?When dealing with transmedia storytelling, more than anything else, we need to understand the original intentions of traditional storytelling. The concept of a story has very deep historical origins. Once upon a time, there was a… Most stories we know begin in this manner. Before the era of written language, people became accustomed from a young age to stories that had been handed down from one generation to the next through oral tradition. The term “storytelling” was not actively used until relatively recently. This was in 1995, at the Digital Storytelling Festival in Colorado. From there, the word storytelling became more frequently used by academics, industry, and the general public. It seems likely that this came from a revelation concerning the skill involved in storytelling.
In the past, the term “narrative” was used to reflect the conveying of a tale through print, books, or oral tradition. The word is still used today and remains relevant, not just to scholars but also to the masses when we describe story flow and progression. However, the Digital Storytelling Festival was the first time when the importance of the word “storytelling” was truly recognized. This was the result of our shift from linear narration in text to the current paradigm of sharing stories through a wide range of devices. The biggest difference between then and now is the changes that have occurred regarding the technology used in storytelling.
Let’s have a look at the concepts of story and telling as this is a significant point. A story involves people sharing information about who did what. It can be just one line, with an elementary structure. Most people typically say that the most central elements in a story are its background, characters, and action. It was Aristotle who provided this direction. We should consider this when viewing the backdrop in which the story occurs, who the protagonist is and what his or her goals are, and what actions he or she displays. Therefore, it stands that the crucial elements are background, character, and plot. These three elements are fundamental for a story to emerge.
Whether the story is interesting, credible, or fascinating depends on these elements. The same story could end up being different, depending on the background. For instance, if someone was going on a trip with friends, or, alternatively, if a couple was going on a first date, where would they go? Some places are fun, and others just plain uninteresting. That’s the importance of background. Whether a trip ends up being enjoyable depends on the background. The character and action can be exactly the same, but the outcome changes if the background differs. By the same token, the characters have equal importance as the background. Are you with someone? Are you with a friend? Are you with a stranger?
If this was the scene for a first date, even with nothing special going on, a conversation or meal might prove to be a good time. As the character is important. Thirdly, what are you doing? The plot. What are the actions? What are the events that form the core of the story? After watching a movie, we often come out of the theater and talk about it with a friend. What was the movie about? Who was the hero? These are the essential components of the story. From the next lectures onwards, we will be going into the specifics of each element that constitutes a story. What can we do to create a credible background? What can we do to create a consistent character?
What can we do to develop an interesting plot? This method is pretty much a timeless strategy on how to craft a story. In fact, there are many theories about this. Aristotle organized for us the fundamental structure. Now we have to see how these three factors meet. At In the end, there needs to be some kind of catharsis for the audience to feel interested. They need to have satisfaction. What kind of catharsis is there? There may be sadness, or perhaps joy. The type of feeling may vary, but ultimately, there is an expression of strong emotions. This is the goal of the story. Ah, that story was nice. Ah, that was awfully sad.
The goal of the story is to evoke deep emotions, but what is the most effective way of doing so? What kind of limitations does what type of character need to endure, and in what background? The method of writing is an important consideration. Plenty of scholars have classified stories into different types. Someone said there are 36 kinds of plots in existence. Or on a larger scale, two kinds. We can say that all stories fall into these groups. Were we to analyze the basic composition of several stories, we would have a rather persuasive argument on the matter. There are a few quintessential story compositions.
Our next task is to explore where this is applicable to digital storytelling, or in our case, transmedia storytelling. We shall subsequently examine the differences between the analog, linear, classic structures in storytelling and digital storytelling.