The more time we spend on our phones, the more text messaging seems like a natural artistic medium, a modern outgrowth of the epistolary novel. You can see it in the fake text messageweb fiction genre, in games like Sarah is Missing… and in the silly quasi-interactive thriller that a smartphone writing app has somehow seduced me into creating.
The app I’m talking about is called Tap, a recent extension of the existing trend of text messaging fiction platforms. It’s following on the heels of a very similar service called Hooked, and less directly, the kid-focused Amazon Rapids. On both Tap and Hooked, you get what looks like a text message interface, with messages advancing as you tap a box at the bottom of the screen. It’s not like a video game with different choices; it’s more like a play or radio drama that happens to take place on your phone.
The two apps mentioned in the article probably won’t work for most students, but the text messaging format can easily be replicated in a word processor. Using a two column table, the sender of the message would be in the first column, and their text message would be in the second column.
I create a one row table with two columns in Google Docs, and then changed the size of the borders and color.
Writing stories in this format could be a fun activity outside of normal story writing.