Response to “The 7 Steps to Digital Storytelling”

To start my response, I’d like to share a quote that resonated with me from the end of the chapter. “The storytelling process is a journey.” This entire course has felt like a journey centered around reflection and personal growth. I have learned a lot about the elements of storytelling, especially through this piece of text, but I’ve also learned a lot about myself.

Sharing your story (step 7) requires the storyteller to be vulnerable. We have to be open to share our story in a way that our audience can connect to. Thinking about our purpose and intention for sharing and WHO we are sharing with, can really shift what layers of ourselves we reveal. This also ties in directly with Step 2: Owning Your Emotions. Being vulnerable in the process means that we have to be transparent with our feelings. The more we can share our true experiences the better our audience can connect with us.

There’s a power behind music that I really enjoy. Lyrics and music have always spoke to me in a way that normal conversation doesn’t. I find myself searching for the meanings behind songs, and happily make assumptions when it isn’t widely shared. For this reason specifically, I believe that song choice can make or break a story. This is the same for the tone of voice from the reader (Step 5). Throughout this course, I’ve found myself instantly clicking away from a story when I’m not initially attracted to the voice or sound.

Similar to the sound, the images can make or break a story for me (Step 4). “Well-chosen images act as mediators between the narrative and the audience.” When images are well-chosen, I’m able to make connections to the story that I may not have otherwise. While I love music, I truly am a visual learner, so it’s important for me to make sense of the story in a way that I can see. “The images you choose and the way you combine them will work to create additional layers of meaning.” That is so true for the way I both design and interpret digital stories.

“…at some moment in your life, change came to you or you went towards change.” This quote really spoke to me, in multiple ways. First, it makes sense to identify these times in our lives as an opportunity to tell a story (Step 3). But more importantly, this quote is exactly what I’ve been trying to uncover in my theme for this course. Reflecting in those moments of change, determining which path is the right one to take, and how to anticipate the change earlier are all questions that I’ve attempted to answer.

The idea of Show, Don’t Tell was something I used with my class when I was teaching. This strategy was critical in pushing students to add more sensory components to stories. Once just that one element was infused, their stories transformed. I also saw my students learn to love writing through showing, instead of telling. For some, it was easier for them to write about the experience, rather than the literal interpretation.




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