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Digital Storytelling

At a basic level digital storytelling means using technology to tell stories. You can tell digital stories in many ways, for example: through text on a website or social media tool, through narration and images in a video, or through narration in a podcast.

Digital stories are not just facts presented with accompanying images, they are narratives crafted to take the listener or reader on a journey. Just like a novel or a documentary, digital stories have a plot, characters, and themes.

Tips

  • Use the “dramatic arc”. Format your pitch using the ‘dramatic arc’ storytelling technique to tell a compelling story.
  • Write a script.This is the single most important thing you can do to save time during filming and editing.
  • Use background music.Music can bring your pitch to life.
  • Narrate your story with personality. Be dramatic, be funny, be somber, whatever emotion your story is trying to convey.
  • Find free images and icons.Look at sites that offer free images to add variety to your pitch, but remember to cite your images.
  • Make sure something is happening on the screen every 3-5 seconds. Use animation, panning and zooming to keep the viewers' attention.
  • Choose the best tool. There are many tools you can use to create your story; choose the one that fits your story best.

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Writing your Story

Stories are really powerful tools. They can appeal to a human brain in unique ways.

Step 1: Come Up with an Idea

Decide what you want to write about (e.g. a family member, yourself, your culture, your religion, etc.)

Step 2: Research/explore/learn

Gather research and learn about your topic before you begin your script.

Step 3: Write and script your story

This is where you will spend the bulk of your time as a well-crafted story is the whole point. A really great script or storyboard should make the production of your story very easy.

  1. Outline your story – point of the story (main message), characters, themes (e.g. struggle, happiness, success).
  2. Create your script. Aim for 200-300 words: A script is a textual description of everything that will happen on screen, and everything you will say (From: https://sites.google.com/site/digitalstorysite/process/create-script ) It is a plan for your digital story and is the single most important thing you can do to save time during filming and editing.

Can't see the video? Watch it here: Video: Scripting Animated Videos

Transcript of Scripting Animated Videos

Here are some resources thath can help you write a compelling story:

Activity: Create a Script

  • Download this template and type out your story and narration in the left column
  • Remember that one page double-spaced is about one minute of video

Now that we've talked about storytelling, let's move on to the planning and writing stage.

Click next to continue.