The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

First Novel Written on Facebook

Accidentally, Leif Peterson wrote a novel on Facebook. A friend challenged him to write a 1,000 word story on his Facebook page about a man who finds a missing person’s poster with his name on it.

His Facebook friends asked for more, not knowing it was a stand-alone post. He began to write more posts and ultimately composed a novel on Facebook.

As the story developed, certain readers emerged as steadfast fans, leaving comments almost daily and sometimes voicing their frustration at having to wait twenty-four hours for the next installment. In an interesting development, Peterson began rewarding those readers by naming new characters after them.

On June 10th, 2009, four months after he began, Peterson posted the eighty-fourth and final installment to the story concluding what could very well be the first-ever novel written entirely on Facebook.

“Essentially, it’s a story about a man who begins to question his own identity,” says Peterson. “Without quite knowing why, he soon finds himself in another city, in another country, in another hemisphere, searching for a woman he knows by name, but who he’s never met. I never thought I’d write a page-turner, but that’s what this turned out to be.”

The story is now published in book form and is available at online retailers. Except for some light editing, the printed book appears exactly as it did day by day on Facebook as it was being written.

Very interesting, but not profitable. If you have no interest in selling the story to a publisher and holding the hardback book in your hand, this is a viable option, I guess. However, for most writers, we aspire for something greater. What do you think of this idea?

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6 thoughts on “First Novel Written on Facebook

  1. I like to hold a book in my hands too much, and am not really one for stories online, but i think it might reach an audience of people who normally do not read.

  2. It opens people up to reading so its great. It’s also a good way to get recognised by publishers out there.

  3. Helyn Young on said:

    I think it is fantastic! What a wonderul thing, to share something with your friends rather than look just for the commercial value. I love it when people share their talents without thought of gain.

  4. In Finland, we wrote a novel on Twitter. It was published and the first 500 copies sold out in just a couple of months. A professional novelist began the story and a new chapter in every 2 weeks. The producer picked the best tweets to continue the story and the outcome was something quite special.

    http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/10/from-reality-to-another-todellisuudesta-toiseen-a-143-page-novel-co-authored-by-twitter-contributors.html

    This book got a lot of media attention, so there’s a lot of info about the project on the net, but you’d need to know finnish, so…

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