Laura’s Digital Notebook Entry

After a productive conversation with Alan last week, I was able to narrow my five potential thesis ideas down to two.  Yea!  Progress…

The next day, a powerful exploratory writing exercise in class confirmed that the “one that scares me” idea needs to remain on the list.  For now.  

However, my “selfish” prospect of writing a memoir/biography about my husband’s life left the mix.  In place: some form/type/kind of memoir-ish thing about my own experience with losing my father in 9/11.  Just tossing some things around here for a little….

So, 5 have become 2 (just not quite the same two).

In my last blog I painstakingly tried to flesh out and explain my “storydwelling” concept (partly for my own benefit).  However, after some digging around on the web and pondering, I realized that what I’m really interested in is how the mode and/or the medium that is used to tell story might affect the reader.  By this I mean the use of digital tools and the structure/format in which it is told.  I began looking into epistolary forms of storytelling which primarily uses letters compiled into books to unfold the plot.  

This got me to thinking about using text messaging to tell fictional stories.  Hooked is a popular app that send you six-minutes worth scrolling messages, mostly of the horror genre. This concept is fairly new and there are some others out there as well.  I hadn’t heard about this before so I downloaded the app and “read” the free 30 second demo and was…well…sorry for this, guys…hooked.  It was kind of addicting even for this non-millennial. It’s all very intriguing!!  

Interesting article here.   

“I think part of what makes reading stories in text message format fun is that it captures emotional and cultural nuances, for example with emojis — it makes the stories more captivating and the characters more relatable, especially for millennial readers.”

And another good one here

Have you ever heard of chat fiction apps? If not, then you’re probably not a teenager.

These digital book alternatives, which are presented as text messages, have been dominating the app charts for the past few months. The format may seem a little strange for people who are used to paperback books, but at least young people are reading.

I’m also wondering how narratology might fit into all of this.

I also read a little about email novels (I love how the woman called herself the ‘inventor’ of the email novel..that’s me!!).  

Novels and stories chart the intersection between private and public life at a time when those boundaries are shifting, even dissolving. And they deal with questions of emotional connection, affect, and personhood amidst an internet culture of liking, sharing, and self-exposure.

I even read about what some people are calling the “first great work of facebook fiction” from just march of 2016…really fascinating and timely stuff!!

And then there’s instafiction (fiction told via instagram), nanoism (tweet-length stories) and even Pulitzer Prize-winning authors who are, maybe just for the publicity, tweeting out their latest full-length novels--40 characters at a time.

There are workshops designed to help people write for social media.

The aim of the workshop was to examine the structure of social media feeds as new ways of organising content based on storytelling and sense-making.

One other link for my future reference

At Echo, we most often use the term multiplatform storytelling to describe the general technique of telling a story using several formats and/or platforms, ideally with some involvement by audience or end users.

I keep going back to that question of how does the mode in which a story is presented affect the reader……how much does it depend on the audience and their use of the intended tool? What about stories that were not intended to be read through a particular platform?  What if a basic story was transformed into different versions of itself. How/would each “version” of the story affect the reader differently?

I asked my son what he thought about the text fiction thing (which, of course, he already knew about) and he said: (shrugs) “Uh…I guess it’d be kinda cool to  read the Hobbit through text bubbles.” (walks away)

Hmmmm….things to ponder……


6 thoughts on “Laura’s Digital Notebook Entry

  1. She is never short on the ideas! I’m liking the idea of text-based storytelling. If you want a guru to talk to, I suggest Bryan Alexander (a good friend) who has just published a second edition of his New Storytelling Book. Bryan could easily release a flood of ideas and examples.

    There was for a while a series of “tap” story telling apps, where you tap to sequentially reveal parts of a story, the one I followed looks like now more of a marketing tool or check out this one

    Also, I like this audio based storytelling platform, TapeWrite where you can annotate points in the story with images, short quotes, or links I know the developer and have done a couple with some recordings I made in the 1990s of my grandmother’s stories

    Doing a comparison in telling the same story in different platforms has interest. I did something similar a number of years ago but more as a tool / story process route. Your idea above was about what the meaning is on the readers end, but you could also consider what the process takes on the production site, the creating of such stories.

    There may be as well a consideration of covering your interests; could the text-based narratives be constructed around maybe a supernatural conversation with your father? Just speculating.


      1. Awesome! Thanks so much, Mark. I’ve used wevideo before but never for “transforming” a story from one mode to another. I just took a look at your video creation. Def. powerful use of sound/images/words. I will have to check out Things to think about….love it!


  2. Which mode
    my story
    ring true
    for what audience
    listens in
    to my words
    and where will
    I go when I’m caught
    the spaces of public writing
    and private memories ..

    — Kevin
    PS — Laura, good luck. I followed many of your links and need to wander even more. I appreciated the wrestling of public/private stories, and how modes and medium might transform the stories (and vice versa, too, right? Modes and mediums and media can also stifle the story at the heart of a project).


  3. Kevin! Oh, how I’ve missed your remixed poems…so inspiring!!! It’s nice to know that someone “out there” is sending positive energy my way. Yes, I guess I’ll soon find out how the limitations of the modes/mediums might transform the intended meaning of my story. Things to ponder….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s