Twessay #2 ‘Storytelling’.

old typewriter (focus on text)

This was the tweet that Donna gave us to kick off our latest Twessay assignment- a rather complex idea at first glance. ‘Storytelling is evolving…’ could encompass a wide range of ideas. We could discuss the interesting shift in mediums used for storytelling and how they change the way we experience a story. Maybe we could take a philosophical approach and focus on the word ‘Storytelling’. How does the meaning and reasoning behind telling stories compare now to when we originally started sharing with each other. Many people argue that the human species has adapted this love of storytelling for a number of reasons, as a way to relieve one’s mind from stress (be that modern stress or prehistoric fear of dinosaurs stress), or a way to ease group cohesion for survival (stories reinforce group identity which makes cooperation easier). Others believe that storytelling arose in us from a need to pass knowledge to each other at a time when we had not yet devised written languages. Personally I think that a mixture of all these reasons makes the most sense, leading us to have an innate predisposition to share anecdotes and ideas from our lives.

We consume a vast amount of stories every day. Newspapers, magazines, film, TV, oral accounts from people around us along with newer mediums of storytelling such as gaming (see my last blog post) or podcasts in recent years this has been taken further wit the development of the web 2.0; user generated websites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, YikYak etc.People aren’t just content with consuming content or stories anymore, they want to share them too. Snapchat feeds are called stories after all!

Arming the population with a smartphone and one of the aforementioned apps might do something else to storytelling though. Have we devalued the art by putting it into the hands of the population? Or does it makes no difference?  Quality will always shine even in great seas of content, won’t it?  I’m torn on the answers to these questions. I appreciate the platforms of expression given to us by all of the digital means to tell one’s story, but I understand the fact that many works of quality can and are overlooked.

This was my tweet in which I decided to bring attention to the fact that one story can now travel across many different mediums. A story is not just accessible through a book or film anymore. In a lot of big budget cases a book of a film may accompany release, along with a video game to relive the story in an interactive form and then a mobile app to further gamify the story. Users may generate  their own fanfiction relating to a particular story and thus expand on the given universe in a way they see fit. The link I shared was to a Guardian post from the Film4 crew who were discussing the importance of being simultaneously more artistically driven and innovative whilst being ”willing to think more fully from the audience perspective.”

Alex expanded on the fluid storytelling aspect of my own tweet, given examples of books, the Kindle and the Xbox. Books and kindles highlight people’s reluctance to accept replacement of traditional mediums of storytelling. Each have their own loyal supporters, baring teeth in their own corner. E-readers are certainly more practical than books. They’re much slimmer can hold a multitude of works and e-books also cost less than regular books too. And yet there isn’t much that e-books can do to defeat the nostalgic hold that books have over the public. Ask a book lover what they love about books and you’ll probably receive a glassy eyed response about the smell and ‘the feel’. It’s an interesting point to end on  that as practical and cost saving as reading e-books is, the general public probably won’t be swayed without a lot more work.




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