Storytellers of the New Millennium

Back in 1997 an in-depth feature on digital storytelling ran on SFGate.com (home of the San Francisco Chronicle), and it’s still referenced today because it offers such a comprehensive, almost encyclopedic introduction to digital storytelling. If the concept is new to you, this is a great place to start.

So what’s a digital storyteller? They are artists/writers using new tools and techniques, like HTML hyper-text linking for the web, animation programming in Macromedia DirectorPremiere, to tell their stories, and digital movie-making using Adobe.

These tools, and many others, are helping or perhaps even forcing writers and artists to think outside the realm of traditional linear narrative. Every aspect of storytelling; structure, plot, character, pace, voice, timing, and setting, has the potential to be morphed by digital contact.

Many of the new technologies, emergent themes and innovative projects are worth examining as a way to understand the current and constantly evolving state of digital storytelling.

Read the full article at sfgate.com

Although this already sounds a little dated (we’re already a full decade into the new millennium after all), it’s a basic, clear and helpful digital storytelling primer. You’ll find lots of great links to resources to accelerate your learning curve.

Perhaps the most important information comes in the first paragraph, a reminder that remains relevant today:

If you don’t have a good story to tell you might as well save yourself the expensive digital bells and whistles and go back to your writing table. Content is still, thankfully, king.

Over the last dozen years, the tools available to the digital storyteller have increased dramatically. It seems like every day there’s a new online resource to facilitate digital storytelling. It’s easy to get swept up in the razzle-dazzle, but strong narrative fundamentals are a prerequisite. A fancy mixer, oven and baking tin won’t create a delicious cake without the right ingredients. And a talented cook!

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