Digital storytelling is hot right now. With the advances in technology and the advent of social media more people are engaging in the creation of story. People are experimenting with production, form and distribution. It is a really exciting time for story writing and storytellers.
Online storytelling creates a sense of immediacy, providing opportunities for self-expression, connectivity, interactivity and collaboration in real time. Storytellers can jump the middle steps of production and publication and move straight from story to audience. Now if you want, you can create, produce, publish and distribute your story with just your thumbs – without even getting out of bed – using just your phone and a Twitter account.
Digital platforms allow storytellers to blend old story formats to create new ones, and to experiment with new mediums to create totally unique story formats. The short story pared down beyond flash fiction becomes mirco-fiction at 140 characters per Tweet or visual story on Pinterest. Serialised stories can be written and published with the click of a blogger’s publish button. Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED talk: Adventures in Twitter shows how authors are engaging with Twitter as a medium for all kinds of new storytelling. Digital storytelling is hot right now, and events such as @TWFictionFest (a Twitter fiction festival) create arenas for storytellers to experiment with and share their stories.
Audience feedback can be instantaneous and builds ample opportunity for collaboration. @AuthorBee is one Twitter tool creating opportunities to build this kind of audience engagement. ‘You’re bound. Times Square plays on a TV. “What’s your resolution,” a man holding a knife asks, “for the afterlife?”’ begins one such collaborative story started by @MikeArnzen.
No longer is story controlled by organisations, publishing companies, film studios, TV and radio stations. Now millions of people have the ability to create, publish, broadcast and connect with millions of other people – with total anonymity if they want.
Storytelling is no longer just the realm of text and image. Multi-medium story telling can include text, static and moving images, voice recordings, music – the boundaries are there to be manipulated, they are malleable. As are the digital platforms. Transmedia storytelling offers opportunities to tell stories across a number of digital platforms, creating immersive experiences for audiences. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries uses video diaries and social media to retell Pride and Prejudice.
Want to read more?
- Sean Hill creates short fiction on Twitter at @VeryShortStory
- Nic Latouf: Shakespeare Is Dead! The Future of Storytelling
- Heather Himes: Transmedia
- Vane Mazzeao: Transmedia
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