I thoroughly enjoyed learning about storytelling this week. It was interesting to really think about what storytelling means, as well as how that changes or stays the same when transferred into the digital world. It’s not something that we usually learn about in school, even as an English major. You’re just expected to have this innate knowledge of what “storytelling” means, but as it turns out from reading everyone’s blog posts about it, there are so many different meanings and ideas of what “storytelling” is, it’s difficult to really tell.
On top of that, changing everything to “digital storytelling” is difficult as well. There’s this idea that it won’t be the same as normal storytelling, that it’ll be colder and inhuman, and that it’ll have more focus on video and picture, or that some of the story will be lost, etc. etc. It’s kind of interesting that there’s this idea that “digital storytelling” won’t be as intimate or human as “traditional storytelling” is. But it’s still a human telling it and making it and doing everything behind the scenes. I think there’s still a connection with the audience, an intimate and warm and real connection, even if we can’t see or hear or touch anything. That’s not to say there won’t be some loss of connection, but I think a new connection is born through making storytelling digital.
Learning how to analyze stories through the way Vonnegut analyzes them was also a cool experience. I’m used to the “mountain” graph that details how a story is told, but I’ve never been asked to think about the emotional experiences of the characters in the novel. It provides a new way of examining what a novel is about, although part of me feels that this approach is a little too simplified.
With some novels, it’s difficult to gauge exactly what the emotional levels are. And especially in stories that have multiple characters and multiple plot lines; whose line do you focus on? Do you make multiple graphs? Can there be multiple “types” of graphs in a single story? There’s just something I can’t wrap my head around, and it’s how Vonnegut can simplify these stories down like that. I mean, his main example was a fairytale, which isn’t meant to be that hard to grasp, but when I was thinking about novels to make a graph with, I had difficulty and figuring out how the graph would look.
Still, though, it was a good thing to learn about, and it might come in handy in future endeavors, when I’m attempting to write my own novel.
Reviewing a previous student’s digital story certainly allowed me to understand exactly what digital storytelling was going to be. It was a little jarring and odd to see these multimodal stories, but they’re unique, and perfectly characterized what a digital story is.
There were some that were more digital and less story, but that might be me critiquing them from an English major standpoint. As a story that uses digital elements and media to convey its plot or certain elements, it was excellent. As a stand-alone story…they may need some work. But that’s not the important part. What’s important is that I got excellent insight into what this class, this genre was about.
The assignment about telling a story through pictures was probably my favorite of the week. I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone as a writer, using a different method of storytelling, and thinking up a “plot” for what I wanted my story to be about. It was an exciting new experience, and an excellent introductory step into creating stories from means other than writing.
Overall, this week has been an amazing look into what digital storytelling will be, as well as an excellent introduction to the different things we will be doing. The different assignments were all interesting to think and write about, and through reading other peoples’ inputs on the assignments, it allowed for me to get multiple perspectives on something. The kind of assignments done this week really helped open my eyes and mind into this new world, as well as what we’ll be doing in class.
Along with this, I was extremely excited by the different kinds of daily creates that appeared this week. So far, the daily creates are something I’ll definitely think about carrying on with after the class has finished, and possibly after I graduate. They’re little prompts for creative work, as well as allowing the creator to interpret things to their own degree. It’s a nudge in a certain direction that the creator then has to finish on their own, and I absolutely love it.
Basically, this week was very exciting for me. I’m starting to feel more comfortable with blogging, while also stepping out of my comfort zone and learning/trying new things. I’ve been able to stretch my creative wings with certain things, while still being able to think critically about others. I’ve also started to get the hang of pacing my posts so I don’t finish 4 assignment posts on the same day, which is relieving and much better.