Digital Storytelling: Final Reflection Selfie

Hey guys! This is my final video for my Digital Storytelling class, where I talk about what I learned through the course. Hope you enjoy!

Scene: Desk
Hello everyone! As you can see, I’m not in my usual spot for filming this - that’s because my apartment had pest control come in and I haven’t quite put everything back yet. I just wanted to say how I’ve learned a lot through the Digital Storytelling course - my tools haven’t really changed because I’m a creature of habit and when I find something that works I tend to stick with it, but I do feel that I have become much more introspective and critical of my own stories and what I want to accomplish with them. I’ve been writing and reading as long as I can remember, so a lot of the technical aspects of telling a story were old hat to me - but digital storytelling has such a focus on being personal without a real structure - and by that I mean it doesn’t consider things like a prologue, building tension, climax, etc - that it made me really…

Digital Storytelling: Collaborative Story

Hey guys! For the last assignment I did in my college class, some of my classmates and I did a group project we called "Landmarks for Life"! I hope you enjoy it!

Digital Story Title: Landmarks for Life Team Members: Aurora Thornton (Team Lead) Stephanie Ali (Video editor) Shante Pierson (Script Writer) Scenes: Saratoga Spa State Park, Edible Arbor Trail, and Norfolk Botanical Gardens Media Used: Narration, original images, video, audio, text, sound effects (Saratoga Spa State Park images courtesy of Tools: iMovie, Garage Band Digital Story Duration: 3 minutes 24 seconds
Script Shante Saratoga Spa State Park is considered to be one of New York States most scenic outdoor locations, which distinguished by its classical architecture. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, Saratoga Spa State Park has a multitude of recreational activities that the entire family can enjoy. During our first visit to Saratoga Spa State Park, my family and I enjoyed some time at Peerless Pool, …

Digital Storytelling: Is Writing Fiction Harder than Nonfiction?

I was talking with a coworker today, and he said the following, which caught my interest:

I heard that writing fiction is harder than nonfiction, because you have to make it believable. Like, when you here something unbelievable in fiction, you’re just like ‘that wouldn’t happen’ - but when you hear something in nonfiction, you’re like ‘damn, I can’t believe that happened’.
At first, I thought this was kind of funny - it reminded me of situations where people would criticise a work of fiction for having POC in a European medieval setting… where there are also dragons. On the first count, it’s incorrect to say there were not POC in medieval Europe - as medievalpoc on Twitter has been excellently documenting - and second, you’re alright with a giant, fire breathing lizard (that might even talk) but you draw the line at a perceived historical inaccuracy?

Look, I’m no historian, and I might wish it otherwise, but I’m pretty sure there were not real dragons running around medieval Europe.

Digital Storytelling: Allaha of the Mountain Abridged

Ok, so before I share the video... I meant to have real people acting out everything, as I said in an earlier post. But then life happened to all my actors, so at the last minute I switched to.... sock puppets. 
I made twenty sock puppets for this. And I could only find one more puppeteer (who asked to be known as "annoying hair flip") to help me out. It's.... it's rough. But I still had a lot of fun making it, and I hope you have a lot of fun watching it. Anyways, here it is: Allaha of the Mountain Abridged. 
(Script Below)

Allaha of the Mountain Abridged  written by Aurora Lee Thornton

FADE IN: TESTIMONY - TITLE CARD READS "TESTIMONY I" Writing appears on the screen, matching what the voice over is saying.  ALLAHA (V.O.) I am Allaha. I am giving my final testimony before my sentence, death, is carried out. This should in no way be taken as the author giving readers insight into the thought process and emotional state of an otherwise stoic and emoti…

Digital Storytelling: Learning the Anatomy of a Story, Part I - Technique

“The first obstacle is the terminology most writers use to think about story. Terms like “rising action,” “climax,” “progressive complication,” and “denouement,” terms that go as far back as Aristotle, are so broad and theoretical as to be almost meaningless. Let’s be honest: they have no practical value for storytellers.
I quite like the way John Truby phrases this in his book, The Anatomy of Story. It reminds me of my favorite rule of writing: “Everything is a rule… until it isn’t.” 
I think the thing I enjoy the most about Truby’s book so far is the way he breaks down the problems with traditional schools of thought when it comes to writing, and how, as he puts it, “a mechanical view of a story… inevitably leads to episodic storytelling. An episodic story is a collection of pieces, like parts stored in a box. Events in the story stand out as discrete elements and don’t connect or build steadily from beginning to end. The result is a story that moves the audience sporadically, if at a…

Beautiful People #7

(Series by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In)

Since Dandy comes out this week, I'm going to slow down on the series. I'm going to switch to once every other week instead of every week, and switch to upcoming characters or just whoever I feel like at the time, ha ha.

1. What is their secret desire?

Dandy - to feel safe again.

Toru - to wake up and find that everything that happened was just a dream.

2. What is the best and brightest moment they experience during the story?

Dandy - waking up with her lover and being completely comfortable in her own skin for a few minutes.

Toru - finally letting go of his past and moving forward.

3. What are the emotional places your characters are afraid to go to?

Dandy - literally anywhere emotional - but in particular, about her past; even more specifically, about her family.

Toru - admitting that he doesn't really want revenge anymore.

4. Is there a place/city/room where they will never go? Why?

Dandy - no only because …

Digital Storytelling: The Importance of Context and Understanding What Your Story is Really Saying

Today I watched Hannah Gadsby’s hour comedy special “Nanette” on Netflix and it was so heartfelt, and a lot of the act spoke to me. One of the things she spoke on was the current romanticism of mental illness, and as someone that has ADHD, anxiety, and depression, this related to me a lot. She also spoke on her experience on coming out as a lesbian, and one phrase really spoke out to me: “You learn from the part of the story you focus on. I need to tell my story properly”. What she was discussing, was coming from a conservative Christian area in Tasmania, where she says “70% of the people who raised me, loved me, who I trusted -  believed that homosexuality was a sin, that homosexuals were heinous sub-human pedophiles” and how this affected her view of her self-worth. She goes on to speak about how she turned her coming out story into a comedy routine - as many young gay comedians do - and how it caused her to compartmentalize and minimize the pain she’d felt, instead of dealing with …