What is Storytelling?

Unit 3 of DS106 is all about storytelling. Firstly, what do I think storytelling is? And what is my perspective of it? When I think of the word storytelling, I generally just think of someone or something, describing a matter of events whether they are fiction or non-fiction. A story can be anything you want it to be in terms of imagination. It is a chance to be creative, and come up with something unique, or perhaps a unique way of re-telling an already existing story. Storytelling should involve a number of different aspects to really allow the audience to be able to realistically feel engaged within the story as if they are actually there. This includes senses, describing feeling, sounds, smells, textures. As well as this everything within the setting should be described perfectly to the point. This is the only way to really engage people and to make them feel as if they are part of the story.

Now bringing the word ‘digital’ into it, this slightly changes my view on the word storytelling. When I think of just storytelling, it usually reminds me of someone reading a book, or telling a story off of the top of their head. Digital brings in a whole different means to the word, where video, imagery, photography, special effects, sound, and so much more comes into it. This is where people can get even more creative, really exploring the different ways of storytelling.

Kurt Vonnegut

During Kurt’s video about storytelling above anything made me laugh, because of how true it is. He describes the basic story lines that people love, and it is quite funny how as humans, we do in fact enjoy these story lines that are repeated over and over, just with different characters, and slightly different concepts. One example he uses is the type of story where someone finds love, then it all goes wrong, and then it all ends happily ever after for the couple. A perfect example of this would be The Notebook, a film that follows this exact story line. We start with the main character, Noah, going after Allie, a girl who he has his eye on. He wins her over and they have seem to have a perfect relationship, which is then ruined by Allie moving away and her parents disapproving of Noah. This is when the story goes wrong and everything goes wrong for their relationship. But of course, this is then fixed by the end of the film where Noah and Allie find each other again and find love once more. An exact story shape of what Vonnegut explains.

Here is a graph in which Maya Eilam created based on Kurt Vonnegut’s views on storytelling, which matches my example.


This nicely illustrates the shape of the ‘boy meets girl’ storyline. I have also made a very short video showing how the Notebook fits into this storyline.


1 thought on “Storytelling

  1. Pingback: Unit 3 Summary | My Blog

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