A New Form of Narrative

Story2Oh! is an experimental form of narrative. While it negotiates all kinds of new terrain, it also draws on skills the creative team has honed over the years in our work in television, film and other media.

The Web’s social networking sites have a wealth of media potential. It’s easy to add video, sound, photos, art, text. But using these sites and their capabilities for storytelling is uncharted territory.

Story2Oh! isn’t just a multimedia project, it’s multiplatform. We’re inviting participants to leapfrog through the Internet with us, following a trail of links, RSS feeds and twitters. This gives Story2Oh! an anarchistic quality because it doesn’t belong to any one web site. The story exists across them.

It is also a project that is demanding of the audience. They are participating, clicking ever deeper to uncover the story, searching for more parts of it. Getting your story fix from books, TV and movies is a more passive experience. But social network users like to move around. In a month, Facebook users look at more than 500 pages and MySpacers look at about 650.

Story2Oh! participants will be able to enter the story at many different points and experience as much or as little of it as they choose. They can move through the narrative in a multiplicity of ways, skipping big chunks, seeing it through a single characters eyes, focusing on what they like best or mining the Web for every last drop they can find.

We will try to make every Facebook wall-to-wall and FlickR album rich with drama and character so that every click will be a fulfilling story experience that propels you deeper and deeper. You’d call it a real page-turner if it were a paperback, in Internet terms we’re aiming for twitchiness. Using the same techniques that keep viewers addicted to shows like 24, Lost, Heroes and daytime soap operas, we will keep the story twisting, turning and hanging from cliffs, so that our audience keeps running back to the computer to check if anything new is up.

The potential for interactivity is unprecedented. The characters can respond to the audience; chat with them, play online games with them and inquire about the health of their cat. Just as we adapt our story telling style depending on the age of the child we’re reading a bedtime story to, it will be interesting to see what course changes we make as we begin to learn about the people who are listening to our tale.

And just like the child listening to that bedtime story, our audience can pipe up and demand a change of course. They can tell us to skip the mushy part, demand more action or get us to tell the funny part again and agin. They can even suggest a plot twist.

As storytellers we’re excited by the opportunity this offers to respond to our audience and to bring them a story experience that they help to shape.

Explore posts in the same categories: creative, interactivity, narrative, web 2.0

One Comment on “A New Form of Narrative”

  1. […] Adventure” books where the story that you determined the path of the story. In the same way, you decide how to experience Story2Oh!, a story that is unfolding all over the Internet in the various characters’ blogs and […]

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