Recent Posts

Online Video Channels for Storytellers

There are a lot of habits you need to cultivate in order to become a great storyteller, but the one practice I think is most essential is to listen to other people’s stories. I have a confession — something I’m really not proud of. The stories I listen to most are stories written by people who look a lot like me and have a background not so different than mine. I began preparing for this…

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Five Types of Books Digital Storytellers Should Be Reading

You’re a digital storyteller. You should be reading everything you can get your hands on about digital storytelling. These three are a great place to start. Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media Seven Stages: Story and the Human Experience Flash Genres (Flash fiction, flash nonfiction, prose poetry) Most digital stories are short. By short I mean less than a thousand words and likely less than five…

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Writing Your Script

Writing a script for your digital story is easy. Writing a good script is harder. And writing a great script built to work with specific images and audio elements can get downright complicated. If you want to write a great digital story script, my best advice is to accept that your story isn’t going to be very good right away. It doesn’t mean that you’re a lousy writer. Instead, it means that you’re writing. That…

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Choosing a Microphone for Storytelling

Choosing a microphone for recording your voiceover can be a little daunting, especially if you’re choosing your first microphone, or if you’re upgrading your current setup. The setup you ultimately land on will largely depend on how you plan to capture most of your recordings, and of course, your budget. So you might start by asking yourself a few questions:   Questions   In what sort of environments will you be recording? If you’re new…

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“Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community” by Joe Lambert with Brooke Hessler

If you’re starting a collection of books on digital storytelling, Joe Lambert’s “Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Boundaries” should be one of the first you add. It serves as an excellent reference for ideas, techniques, prompts, and examples. Not only that, but reading it from start to finish offers a comprehensive background of where StoryCenter’s brand of digital storytelling comes from and how it has evolved. I picked up this latest edition because a quick…

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Drafting Long

Usually, I start the process with a stream of consciousness narrative trying to describe a particular moment in my story. It might be the opening moment. It might be one of a couple of different moments I’m trying to reconcile in my head. I try to focus on concrete details as much as possible. What was I wearing? Which room was I in? What could I smell in the house? What was the weather like…

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Thumbnail for "Zoom H5 Tutorial: Recording with Onboard Mics" tutorial.

Zoom H5 Tutorial – Recording with Onboard Mics

This tutorial walks you through the steps for recording your story’s narration using the Zoom H5 portable recorder with external microphones.   If you would prefer to record with the H5, but using external microphones, check out this tutorial: “Zoom H5 Tutorial – Recording with External Mics.” If you’re thinking about purchasing a new microphone for your recordings, you might want to check out this post: “Choosing a Microphone to Record Your Narration.” If you’re…

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Stories21 is Not a Substitute for a StoryCenter Workshop

Maybe you’re thinking about taking one of StoryCenter’s public workshops, but you’re hesitating for some reason. If at all possible, take the StoryCenter workshop. In person. Wherever it may be. There are too many aspects of StoryCenter’s workshop model that have no substitute. The story circle. The one-on-one, face-to-face script feedback. The interactive video editing tutorials focused explicitly on creating your story. The group discussion of how StoryCenter’s “seven steps” operate in the example stories….

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Listening To Your Story

Now that you’ve got yourself a nice, long draft, go back and read it. Really read it. Maybe even aloud. And listen. (At some point I’m going to write a definitive post about why listening is a storyteller’s most crucial skill. Just you wait.) Don’t worry about all the stuff that isn’t working or that you already know is going to get cut. Read it and listen. Read it slowly. One sentence at a time….

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Kitchens (Prompt)

The kitchen. I remember being young enough not to be able to see over the counter. Countertops were a plane of existence that only adults (and my stupid older brother) were allowed to make part of their everyday lives. I wouldn’t exactly call them mythical, but they were certainly part of a world only accessible to most everyone else in my life. But I grew taller, and my universe expanded to encompass the banality of…

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