FutureLearn – Transmedia Storytelling

TransmediaStorytelling

I finished my first FutureLearn course;

Transmedia Storytelling

Stories are increasingly told across a variety of formats, such as books, comics, events, films, games and TV programs – a trend known as transmedia storytelling or multiplatform storytelling.

Taken from FutureLearn – Transmedia Storytelling – About the course

Transmedia Storytelling is a six week course focused on the way stories are told nowadays with all the different technologies we have at the tip of our hands. When I read the introduction to the course I wasn’t really sure what that meant. When I started the course and the information they gave beforehand didn’t really clear it up either. I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘transmedia storytelling‘. Even if I could somewhat imagine what it meant, mostly thanks to the term ‘multi-platform storytelling‘ as used in the explanation above gives a better idea of what it actually means. When you hear multi-platform you probably immediately think books, movies, games (for different platforms – telephones, tablets, computers and consoles). But transmedia doesn’t make that as clear as it probably should – at least not to me.

 The reason why I choose this course was because it sounded like an interesting topic when I came across it. I’m a graphic designer and a multimedia designer and I have a love for telling stories, this course was definitively one I couldn’t pass over.

The reason why I choose this course

It really was interesting an interesting topic. The biggest difference with my other course is that this one is a whole lot less interactive than the ‘Start Writing Fiction‘ (SWF) course. Where you are required to follow certain assignments to get ahead in the course In this one however little is asked of you, there are no real assignments, however you are asked to participate in the comments but most comments are really short and the interaction is minimal.

At SWF you are asked to write stories, build a character and more. So in that regard this course is a lot less intense, therefor it also takes less time to work through the course. Nevertheless it’s interesting it taught me some new things that I was not aware of before. It made me look differently at the things I’m reading and watching at the moment or in the past. Especially nowadays with so many different ways of telling a story – whether it’s in an actual book or in a movie, television show, videogame or mobile app – more people should be aware of the term ‘Transmedia storytelling’. Especially because in this day and age we are all using it even if we are unaware.

Hence I’ve learned a lot, I can’t deny that. However I’m not sure if this is something I will use in the future though the topic is very interesting.

One last thought

When the course came to an end I received an email telling me that this was this team’s first experience with a massive online course and they wanted us to fill out a form to tell them about our experiences during the course. In all honesty that didn’t surprise me all that much – not that this course wasn’t good or hard to follow or anything. It just had a different feel to it, somewhat like they were searching to find a way to convey the information to the participants. Another thing that made it at times hard to follow was the fact that the videos in the course were not in English, of course there was an English translation but at time sit was really hard to follow.

All in all it was an interesting course and if storytelling is something you like to know more about this might be an interesting course. Even though it doesn’t really help you in actually telling the story.

FutureLearn – Start writing Fiction 2

StartWritingFiction

Turn on the radio and take note of the first thing that is mentioned. Use it as the basis for either the start of a story or an entire story – whichever, it should be no more than 500 words. Imagine a character, someone who is central to what the story is about. Try to use clear, vivid language so that your reader can see the character. Use some of the characterization techniques we have talked about so far.

Taken from FutureLearn – Start writing Fiction -Week 2.17
When I turned the radio on Adele’s ‘Make you feel my love’ was playing.

The cold harsh wind blew into my face every now and then a wave of raindrops pounded against me, mixing with my salty tears. I didn’t know what brought me here, to this sandy beach in this type of weather. Not a single soul was in sight. This was the type of weather that made every single person stick to the comfort and warmth of their home. However to me that was exactly what had pushed my outside.
The way I felt seemed to line up with the weather conditions. The raging winds seemed to mimic my thoughts and part of me hoped that standing here would blow away every thought of you. Over the past couple of days it had became crystal clear that I couldn’t make you love me. Especially since you would never see me as a potential love interest. So in a way I was giving up, however this was not the cowards way out. It was because I simply had no choice. Giving up was the hardest thing I’d ever done, but it was impossible to fight against unrequited love.
I was letting you go. Even if that meant that I would never find that happiness for myself. Chances were, that in the future I would be confronted with your new love on your arm.
Which was in all honesty a ridiculous thought, because I had never had the pleasure of being your old love to begin with. All I had were my dreams of you giving your love to me, ridiculous figments as it had turned out.
I pushed my hands deep into my coat’s pockets, the cold wind and rain had chilled them to the bone. My salty tears were still rolling down my cheeks and mixing with the raindrops falling from the dark gray clouds rushing along a lighter tinted gray sky.
When I first laid eyes on you I knew that you were special, that you were the one for me. But the further into our friendship we got it became clear that you would never feel the same way for me. My love would forever be unrequited because you are a woman, Dominique.
I stood there looking out over the swirling waves with whitecaps. I didn’t realize it until the first wave crashed over my shoes, effectively soaking my feet that I had been here for a long time in the cold sea-wind.
Suddenly I realized that the wet cold had penetrated my heavy black coat and was now seeping into the layer of clouting underneath. Before the realization hit me I had been unaware but now I started to shiver uncontrollably.
It was time to go back home, in search of warmth and comfort. It wasn’t a long walk but by the time I arrived I could only think of one thing, getting warm again. As soon as the door closed behind me I started to shed my clothes on the tiled floor. Steaming hot water emerged from the faucet taking away every thought of Dominique as it escaped down the drain. Right before I stepped underneath the cascading scalding hot water I slipped out of my panties and bra and allowed the water to submerge me and my thoughts.

FutureLearn – Start writing Fiction

StartWritingFiction

I signed up for a writing course, so far – in the past – most things I’ve learned were done by following what books said or what other writers explained on the internet either through their websites or youtube videos. Through the years little by little I’ve come up with a way that works for me when I’m developing a story. However I’m always looking for a way to develop my skills, I believe that writing as a lot of other creative endeavors are skills which you continuously need to be work on.

One of my fellow ‘Epic Blue Unicorns’ (that’s the name we gave our writers-group) told us about FutureLearn – a concept which I had never heard off in all honesty and after having taken single look at the website I was sold. I knew that this was something I would be using in the near future.

We (FutureLearn) offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.

Taken from the FutureLearn website.

One problem though, there is too much to choose from! I want to take about every other course. For now I’ve settled to do two courses, both of them started on the 18th of January. One is ‘Start writing Fiction’ and the other one is called ‘Crossmedia Storytelling’.

FutureLearn-courses

Start Writing Fiction

I started working on ‘Start Writing Fiction’ almost immediately, I was really curious what they had to tell us and I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing. The way you learn is partly through reading, watching videos or listening to audio, doing assignments and reading through comments and commenting on posts by other people who are taking the course with you. At the end of the week’s assignments you are tested, you take a short quiz.

The thing I’m not so good at but is essential the course is to communicate with other people who are participating as well. That is definitively something I need to work on.

Anyway, I should continue working on my courses because at the moment I’m way behind. With good reason since I also started my new job this week but that doesn’t mean I can slack off on other things in my life.

In the future you might find some posts including some of the various course assignments. If you are interested in one of the writing courses or any of other very interesting FutureLearn courses you should come and join. It’s interesting and you can still start the courses even if they’ve already started.