Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: stories

Help Me Tell A Story


Ever wanted to write a story?

Storytelling Game

Image courtesy of Eduardo Siqueira Filho ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/edududas

Ever thought you couldn’t do it?

Well, there’s a new game that helps folks tell stories :-)

I’ve written three posts, so far, about it:

Storium — The Online Storytelling Game

Games, Life, and Storytelling

Let The Game Begin!

That last one has the details about the first Story/Game I’ve created with Storium and how you can be one of the Character/Players in Forging The Future :-)

That’s all I’ll say about it for now since, if you like games or you want to take a go at telling a story, you can check out those posts

One last note :  I’m looking for players in a couple other places as well, so act fast—the Story/Game might start this weekend………
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Games, Life, and Storytelling


My love of games helped turn me into a writer.

Games and Life

Image courtesy of Dave Edmonds ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/bluehor

And, I can’t help but feel that, long ago, our ancestors couldn’t tell the difference between a game and a story.

Also, games have been very successfully used to teach life skills.

So, I was excited today when my email held an article from Publishing Perspectives about goings on between writers and gamers at The London Book Fair.

The excitement was increased when I saw another article on Publishing Perspectives called Using the “World Itself as a Storytelling Canvas”.

That article was about Corey King, co-founder of ZenFri, which “creates and distributes cutting edge art & entertainment across a wide range of digital and traditional mediums.”

Corey had been on a panel at the Frankfurt Book Fair that discussed “Augmented Reality Storytelling: It’s the End of the Story as We Know It”.

ZenFri is best known for a reality-bending game played on iOS devices and called Clandestine Anomaly—a game that “…incorporates the actual neighborhood of each individual into the gameplay. Hailed at conferences around the world…as ‘the most ambitious augmented reality game ever attempted’, Corey’s mission is to define the narrative and gameplay conventions for what he sees as an emerging storytelling medium, one where the world itself is the canvas.”

Pulling myself back from the vivid fantasy of playing a game out on the streets, I want to talk about a venture that merges The Game with The Story—I featured it here two days ago, I’m already involved in it, and I’ll be inviting a few of my readers to join me

If you have the Spirit of gaming or writing in your blood, do read this past post—Storium — The Online Storytelling Game.

For those of you who tend to not take links out of blog posts, I’ll share three telling quotes from that post:

Is fiction just a game authors play with readers?”

when you’re writing, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a game with your characters and you’re not sure who’s going to win…”

If you want to write your best you need to be your best; and, if well-selected games can help you be your best, what are you waiting for?”

I’m currently creating a game over at Storium—I’ll be the Narrator—nine other folks will be the Main Characters (maybe you’ll be one of them?)—and, we’ll all write a story by playing a game, ok?

Stay tuned for Updates

“I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not ‘true’ because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself.”

~~ Orson Scott Card, “Ender’s Game”

Check out this video about Storium:

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Are You A Storyteller? ~ Of Course You Are :-)


Have you ever answered one of these questions?

How did you meet your husband/wife/significant other?

Why did you buy that car?

How did your parents meet?

Why in the world do you like that food?

What was your college life like?

Why do you believe that?

Even if your answer was short it probably qualifies as a “story”:

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: n. An account or recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious…

You may not talk like a novelist but it’s exceedingly hard for a human being to get away from telling stories.

Joel Friedlander, book designer, has been featured in this blog many times.

Joel’s blog post today is Storytelling is Us and it’s definitely worth a read.

Here’s a snippet (with Joel quoting Henning Mankell):

” ‘It struck me as I listened to those two men [sitting on a park bench] that a truer nomination (name) for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats–and they in turn can listen to ours.’ ”

And, concerning the selling of books, Joel says:

“When I watch a really accomplished marketer at work, I’m always looking at the stories they are telling. It might surprise you to know just how much even the most dedicated pitchmen rely on stories to reach their audience.”

So………

What stories have you told today?

Were they more like history or fiction?

Did your listener what to hear more than you at first told?

Did you tell a longer story than you at first thought you would?

Did your listener chuckle?

Laugh out loud?

Cry?

Look at you with suspicion?

How many stories did you tell last week?

Last month?

In your whole life?

Can you tell I want to hear a bit of one of your stories in the Comments? :-)
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Can An Author Learn About Writing from an Economist?


In a previous post we asked the question, Can An Author Learn About Writing From A Singer?

One might think it easy to learn useful things about writing from other artists but is it feasible with other life-callings?

Tyler Cowen occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University.

He has a blog called Marginal Revolution.

In another previous post there was a video that explored The Danger of A Single Story.

In the video below, Cowen explores the danger of the Simple Story


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The Shape of A Story


Readers know the “shape” of a story from reading it. Writers must “craft” that shape.

Like most aspects of writing, there are varied avenues leading to the destination–each story could  be seen as shaping itself.

In a very broad artistic sense, the shape could be called the Dramatic Structure–how the story moves from one point to another.

Many authors speak of their “Story Arc” and, if you try a Google search for that, good luck with interpreting how all the conflicting views can be correlated

As I’ve indicated before, I’m using Google Plus a lot these days. Recently, I noticed that Michael Kelly had shared a link that Paul Carroll saw in his Stream and shared with me.

The link lead to a video of Kurt Vonnegut talking about the shape of stories.

While quite humorous, I, as a writer, found the demonstration rooted in an often over-complexified Truth:


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