The lovely and talented Amber at Technical Poet has published a story: A Timely Raven, inspired by Hallowe’en (she’s as big a fan as my brother and Mark). An excellent tale in general (and I’m not just saying that cuz I like her and am a raven fan), but I also really like the interactive and web-sourced story elements — blogs, tweets, Google Maps, etc.
It’s something I’ve thought a lot about since starting my own blog, how the addition of these other media sources and interactive elements change education, sharing, and storytelling. For the better, I think. And how the assorted media of the web can better enable us to weave magic and blur the lines of our world and a story’s world.
We got into a really interesting discussion, too, about the nature and needs of storytelling, and how that relates to the web’s ongoing obsession with transparency and conversation. For example, when it’s been revealed/leaked that this blog or that Facebook profile isn’t for a real person, but rather a character as part of some game or campaign, the outcry has generally been pretty viciously negative. And fair enough, if your reasons for being in that venue are only to interact with real people or find out factual information.
However, at the same time, the storytelling would lose something if you went into it with full transparency — knowing the blog or profile or tweets weren’t “real”. Kind of along the same lines as how memoirs that have been revealed to be not 100% factual events have been raked repeatedly over the coals.
But at the same time, it’s a very real truth that real life? Is BORING. If you want a good story, odds are it’s going to require a bit of embroidery, or at least leaving out a lot of stuff. There are good reasons why cultures invent mythologies, why vampires come in and out of fashion, and why as kids we pretend to be princesses and superheroes and ninjas and not Bob the accountant or Sue the software tester.
Even if the stories are of people who have those amazing, insane lives — their stories can sound as dull as a grocery list, depending on how the telling is approached.
It’s all in the telling, and you can have a cracking good yarn, or full disclosure, but not both.