Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finding Focus

Presentation Zen posted recently about emptiness and space and the way they can emphasise a focal point. It's an interesting read, and there are obvious parallels to building a story online.

When you teach story, there are many ways to approach it. You can talk about structure and story arcs, character needs and wants. You can give students a catalogue of tools they'll need to build an engaging story ... however ... one way in which you can teach the 'art' of writing, is by exploring juxtaposition with them. This is particularly true in digital narratives, where the way in which you arrange your text and images, video and audio together can have a profound impact on your audience.

When you strip away the peripheral, and focus on what is important, your story becomes stronger. Not only that, but you give your audience credit for having an imagination of their own. When you try to fill in all the blanks for them, when there's no mystery, your audience becomes bored.

When you leave space for their imaginings, your story becomes stronger because your audience is investing something of themselves in the narrative. It becomes their story too.

Less is more. I like it.

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