Transmedia Storytelling on Movellas

by , Friday April 28, 2017
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Transmedia Storytelling on Movellas

Transmedia Storytelling on Movellas

How to do it, and why you should bother

 

 

In the first part in this series of two, I introduced the concept of ‘transmedia storytelling’ – where a big story with many internal storylines is spread out across multiple media.

 

Any story can be suitable for transmedia storytelling. Now I’m going to give you a few ideas for how to actually do it.

 

 

1. To begin, imagine a story as a circle.

The different characters all have their perspectives within a story, and so telling the same story from multiple points of view is perfectly valid transmedia storytelling, even if you just use prose.

 

So these perspectives are like, slices of that circle (kind of like a pizza).

 

2. To go a step further, write what happens to each main character either before or after that story – maybe before they met the other characters – maybe after that story. You don’t need to write this for every character, but obviously the more you do, the more impressive your transmedia story is going to be right from the start.

 

So these stories are like, little blobs sticking out of the original circle.

 

That’s basically all there is different between writing transmedia storytelling, and writing anything else

 

3. The clever bit comes in delivering the story.

Fortunately, Movellas has you helped out here.

For my own transmedia story, I used a couple of Wordpress blogs, two twitter accounts, a YouTube account, and a Soundcloud page.

 

All a user needs is their Movellas account:

  •  Movellas features ‘mumbles’ which can be used to give a stream of consciousness account by a character in short messages, distributed serially.
  • Movellas also has blogs, which could be used by a character to give more in depth feelings, or maintain a sort of narrator character.
  • But most useful is the movella itself – as many chapters as you need of writing, images, and film. Don’t be put off by the word ‘film’ – for the first entry in my transmedia story, I filmed myself moving pieces of paper with stick figures drawn on them in sharpie around my bedroom carpet.

You have as many Movellas, blogs and Mumbles as you need.

 

To illustrate this a little better, I’ll take you through an imaginary timeline of a story. Just as a warning, I completely improvised this story while I was writing this post so while it illustrates the techniques okay, it should not under any circumstances be considered ‘good.’

 

Let’s start with a list of resources:

  • Mumbles
  • Blogs
  • Movellas
  • Then
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Phone camera
  • A video editing program or app (I’m a big fan of adobe Premiere clip, which is free, otherwise whatever came with your computer is fine)
  • The Internet

 

The story starts with a single narrator, who we will call ‘Leopold’.

...Leopold writes a blog about the life of Leopold. His first blog has a video where ‘Leopold’ draws his life so far, or whatever.

 

After two or three blogs by Leopold, three Mumbles are released from a character called ‘Albert’ in which Albert is murdered horribly.

The next day, a Movella acting as the diary of a police officer called ‘Adrienne’ investigating the murder of ‘Albert’ is released.

This updates every now and again.

And then...

 

Leopold writes a blog about the murder of Albert.

Then Leopold receives a death threat, which he writes about in some Mumbles, before releasing another video blog.

In Adrienne’s Movella, she writes arriving at Leopold’s house to see a giant lizard lady kidnap Leopold.

 

Maybe then another Movella is started that is more normal – from the perspective of a supernatural investigations office that hires Adrienne after she sees the giant lizard lady.

Leopold is mumbling all the while about what happens to him, and Adrienne is still updating her diary.

 

Maybe the giant lizard lady writes a blog post or two about how she was an ordinary little girl who was kidnapped by terrorists, sold into slavery and experimented on illegally by some geneticist nutjob working for a currently unknown party…

Eventually, another Movella is started in which the story is somehow resolved. (Anyone want to write their own example in the comments? XD)

 

Throughout, the storyteller (that’s you, bruh) responds to comments on the various outlets ‘in character’. This adds a participatory element to the story, as well as the story being released in near real-time, which makes  it super realistic.

You’ll notice that no outlet of the story is just a retelling of another bit of the story – each bit adds something new.

 

4. Ideally, if you’re going to mix in your transmedia story alongside the other stories on your account, your project should have some sort of ‘identifying logo’ that you put on the cover of every Movella, blog banner, and maybe somehow in the title of every Mumble that acts as part of the story to avoid confusion among your readers if suddenly you decide you want to write something else for a while.

 

5. You can probably see straight away that this would be ideal to co-author, or even create as part of a larger team. My only recommendation here is that everyone knows exactly what everyone else is doing and agrees on it, but also has bits of the story that they’re best at, so say, each person writes from the perspective of one character, and installments where the characters come together are co-authored.

 

 

As a method of storytelling, it’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun, and if you look at the (at the time) record breaking statistics that Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ racked up, you can’t help but suspect that this ‘transmedia storytelling’ has something in it that might be worth a shot.

 

Well. Yes. So.

Does transmedia storytelling sound like your new favourite thing? Have any questions about what it is or how to do it? Ask away and you'll know how to actually *do* some of your own.

 

 

Thank you to The Intelligence Division for writing more on this topic of Transmedia Storytelling

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