Okay, so I got a comment on my post yesterday from Stan Soper, the founder of another cell phone noveling site, TextNovel. In the interest of thoroughness, or possibly just Pre-NaNoWriMo boredom, I decided to check it out, and add it to my list of “ways to write a novel on a cell phone” (How many characters does that description take up?)
TextNovel is a site that seems a bit more mainstream-friendly than QuillPill. As Stan pointed out, there’s no character limit on how much you can write at a time. This allows for longer passages, and that, plus certain features that they offer–dividing stories into chapters, categorizing stories according to genre–make the written offerings seem far more traditional stories. They having a ranking system that puts the highest ranked stories on the front page, as well as editor’s picks, making it easier to find stories that might appeal to you.
A technological note here: for all that I’m fascinated by this new form, I’m actually probably NOT QuillPill’s ideal user as, I think (based on what I saw, and I could be wrong), it requires a mobile browser if you want to write your story from your cell phone. Originally, I had the idea that you could simply send a text message, and it would post to your account. Exploring the QuillPill site a bit more, I think that was a misconception on my part. However, TextNovel allows exactly that. You can also post by sending an e-mail, or of course, on the site itself.
So that’s one of the major appeals of cell phone noveling that TextNovel makes more accessible to a larger population.
However, I think that QuillPill’s more structured format (140 characters at a time, 10 passages to a page, and clearly delineating each passage) better sets off the literary experimentation that drew me to this form in the first place.
So, in conclusion? I think that the two different sites will appeal to different people. I personally plan on signing up for TextNovel, and will probably use it, at least during NaNoWriMo, as a way to write on the go. But I’m also going to play around with my QuillPill membership, once I get in, and see where it can take me.