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Storytelling COM597 – 13 Apr 2004 Kathy E. Gill Structure, process, readers Small group work Discuss selected articles Develop five tips for the budding digital media writer Some types of writing Creative writing – designed to evoke emotion Nonfiction – discusses real world events

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COM597 – 13 Apr 2004

Kathy E. Gill

structure process readers
Structure, process, readers
  • Small group work
    • Discuss selected articles
    • Develop five tips for the budding digital media writer
some types of writing
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
some types of writing4
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
story structure
Story structure
  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End
global structure
Global structure
  • May differ by type of writing
  • Challenge of hypertext (breaking linearity)
  • Cues (title, abstract, heading, contents, etc)
visual organization
Visual organization
  • Spatial organization
  • Typographic conventions
  • Coordinated use of color
words for structure
Words for structure
  • Paragraphs
  • Sentences
  • Sub-headings
  • Titles
  • Remember: on screen, content should be more “bite-sized”
words for transition
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 …
developing structure
Developing structure
  • Outline (Word)
  • Flow chart (Visio, SmartDraw…)
  • Storyboard
  • Concept mapping
creation process
Creation process
  • Is there “one” way to create a story?
  • No – each person’s creation process is unique
stages of writing
Stages of writing
  • Pre-writing
  • Drafting
  • Revising
1 pre writing
1. Pre-writing
  • Thinking about subject/purpose and begin organizing thoughts
  • Research, interviews, storyboards … are all pre-writing
jumpstarting thinking
Jumpstarting thinking
  • Journal, notebook
  • Tape recorder
  • Mind mapping
  • Just start writing
exercise 1 3
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?
exercise 2 3
Exercise (2/3)

Things That Are Very Important To Me

(hint: sex, food, sleep ….)

exercise 3 3
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 …..
recognize that
Recognize that …
  • Nothing will teach you more about writing than the act of writing
  • Write what you would like to read
2 drafting
2. Drafting
  • Finalize thesis
  • Flesh out the points
  • Develop introduction and conclusion
  • Let others review
jumpstarting drafting
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
3 revising
3. Revising
  • Review (edit) for completeness, grammar
  • Eliminate wordiness, vague sentences, passive voice
  • Sharpen details/purpose/structure
  • Proofread
jumpstarting revising
Jumpstarting revising
  • Set work aside before editing
  • Edit in stages (content first, then proofread)
  • This is not a linear process
understanding readers
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
understanding readers25
Understanding readers
  • Summaries, 100%
  • Introductions, 60%
  • Conclusions, 50%
  • Bodies, 15%
  • Appendices, 10%
  • But ….
understanding readers26
Understanding readers
  • They had advisers read the reports and make recommendations
  • Out of this came the “two minute read” … multiple audiences … multiple paths
putting ourselves in their eyes
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)?
understanding the web reader
Understanding the web reader
  • More on that later … but the key factoid is that readers online “skim” even more than they do offline
what is noise
What is noise?
  • Jargon
  • Inappropriate examples
  • Misspelling
  • Poor grammar
grammar tips
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
use active voice
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.
avoid mixed metaphors
Avoid mixed metaphors
  • Two metaphors used confusingly or inappropriately together
    • Walk softly and carry a big stick. Home is where you hang your hat.
avoid misplaced modifiers
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?
don t waste words
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.
parallel structure
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?