Building Your Own Process

It’s important to keep in mind—when you’re reading the posts in this series—that this is just one way of approaching the drafting process. There are so many others. Casually browse the library’s shelves for advice about the writing process, and you might start to think that there are as many different approaches to writing as there are writers. I wouldn’t disagree. I hope you find some useful bits of advice here and they end up…

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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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Getting Feedback On Your Story

This post is the penultimate entry in this series, but that doesn’t mean it should only happen at the end of your process. Instead, it’s probably best to think of getting feedback as much as you can along the way. Some storytellers even seek out feedback before they start their drafting process, sometimes talking through their story with one or more people while they’re still trying to figure out what their story is going to…

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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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Editing Ruthlessly

As you’ve been working on your draft, you’ve probably noticed several sections that clearly aren’t going to make it into the final version of your script. Those will be the easy pieces to get rid of. As you do so, it’s probably a good idea to have a separate working document open where you can dump those pieces in case they might become the kernel of another story you end up working on later. Even…

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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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Finding Your Story’s Ending

I watch a lot of Hollywood and independent films, and what I’ve come to notice is that way too often writers and/or directors don’t offer endings that match the quality of the rest of the film. Don’t get me wrong. There are many different ways to effectively bring a film to a close. Sometimes the narrative is an exploration of uncertainty or unfairness or despair and then offer an open-ended closing. And of course, there are…

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Finding Your Story’s Beginning

Once you’ve started to get a sense for what your story is really about, you can start thinking about how you’re going to structure it. You might opt for a linear narrative that begins somewhere and ends somewhere later. You might find that you need to create one scene and then move to a second. You might find that you need to create a flashback scene within a framing scene. You might discover that your…

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Six Microphones for Storytellers

In a previous post (“Choosing a Microphone for Storytelling“), I offered some factors storytellers should consider when deciding which mic they’re going to use. That background covered, we can now get to the good stuff: the microphones themselves. I’m going to try to keep it simple. (Don’t laugh.) I’m going to recommend seven different microphones, along with comments for each. My criteria consist of sound quality, build quality, ease of use, versatility, and value. When…

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