Week Three: “And hope that this is just imagination”


All work is due by midnight on Friday the 13th

Below is a detailed list of what’s to be completed this week.

1. Read one of these:
a. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives with New Media Chapter 1, “Storytelling for the Twenty-First Century,” to start thinking about what is storytelling and what is digital storytelling. A PDF is in the Files section of Canvas. OR
b. I link, therefore I am, which looks at hypertext fiction over the years, as another view of digital storytelling.

Watch: Vonnegut on The Shape of Stories

to start thinking about the structure of stories.
And The Machine is Us/ing Us

While it’s not from the 80s, it is ancient in web terms, yet it is still relevant. A key point in the video is that digital writing is different, due to the power of the hyperlink. If digital writing is different, how does that make digital storytelling different? And how do we make that work for us?
And…Read some more: No one becomes a good storyteller without being a good story reader. This is something we should be thinking about throughout this course. By “being a good story reader” I mean not just absorbing the tale, but also, or rather more importantly, critically examining how it is told, whether in words, images, sounds, objects, or anything else, or in any combination thereof. What makes a great book great is the use of language as much as the plot. Photography, design, audio and video all have languages of their own, and we’ll be looking at those in the coming weeks.
This week, you need to read/view one theme-related story, and analyze it. What makes it a good story? What storytelling techniques are being used effectively? I put the class suggestions into a Google Doc. You can use one from the list, or you can choose something else, if you have an example of good storytelling in mind.
Bring it all together: How do the ideas in the readings and video apply to your chosen story? How would you graph its shape? Considering these and other works from the 80s you know of, what themes, patterns and commonalities do you see? What does it say about the times, and what does it say to us? What did you like about the story? What worked and what didn’t? How did the story develop character and setting? How did it hold your attention? Do not answer these questions as stated. They are only general suggestions to get you thinking. You will all probably have more and better ideas based on your readings. Write up your thoughts in a blog post and tag it storyanalysis.

2. Writing Assignments:This week, we will be using Writing Assignments from ds106’s Assignment Bank. Each assignment comes with a “star” or point rating that roughly estimates its difficulty. You must complete at least 12 stars of writing assignments. Connect at least two of the assignments in some way to our theme.
Note: You can create new assignments at any time. So if you don’t like the writing assignments as they are, you are welcome to come up with a new one and do it yourself.

3. Daily Creates: Let’s do 3 this week.

4. Commenting: You should all be following each other’s work and offering each other feedback, ideas, support and encouragement. Several people have been doing this already, which is great, but more is better. A good habit is to visit the course site every day to see what people have posted. Click through to a few posts and share your thoughts on the work, and ideas that it may inspire. We all appreciate positive feedback, and we can all be inspired by each other. This should take no more than a few minutes a day.

5. Write your Weekly Summary: This is an every week thing. Your summary should link to or embed all your work for the week, and give your thoughts on the week as a whole. Submit the URL for this post to Canvas by the end of the day on Friday.

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