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23 April 2014
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Finding the Story

Finding the Story by Gilly Adams

Remember that everyone has a story to tell and it's only a matter of coaxing it out of yourself or someone else, although most people don't need much coaxing!

* Running some kind of story circle with word games and memory sharing is a way of helping people to relax and stop being self conscious. If necessary, use some kind of stimulus: a picture or an object can provide a good starting point.

* Remember that grammar and spelling are not important. This is a spoken story and not a homework exercise. The crucial thing is to speak normally and sound like yourself.

* If you are stuck for a topic think of something about which you feel passionate or focus on an event in your life which provoked a strong emotion - happiness or anger or sadness.

* You don't have to change the world with your story but it is a special opportunity so use it so tell a story that is important to you: this needn't mean having to bear your soul or be too serious. Some of the most successful stories are funny.

* Remember that, ideally, this story will only last two minutes and be no more than 250 or 300 words long so if you have the material for a three-hour television documentary (e.g. the complete history of the place where you live), or a long novel (e.g. complicated ins and outs of your family history), it will not be suitable for this medium.

* Don't be put off by having to be brief. It seems daunting at first but your story will benefit by being boiled down to its essence.

Digital storytelling works best a group activity. Of course, it's absolutely possible to make a digital story by yourself, but working together as a group enhances the experience.

  • In the story circle participants bear witness to each other's stories and offer support and advice.
  • The more computer literate are able to help those who are less so.
  • Having company maximises the opportunities for having fun.
  • The sense of achievement at having made a story can be celebrated fully when everyone gathers to watch the final films together and share comments and congratulations.

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