Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Digital storytelling #2: How do I get started writing a digital story?

We are presenting a series of four posts about digital storytelling. The first in the series focusing on what digital storytelling is all about was entitled, Digital storytelling #1: What exactly is digital storytelling? Today we look at ways of getting started with digital storytelling

The main problem with writing a story is finding the initial inspiration. Here are a few methods that might help!

(1) Find story starter sites on the Internet
There are plenty of these types of sites on the Internet. Here is an example from Scholastic:
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/story-starters

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(2) Create a collection of pictures that could inspire writing
I have been collecting interesting pictures for writing on Pinterest. Learners enjoy creating stories from images. https://www.pinterest.com/fibeal/writing-inspired-by-pictures

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(3) Use the “Just Write” method
This idea comes from Felicity Keats of Dancing Pencils in KZN: (http://dancingpencils.co.za/) . She does a lot of creative writing work with schools, developing story-writing with students using free writing methods. She says one should just quieten one’s mind and start free writing. Let a character with a strong emotional problem and an interesting setting come into your mind. Follow your character as the actions take place. She advocates that when you stop to think you must continually say to yourself , 'Go...go...go..' to keep yourself on track.

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(4) Use the ‘What If’ method
Some of our famous writers found their inspiration in this way.

E.B.White – Charlotte’s Web
‘What if I could save a pig’s life? What if a spider could save a pig’s life?

E.B.White – Stuart Little
“What if there was a very tiny boy who acted like a mouse?”

A.A.Milne – Winnie the Pooh
“What if all Christopher’s stuffed animals lived in the woods together?”

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables
“What if an elderly couple apply for a boy orphan and a girl is sent to them in error…?”

Jeff Brown -Flat Stanley
“What if a bulletin board fell on a little boy and squashed him flat and he stayed like that?”

Whatever method you use, get your story first before starting to turn it into a digital story. At a wonderful conference that I attended in South Africa in February 2015 Tom Daccord from the EdTechTeacher presented on Digital Storytelling and this image was in his presentation ‘Storytelling Steps’

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In our next post we'll discuss the tools to use for creating a digital story



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