Mobile fiction – what is it and why is it at all?

Mobile fiction? What the hell is it? Another stupid name “invented” by a DIY author to describe his writing? Probably you’re right. But are you brave enough to give it a try? The fact that The New York Times didn’t write about it, doesn’t mean that it’s completely unimportant.

What is it?

Mobile fiction is fiction literature written with a mobile reader in mind. Mobile reader is the one who reads mo-books. Mobile reader is a tech-nerd with high level of novelty acceptance. He’s driven by technology and doesn’t want to be stopped. Lives quickly, likes to do many things at once, needs to be plugged in.

One can say: yeah, but Dan Brown is also writing for, as you call him “a mobile reader”. His books are also available in electronic format, you can read them on a Kindle, so why all that fuss?

Every author imagines his readers in situations when they’re “swallowing” his books. Such an image is one of writer’s muses. My muse is definitely not spending 12 hours on a sofa under a heavy blanket (as Brown’s muse could do). My reader is reaching for a book while he’s on the go. 20 minutes in an underground, 7 minutes in a queue. I also imagine that my reader is often switching to Twitter, RSS reader, games or application store on his smartphone. He doesn’t distinguish reading a book from any other kind of reading.

As soon as you realize that, you know you have to adjust your writing. Major directions are:
:. kind write short stories (preferably flash fiction) instead of novels
:. style choose fast narration, rich plot, short chapters, paragraphs, sentences
:. topic choose topics, which could well refer to your audience’s world

Why is it?

For some people this description of a mobile reader can be pretty obvious. The only question is: if that is so obvious why there are only few writers who think it’s worth to talk primarily to the this kind of a reader?

The fact that majority of readers are women which neglect technology doesn’t mean, that every writer has to write women’s literature. On the other side, men which love technology usually don’t pick up books as their favourite way of spending free time. Sounds like mobile fiction is a niche? Not exactly. The habit of reading, thanks to e-book revolution is changing at an accelerated speed. E-books, especially mo-books are available in a couple of clicks. This means that a reader can switch books instantly, depending on his current mood (“I need to relax”) or time devoted (“until my train comes”). This also means that a book can be read in many short chunks, when there’s a moment&feel to do that. A 12-hour sofa heavy read can be scary for a techie and he’ll probably do everything to avoid it. A 15 minute low commitment reading? Why not.

There are millions of iPhone users, who read books using Stanza application. There are millions of eReader owners around the world. 3 million – this was a eReader sales prediction for 2009. Don’t you think all those readers have something more in common than just a fact they have accepted e-books and/or freed themselves from paper book’s smell slavery?

What I do?

I perceive myself as a typical mobile reader. I can read short bursts of text, then I get bored and switch. Actually I started to write short stories, because I didn’t find enough books I could have read.

An intention to write specifically for a mobile reader is opening a brave new world. The writer starts to explore, invent, experiment. Out of three directions mentioned above, two of them are easy and there are many authors who actually write mobile fiction, but they never thought it this way. I’m personally focusing on a third factor: topic. My mobile fiction is all about tech nerd world. Technology is bringing so much frustration to people’s life, that a simple escape from reality (a promise of majority of fiction books) is just not enough.

OK, so what am I doing fo mobile fiction except writing kick-off posts on a blog with a weird title? There’s a bunch of things, and I must admit that even I got surprised that it’s so many:

:. I’ve just published two books, Password Incorrect and Failure Confirmed with stories, available as e-books from a mobile friendly Smashwords site. I call the stories tech-absurd (o yeah, another DIY something). It’s a fiction designed to spot the absurd the technology brings to our lives and make fun out of it
:. everything I write is available for mobile reading. I use blog mobilizing tools and I publish books via mobile friendly services, naming only Smashwords and Feedbooks
I run a special Twitter profile – @mobilefiction – where you can read my fiction bits and pieces. Many users connect with Twitter via mobile devices, so it’s a great place to promote mobile reading
:. every Friday I publish a news story from a free edition of Password Incorrect on a mobile blog (Mobile Fiction Stories), which is readable not only by smartphone users, but any cellphone with a web browser. Read more here and here
:. book covers which I design are tailored for a mobile reader – they have to look good on a cellphone screen and are inspired by mobile app style
:. I write on an iPhone. Most of #hashtagstory and #vss are created here, as well as ides for short stories. Mobile writing is a similar experience to mobile reading. There’s something great in it called “catch the moment”
:. I even make music on an iPhone. You can read about it and listen here.

13 Replies to “Mobile fiction – what is it and why is it at all?”

  1. In 2035 the traditional books we will find only in the museums of literature.


  2. In 2035 the traditional books we will find only in the museums of literature.


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