The 4 I's of Storytelling

We recently came across a study done by the folks at Latitude that asked the question: 

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPERIENCE STORIES IN THE FUTURE?

The results were (at least in our minds) heart-warming. The participated were early-adopters of innovative storytelling and were essentially asked about their dream storyworld interactions. A bucket list, if you will. Their sentiment generally requests that stories get...

"Out of the screen and into my life"

Our answer? Done.

Stories that live and breathe are our favorite kinds of stories. We love the ones where you read about a fictional character going to a place and then you pull up a map and see that you drove by that place on your way home from work. And the ones where you follow the character on Twitter and she replies back to you when you ask her what her favorite look was from the red carpet the night before. Oh, and even the ones where the protagonist is chasing down some Russian shapeshifter and you stumble upon an article telling you that what you thought was fiction was actually fact. 

The 4 I's of Storytellin

Take The Survivors for example. We start with Immersion by taking you inside the storyworld by tying in real-world history, mythology, locations, and more. You can dive into the character profiles where you'll find everything from a character's A/S/L to the car they drive and clothes they love to wear. 

Next, is Interactivity which is probably one of our personal favorites. There is incredible potential with social media to develop full-on freak-out worthy realness with characters. In The Survivors, you'll find 6 of the main characters on Twitter where they live out their lives (and have been doing so for years). Since the protagonist even references tweeting in the narrative, it makes perfect sense that some of the characters would be there with her. 

Sprinkle in some Facebook profiles and original music from the perspective of the character and you've got a serious case of getting into your world. The best part? They're there. Talking back. Erasing the line between fiction and reality.

Now let's talk Integration. How does the arc of the story actually integrate into the reader's world? How can the reader influence the story? Well, this can be a thousand things. Maybe it's how the characters on Twitter are actually following the arc of the story down to the exact date and time things are happening? For instance, you've got to keep up with the text to try and piece together what they're talking about and where they're going. Maybe it's giving readers the opportunity to write their own song? Many times it's merely a nod to the "choose your own adventure" type of story. The challenge here is to create a central narrative, found in multiple mediums, that let's anyone and everyone play in the storyworld as they choose. We both go to a theme park... ride a few of the same rides but also a few different ones. We still come out with the same overall experience but took a different path to get there.

Finally, there's Impact. This could be thought of as the most important of the I's, because it sparks an action. Does seeing that outfit that Sadie wore to Corrina's rehearsal dinner inspire a reader to find a similar outfit? Let's give her options of a similar dress at different price points. Just remember to make the action process as easy as possible.

Creative and Badass Team Members Wanted!

Here at Immersedition™ we're getting ready for some big changes. Along with these new challenges and projects, we'll need some new people! So, I'd like to announce an official Call for Entries, if you will, for two new full-time positions.

If you like creating super-cool apps, giant storyworlds, and/or have a desire to take over the world, then please apply! You can send proof of your awesomeness to Erica at erica@immersedition.com.

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Why we like turning pages.

The brain is a complex and interesting thing. There are specific processes and functions our brains do subconsciously to help us understand things, but it is usually our job to help give it the right paths to most accurately figure them out. This is no different with simple tasks like brushing your teeth, steering a car, and even reading a book. We're usually taught these concepts at a very young age... for instance, to make our tricycle turn to the right we have to turn the handlebars to the right.

Page turning in The Survivors Immersedition

For most kids, when it comes to reading there are general "book" concepts we teach before a child can actually read the book word-for-word. We teach them words like "cover" and "page" so they know what's what. They learn what all goes in to a book so they'll know what to do with it. Next, they learn concepts you use while reading like turning pages. Yes, we teach children to turn pages. That is what you do with a book, right? This is a "feature" of a book we've come to expect (unless you're reading on a scroll from ancient Egyptian times, in which case you win). If you ask us to do something different, it literally takes our brains time to process and map out this function. It's like getting in a car where turning the wheel left makes the car go right.

The new scrolling feature in iBooks 3.

So, when we built the first Immersedition we knew there were some things books just did. Turning pages was one of them. Our theory is that when it comes to reading, the goal is make the brain focus on higher learning, on diving deeper into the story, and (for the child struggling to analyze and decipher deeper meanings) on asking questions while reading. We don't want to take the focus away from those things with new mapping and concepts just because we can. Any move we make on function should have a purpose... and hopefully that purpose is to enhance the reading experience so people can connect on higher levels with stories. (Shouldn't that be a given though?)

Needless to say, we're a little confused on why iBooks 3 is so proud of their new scrolling feature. We're still pretty excited about reading books like books.

But with some non-invasive story-diving features built in.

To SXSW we go... with your help!

Transient

It's that time of year for every tech, music, & media entusiast... SXSW Panel Picker voting! Chafie Creative is excited to (hopefully) send Amanda Havard to next spring's festival to discuss transmedia storytelling. Would you want to see this?

If apps are the way of the future in storytelling, then it is time to frame discussions around the creation and execution of books, films, and other stories in this new landscape. With technology growing more robust each day, storytellers and their facilitators must find ways to create content that takes advantage of potential interactivity in rich and meaningful ways. In this, we discuss ways to generate high quality, interactive content that’s relevant to the story worlds we are creating. Transmedia story experiences are the pathway to creating a truly immersive narrative experience. With the creator of the revolutionary ImmerseditionTM interactive book apps, enter a discussion of how creativity looks in the new paradigm: How can storytellers do what they do best with emerging technologies? How can publishers, app developers, filmmakers, even record labels and brands come together to create interactive story experiences a new generation can thrive on?

Go get your vote on.

Going Transmedia

We build interactive books because we believe there is a future of storytelling beyond turning a page. There is a world behind every story that we can all discover if we know what questions to ask and how to ask them. So, let's starting inquiring.