Joe Lambert’s “The Seven Steps of Digital Storytelling” helps to describe a meaningful process that your story should go through, and also asks a lot of prompting questions that help develop stories as well. The first two steps asked to look at what kind of emotions and insights you were planning to provide within the story, the next three were about finding a moment to center the story around, and how it would be presented. The last steps are completing the story and what you are doing with it.
It’s nice to read something so cohesive about what steps you should take before starting the story and where you should be looking to help you create the best story that you can. In my notes on the chapter, I mostly wrote down all of the prompting questions. The examples were nice, but those are what always help me the most.
I focused a lot on self reflection when he mentioned it. Self reflection is how you get stories to evolve as you write and rewrite them. You write down a few sentences, then come back to those a bit later and you suddenly have a better understanding of what you were trying to do. Having the time to deliberate exactly what you want to create. Often when I am stuck on a section in writing, instead of just hopping over it and doing something else, I’ll take a break and let my mind process it a bit more. I’ll go and make a snack, or take a shower, and just think about it more. Reflecting is one of the best tools a writer has.
Reflection is what drives most of the steps in the process actually. Reflecting on what emotions were driving you, reflecting on what moment you want to pinpoint, how you see and hear the story, how the audience will hear and see the story.
I’m also extremely interested in the writing circles that he mentioned, they sound like fantastic ways to get immediate and unique feedback on work. Especially when you are all writing and coming up with a product, it makes you especially aware of the time and energy that it has taken to create the story that you’re hearing. Any space where creativity is the center can be a really fantastic experience and always is helpful in some capacity. Maybe you get inspired to work on something, maybe they give you better ideas for your own story, or maybe you just come to an appreciation of other people’s work.
I’m certainly going to be reading through the chapter again as I near the final project of my class. The prompting questions were fantastic and I really like having step by step instructions on how to succeed. It’s also nice to see it written out and there in front of me, instead of trying to come up with a process by myself. I’m very interested in a couple of the other sections of that book too, he keeps mentioning other chapters and a little light in my head goes off. I’ll probably look more into some of his work. It’s been nothing but helpful so far!