Storytelling – Working Method. Part 1.3. Story development

Storytelling
Working Method
Part 1.3

Storytelling - Working Method
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Summary

Part 1.3. Story development

4 fictitious examples of story development in novel, music, comics, web

Project 1 – Heroic fantasy novel

The general idea

We start writing a heroic fantasy novel that takes place in several past civilizations.

Intentions – Messages to send

We want to promote a peaceful attitude between cultures, to contradict the real wars of our world.

We want to take position in favor of cultural diversity and to promote dialogue and positive exchanges.

Impacts wished

We want the reader to identify to the Hero, an Ambassador, especially to his skills of empathy and non-violent communication.

We also want to render the force, charisma and power of many characters, strong warriors, experienced diplomats, tricky spies, religious, political and military authorities that the Hero will have to fight or to collaborate with. We want all of those characters to feel real and deep.

We want to fascinate the audience with the use of magic weapons based on wisdom opposed to violence: we want the audience to believe in that peaceful ethics.

Genres

We read heroic fantasy novels, major works of literature from the civilizations we selected, a few biographies of diplomats and specialized handbooks.

Reference-works – List and study typical stories

We analyze some major works of heroic fantasy and science-fiction. We meet themes like the opposition between rich cities and desert countrysides, snowy landscapes and tropical shores, some types of plots like wars for power, internal diplomatic struggles, etc.

We decide that the Non-Violent Communication theory invented by Marshall Rosenberg will impregnate the Hero.

Budget

Minimal. As expenses, we will just need to buy a few books.

Time (project duration, deadline?)

We have around one year of free time to spend.

Skills, resources needed

Writing, reading, searching, imagining, thinking…

Media

We have contacts to publish the novel as a book or eBook.

Size/Duration (in pages, in minutes)

Around 300 pages / 90 000 words.

Audience

We aim at an audience of fantasy novel readers, people who like to read, enjoy imagination, want to travel and escape through a book. We will give them what they want, that we also enjoy much: spectacular fights, tensions between leaders, dreamy erotic scenes like in the series Game of Thrones…

Project 2 – Electroclash album

The general idea

We are a band of 5 young women aged from 19 to 26yo and we make punchy electro. We released an amateur 10 songs album.

We performed in bars and party places. We now want to make a professional concept-album of electro songs based on a feminist message with lyrics that match our music – vibrant, surprising, electric, wild.

Intentions – Messages to send

We want to assert a kind of femininity opposing the standard of the cute teenage girl. This young woman is wild, free, independent, she decides and she is responsible for herself. She shows an accurate taste for thinking, smartness and moral debates. She has different standards and does not hesitate to assert and defend them against any attacker.

Impacts wished

We want the listener to feel like dancing and singing! We want our songs and live shows to:

  • Catch the attention, punch the mind and body.
  • Make the audience laugh.
  • Seduce, poke, pinch the listener.

Genres

We are clearly rooted in the field of what we call electro-clash. This genre is alive, successful, and inspiring.

Reference-works – List and study typical stories

So, let’s listen at the major albums and songs of Coco Rosie, Uffie, Sexy Sushi, Crystal Castles… Let’s also analyze their songs and their lyrics, and keep as models or transform what we prefer from it.

Budget

We write the lyrics by ourselves. We need instruments, computers, softwares, but most of them we own them already. We will have to pay for the studio recording. Album sales and shows are supposed to pay us back.

Time (project duration, deadline?)

Deadline: 6 months to write around 10 new songs.

Skills, resources needed

We have the resources needed to compose the music and lyrics and play them in a studio and live.

Media

We will release our album on an independent label. It will be available as a CD and also on the web.

Size/Duration (in pages, in minutes).

We want to design 10 songs, for an album duration of around one hour. The songs will have more or less text, some being purely or mainly instrumental.

Audience

We know our audience: it is our current audience plus all the people like them that we want to conquer too. We are not megalomaniacs, but we like being on stage and sharing the creative energy, so we need good songs to catch and keep the audience’s attention. Our audience is young people, 2/3 of girls. They like a music that sounds like them: glamour and despaired, idealistic and disgusted, sexy and fresh.

Project 3 – Hip-hop photocomics

The general idea

We are two friends: a writer / scriptwriter having published books, articles and scripts; and a photographer and graphic designer who worked for an agency.

Together, we aim at writing and making a comics in styled photographs telling the fictitious autobiography of a black blind rapper in Chicago.

Intentions – Messages to send

We want to represent the world of rap/hip-hop culture an unconventional way. Black and handicapped, the Hero will be an example of humble courage showing that talent can bring people closer.

Impacts wished

We want to inform our audience about the everyday life difficulties of the American underclass, to help people renew their watch over it.

Genres

This project crosses genres. It makes a comics with real photos; it tells about music; it tells about Chicago as in some engaged journalism, but also a poetic way like in the novels of Richard Brautigan or Hubert Selby Jr.

Reference-works – List and study typical stories

We read realistic novels, social TV series like The Wire or Threme, and we listen to many rap albums.

Budget

Very low. One goal is to cover the cost of the creative work.

Time (project duration, deadline?)

We plan the making and publishing of the story over several years, as a part-time job. The main time-consuming task will be the promotion.

Skills, resources needed

We have the creative skills we need. We will have to find an agent to promote our story and all of its subproducts.

Media

We will tell only very short stories, anecdotes, moments, flashes – accumulated they will tell a long story. Some will take 1 page, some will be told in 3 frames only.

We plan to exploit several media and thus several channels of distribution: book and e-book collecting the whole series; smaller e-books, spreading parts of the story; and sometimes, 1 page or 3 cases will be published on partner magazines and webzines, partly to promote the rest of the work.

Size/Duration (in pages, in minutes).

Hundreds of short-stories, from a few frames to a few pages maximum.

Audience

The audience is adult and mainstream. The Black people and the minorities may like it even more, but the story is designed to touch anybody with a heart.

Project 4 – The Squatt, webseries

The general idea

We are different professional partners working on a project of web-series: “The Squatt”. It tells about an alternative community of artists, hackers and activists in a collective housing in Berlin, Germany, nowadays.

Intentions – Messages to send

We want to give voice to those young alternative artists who bring revolutionary concepts and challenging ideas, enthusiasm and creative skills.

Impacts wished

Make the audience identify to our lead characters, to help spread their ideas and attitudes.

Prove and show that another life is possible, aside from the world of salary jobs, family, consuming society, a life based on social sharing and creation.

Contradicts some stereotypes and taboos: show that free love and free sex can work, that drugs are nice, etc.

Ideally, we would like to influence our audience, stimulate them to react, give them reasons to engage in an alternative way of life too.

Genres

We will mix several genres: comedy, drama, police stories, drugs stories, political story, love stories…

Reference-works – List and study typical stories

FRIENDS and other soaps will help us define how to deal with many characters and link them.

Budget

Each episode will cost 50 000 dollars in average. The teams will be paid. The series will be shot in cheap conditions. The special effects will be in the writing style more than in the post-production effects.

Time (project duration, deadline?)

The project will be realized over several years. The first 6 episodes of the season will be sketched, then the first one will be realized. According to the success of this pilot, the rest will be written and realized or not.

Skills, resources needed

We need many skills to realize the episodes. That is the job of the producer.

Media

The first media is the web on some on-demand video websites. But we will also try to get prizes in festivals, and to make a DVD edition.

Size/duration (in pages, in minutes).

We plan making a first season of 24 episodes lasting 10 minutes each. Each episode is centered on a major and a minor plots among the core set of characters.

Audience

The series is designed for the 15-40 yo people in Germany, Europe and the western world. It includes many elements of their culture and condition. We try to get more than 50 000 watchers per episode in one year.

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