Digital Writing Prompt: Transcending Media

Typewriter keysWhen we tell stories to one another in a physical, non-digital space, we do so across multiple media. We use visual hand gestures to emphasize key points of a verbal narrative. The words we choose matter of course, and we sometimes create illustrations to help. (Many of us resort/default to drawing pictures when giving directions.) Emotional stories might lead us to break into song, or funny stories are resolved with the music of the audience’s laughter. We often transcend media in non-digital spaces, yet we rarely think about it.

Not so with digital writing. When authors sit down to create a blog post, they usually stick with the written word; photos provide occasional support when needed. When video of speakers is dramatically close-cropped, that person’s hand gestures may be lost. And how easily can audio be added to a good photograph? Flickr and many other photo-sharing services provide no means of attaching a song to an image; creating an audio track for a slideshow can be tedious.

That’s exactly the challenge we’ll take on this week.

Your goal is to create a story, essay, or other creation that transcends multiple digital media. How, to what extent, and in what order you employ these media is completely up to you. Create some content this week across media, without limiting yourself to only text or only video or only sounds. See how your story/essay/creation bends when moving from one form into the next.

  1. Start working in your medium of choice. For example, write a tweet to get things going.
  2. Continue the work in another medium. For example, say a few sentences (or play/mix a few notes/beats) in audio. You might upload it to SoundCloud or maybe use Vine on mobile.
  3. Then move into the last medium you haven’t used. For example, use a few seconds of video to show part of your story. Consider uploading to Vimeo or perhaps posting to Instagram for this.
  4. Share your creation. You might need to send a separate tweet for each part, but think about how you can make the three pieces fit together as one story. Be sure to use the #digiwrimo hashtag so others can find your work. Or, even better, upload or link to each component from your own blog, where you can carve your own space on the web. (Don’t have a blog yet but want to get started? Check out this guide from Connected Courses—scroll down to the “Whoa, Slow Down” heading for setting up a new blog.)
  5. Watch others’ creations unfold. Check the #digiwrimo hashtag throughout the week to see what others are up to. Enjoy their work and provide feedback on what you find most interesting.

[Photo, “hierarchy“, by Fio licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.]

6 thoughts on “Digital Writing Prompt: Transcending Media

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