranks the HTC Droid Eris above the Motorola Droid in its Top 5 best cell phones rankings in spite of the Eris lacking a physical keyboard. This may seem counter-intuitive to would-be cell phone novelists, but the stunning HTC Sense user interface comes with a modified virtual QWERTY that some prefer to the Motorola Droid’s physical keyboard. Plus, it’s got Android, which means the possibilities for open source apps is endless (check out Androffice).

Palm Pre

The Palm Pre has Palm’s new webOS, a roomy physical QWERTY and plenty of screen real estate. You can multi-task with ease, which may come in handy if you’re seeking inspiration or referencing a thesaurus for that perfect word.  Unlike most slider QWERTY phones, the Palm Pre doesn’t kick your display into landscape mode when you begin typing, which is better for reviewing a lengthy page of text.

Any mobile novelists in the crowd today? If so, let us know how your thumbs feel after logging a thousand or so more words per day and tell us which phone you think is best for writing the Next Great American Cell Phone Novel.

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