Twitnovels – Crowdsourcing Novel Community

Twitnovels opened on 12th July by two Japanese companies, Heartrails and Marici, is a community based novel writing platform supporting Japanese and English “relayed” novels.

“Relayed Novel” is a form of online writing which you can sometimes see on Japanese forums like 2-channel. There a forum reader starts writing a short text, then someone continues, keep writing by group to finish, if they can. There has been many open source scripts for the “relay novels” and they were set up for years to decade.

Twitnovels offers a specialized platform only for this relayed novel writing, with Twitter account. You may pick up any existing unfinished novel and write a following story. You can also make a new branch at the middle of other novel, to change the direction of the story and create a new derived story.

Branching and Updating are notified to related authors. Feedback to each novel chunk can be commented, too. Those features encourage involved authors to keep writing on and group plotting/elaboration.

Japan is known by its “cellphone novel” culture. There is also a relayed style poet renga tradition lasting 700 years. Social authoring may generate something different from regular novels.

See Also:

English tutorial for Twitnovels on Twitnovels itself

Creative Writing Assignment

Japanese Classics For Kindle


Amazon has recently announced their Global Wireless Kindle. However, as English only books are sold from, most Japanese couldn’t find the product very appealing.

Takayama Kyosuke just released a web based tool which translates books from Aozora Project (Japanese equivalent to Gutenberg Project) to Kindle supported PDF format.

To get your favorite Japanese classic on your Kindle, all you need to do is find it on Aozora and provide the Zipped file link to the form on the A2K page (Aozora to Kindle).

For example, Natsume Soseki‘s Ten nights of Dreams is available at this link. Copy the Link of the Zip file marked below.

Aozora Ten Nights of Dreams


Example above shows A2k Page with link filled, click the “PDF it” button, and there you have it, in PDF Format (including Furigana):


On Kindle it even looks better:

Japan’s First Twitter Novel Book Is On The Way

A paper book named “Twitter Shousetsu – 140 ji no Monogatari”(Twitter Novels – 140 Letters Stories) is to be published at the beginning of next month, announced by one of ten professional authors, Mika Naitoh [J]. There will be over 100 very short stories in the book.

According to her blog, the first Japanese book compiling tweet novels is written by 10 professional authors, @EnJoeToh, @toiimasunomo, @SinjowKazma, @Talkingdogdays, @kaworu963, @adachib, @watanabeyayoi, @izutada, @harukiyoshii, and herself, @micanaitoh.

It was born by part of tweet-novel writing movement around the hashtag #twnovel (statistics), which Mika Naitoh suggested in July [J]. There are over 5,000 stories posted both by those professionals and amateurs.

Translation of the first one of Mika Naitoh’s, taking twitter on it:

On twitter, I noticed you the first time in years. Followed the name in secrecy. You do not know it is me. Reading his familiar style with sentiment, will I tell it someday? Days later, you tweeted “Today is my third wedding anniversary”.

As I recently wrote on another article, Japanese can convey roughly doubled information in the same 140 letters limit to English. I cannot translate it within 140 in English.

The publisher, Discover Twenty-One, is planning another tweet novel book with non professional twitter users.

See Also:

#vss English counterpart. VSS stands for Very Short Story.

@140story English short story author on twitter

One Sentence blog – not twitter(140) but in one sentence

Six-Word Memoirs at SMITH Magazine – limit by number of words, instead of letters. a compilation book published.

Tomorrow’s Rainbow: 86-year old Japanese nun writes cell phone novel

Novels and poetry written, bought and read on cell phones are nothing unusual in mobile phone-crazy Japan.

Now it came to light that Jakucho Setouchi, a 86-year old Buddhist nun has written a long-running cell phone novel series (keitai shousetsu in Japanese) without disclosing her real name for several months.

Setouchi is an accomplished writer and currently lives in a Buddhist temple in Iwate prefecture, Northern Japan. She is well-known for her translation of Tale of Genji, said to be the world’s first novel (written in the early 11th century).

The digital love story, which is entitled Ashita No Niji, Tomorrow’s rainbow, is the first she has written on a cell phone. Setouchi chose “Purple” as an alias and began writing the novel in May this year. The story was distributed to Japanese cell phone users in several chapters and finally came to an end just this month. You can take a look here [JP].

Japanese publisher Mainichi started selling the digital novel in print form last week. The book, which is priced at 1,050 Yen (10 USD/7.30 Euros) and available at Amazon Japan, for example, is 248 pages long in 19×12.6x 2.4cm format.