Digital Storytelling Form – Diana Huang


From what I noticed watching many videos, each video had to tell a story through images, music, and narration {structure}. The story had to be autographical [rhetorical}. Often it was a life changing experience, sometimes painful, sometimes uplifting {rhetorical}. According to the text on the side of the videos, many of the authors meant their stories to be relatable {rhetorical}. Each story told you why you were supposed to care and had some sort of resolution or reflection at the end {structural, rhetorical}. There was always also a credits section {structure}. In that way, it seemed like there wasn’t that much of a difference in the structure of the story compared to Ira Glass’s description {structure}. All stories were told as if you were speaking to another, guiding them through the experiences in your life {rhetorical}.

Background music usually had no words, though on rare occasions a song with lyrics was played {technical}. Some videos used 1 song for the whole piece, though many used 2 songs {technical}. The images shown had to be associated with the story, and most were pictures, though sometimes videos were used {technical}. The presentation of the pictures was varied, in terms of how long a single image was shown and whether the entire image or only part of the image was shown {technical, structural}.


Reading the Cookbook’s 7 steps to creating a story, it does also say that the story would be like a guided journey, and that it should be told as if spoken to a trusted friend {technical, structural}. The cookbook also describes the many layers of audio and visual accompaniment the story may have, including ambient sounds, and visual effects to photos like panning and zooming {technical}.

Something I did not describe is that there is always one important moment that the story is shaped around, which might be a realization or an entire experience {rhetorical, structural}. Also, the Cookbook says to talk as if what you are saying is unscripted and unrehearsed, like you are telling it to a friend for the first time {rhetorical}. Looking back, I can tell that much of the language is quite stilted, though some pieces do sound very planned {rhetorical}. Finally, the Cookbook says that the elements of the story (the “moment,” telling why the story matters, the music and images) can be told in any order {structural}. This is something I noticed but did not say specifically {structural}. I liked how some pieces had narration until the end of the video, while others stopped the narration and just played images and music at the end {structural}.

-Diana Huang


~ by Diana Huang on February 14, 2011.

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