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  1. Storytelling COM597 – 13 Apr 2004 Kathy E. Gill

  2. Structure, process, readers • Small group work • Discuss selected articles • Develop five tips for the budding digital media writer

  3. Some types of writing • Creative writing – designed to evoke emotion • Nonfiction – discusses real world events • Prose – any literary work in sentences and paragraphs • Poetry – any literary work in lines and stanzas

  4. Some types of writing • Script – any literary work written in dialog and scenes; may be written for radio, TV, film, theatre, AV, Flash, etc. • Essay (article) – short work of prose focusing on a specific topic • Short story – brief work of fiction, usually less than 10K words

  5. Story structure • Beginning • Middle • End

  6. Global structure • May differ by type of writing • Challenge of hypertext (breaking linearity) • Cues (title, abstract, heading, contents, etc)

  7. Visual organization • Spatial organization • Typographic conventions • Coordinated use of color

  8. Words for structure • Paragraphs • Sentences • Sub-headings • Titles • Remember: on screen, content should be more “bite-sized”

  9. Words for transition • Time: at length, finally, immediately first/second/etc. … • Addition: again, and, furthermore, next, too, finally, first/second/etc. … • Comparison: after all, conversely, nevertheless, however, contrast, on the other hand … • Summary: in conclusion, on the whole, thus, as I have said, in brief …

  10. Developing structure • Outline (Word) • Flow chart (Visio, SmartDraw…) • http://www.smartdraw.com/resources/centers/flowcharts/tutorial1.htm • Storyboard • Concept mapping • http://www.dc.peachnet.edu/~shale/humanities/composition/handouts/concept.html

  11. Creation process • Is there “one” way to create a story? • No – each person’s creation process is unique

  12. Stages of writing • Pre-writing • Drafting • Revising

  13. 1. Pre-writing • Thinking about subject/purpose and begin organizing thoughts • Research, interviews, storyboards … are all pre-writing

  14. Jumpstarting thinking • Journal, notebook • Tape recorder • Mind mapping • Just start writing

  15. Exercise (1/3) • Look at the phrase on the next slide… you will then have three minutes to jot down the things, people, animals, ideas, experiences and sensations that come to mind • Ready?

  16. Exercise (2/3) Things That Are Very Important To Me (hint: sex, food, sleep ….)

  17. Exercise (3/3) • Things That Fascinate Me • Things That Infuriate Me • Things That Bring Me Joy • Things That Drive Me Crazy • Things I Love • Things I …..

  18. Recognize that … • Nothing will teach you more about writing than the act of writing • Write what you would like to read

  19. 2. Drafting • Finalize thesis • Flesh out the points • Develop introduction and conclusion • Let others review

  20. Jumpstarting drafting • If the right word/phrase/illustration doesn’t come to mind … skip and and keep going • Write more words than you need; edit later • Recognize you don’t have to write in order the piece will be read

  21. 3. Revising • Review (edit) for completeness, grammar • Eliminate wordiness, vague sentences, passive voice • Sharpen details/purpose/structure • Proofread

  22. Jumpstarting revising • Set work aside before editing • Edit in stages (content first, then proofread) • This is not a linear process

  23. Understanding readers • James Souther asked Westinghouse decision-makers what they expected of the reports engineers submitted to them. Of interest to us: how frequently they read summary, introduction, body, conclusion, and appendices. • From: Professional Writing Online

  24. Understanding readers

  25. Understanding readers • Summaries, 100% • Introductions, 60% • Conclusions, 50% • Bodies, 15% • Appendices, 10% • But ….

  26. Understanding readers • They had advisers read the reports and make recommendations • Out of this came the “two minute read” … multiple audiences … multiple paths

  27. Technical reading process

  28. Putting ourselves in their eyes • Why I would read this report/story/editorial? • How might my values be challenged? • What I would find difficult, and what aids are available to help me? • What I would want to find out over the course of the reading? • How might I use the findings (positively or negatively)?

  29. Understanding the web reader • More on that later … but the key factoid is that readers online “skim” even more than they do offline

  30. What is noise? • Jargon • Inappropriate examples • Misspelling • Poor grammar

  31. Grammar tips • Use active voice • Avoid mixed metaphors (metaphor compares one person/thing/event to another) • Avoid misplaced modifiers • Don’t waste words • Use parallel structure

  32. Use active voice • Writing so that people, organizations, animals and groups do things and act on their environments • Pass me the salt … versus … The salt was passed. • All speakers shook their heads … versus … Heads were shaking around the table.

  33. Avoid mixed metaphors • Two metaphors used confusingly or inappropriately together • Walk softly and carry a big stick. Home is where you hang your hat.

  34. Avoid misplaced modifiers • A modifier is an adjective or adverb – words that add something to other words • Chasing a ball into the street, the delivery truck almost killed my dog. • John was convinced on Friday that he would be picked for Survivor. • How to fix?

  35. Don’t waste words • Professor: I believe the lagoon is ripe with savory crustaceans. • Gilligan: Yeah, and it has a lot of good shellfish, too.

  36. Parallel structure • My sister is a poet, a dancer, and she plays the violin. • My sister writes poetry, dances, and plays the violin. • How else might this be fixed?