Yep, I changed the blog again..back to black. The last color setting was a bit too cheery. This feels right, and so does the banner.
I have been working on "digital storytelling" --- something that is being used a bit by language arts teachers to encourage their students to express themselves using technology. It could be something as simple as stringing together a bunch of pictures with music or dialogue, or it could be producing video or mixing other media. Frankly, I think it's a high-falootin' term which some folk use to justify expression in lieu of the self-discipline and patience necessary to sit down and write a work of fiction, or to read something, for that matter. Most digital storytelling is passive, after all. Watching something produced on "movie maker" is akin to watching a show on t.v.
Here is a short video on the topic...
All this being said, we shouldn't be too quick to dismiss the digital storyteller. Perhaps what we need to do is step back and consider some of the potential. What if we separate, for a moment, broaden the role of writer and give him a few more hats. Why not make digital storytelling a form of performance art that incorporates all manner of medium.
Here is an example. You buy a book at a store, or download one online. You read a chapter and at the end of the chapter you are encouraged to log onto a website that is a companion piece for the book. Logging onto the site and registering triggers a sequence of activities. Perhaps you can watch video of a backstory for the characters of the novel. Or a program, depending on responses you give on the website, has one of the characters in the novel call you at home or on your cell phone. This would be a voice recording, of course. Or perhaps you would start receiving email from that character.
Interactive novels have been done before. Most of them have been for young adults, based on role play games, with a question at the end of a chapter: "Do you open the door? Then turn to page 35. If not, read the next chapter. Sort of a computer program model. Still, it raises the question, are there other methods of stepping outside the printed page and the traditional reader-writer relationship?
Watching the above video, you probably thought: "But all they are talking about is a form of 'show and tell', a multimedia narcissism. They're just slapping an old concept with a new term because it now has a technology component. True. But that doesn't mean there aren't pathways for the writer to explore as another form of expression, or better yet, a way to promote one's work. In the next few weeks I'll be putting up a small promo for "The Ravening", for instance.
There are many wonderful avenues for expression as a way to promote and complement one's writing. I say why not have fun with it and try and explore the possibilities?