Smartphone with notebook and cup of strong coffee on wooden background. Cell phone with writing set with espresso

Readers love to share unusual tidbits about writing with me, and I love it! I always ponder them, sometimes post them, and, on a good day, even try them.

But, two ideas I received recently prompted me to put on the brakes: (1) the drabble, and (2) the cell phone novel.


A drabble is a short work of fiction of 100 words in length.

Its purpose is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express meaningful ideas in a confined space.

Brevity is a problem for me. With any topic. So, I won’t be tempted to try this one.

Besides, I’m also an avid reader, and if a book is good, it’s never long enough anyway. So, 100 words? No thanks.

The Cell Phone Novel

A cell phone novel is a literary work written on a cellular phone via text messaging. Chapters consist of about 70-100 words each due to character count limitations.

The first such novel was “published” in 2003 in Japan, and allegedly became so popular it was published as a “real” book with 2.6 million copies sold in that country, then spun off into a television series, a manga (Japanese comic), and a movie.

Can you imagine writing a novel on your cell phone?

Not this gal. The mere thought of trying to compose a novel on a phone reminds me of that famous line by the acerbic (and always wise) Violet, Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, who—when attempting to use a telephone for the first time—said: “Is this an instrument of communication or torture?”

Violet, honey, I’m right there with you; texting out a novel would be torture.

I’m curious – Do you like your novels long or short?

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