4. Start Telling Stories In New Ways
Another entry from the “Set The Box On Fire” Department — with the almost obscene advances in personal technology (the smartphone alone has become more versatile than most home computers), it’s time to start thinking about how we can tell stories in new ways. A story needn’t be contained to a book or a screen. A story can be broken apart. A story can travel. Your tale can live across Twitter and Foursquare and Tumblr and an Android app and Flickr and HTML5 and then it can take the leap away from technology and move to handwritten journals and art installations and bathroom walls and — well, you get the idea. Let this be the year that the individual author need no longer be constrained by a single medium. Transmedia is now in the hands of individuals. So give it a little squeeze, and find new ways to tell old stories.
I find this suggestion incredibly relevant. When I started writing my YA novels, facebook didn’t even exist (or, at least not in the all encompassing way it does today). Now, it feels silly my characters wouldn’t even mention it. Same with cell phones and texting. I’ve updated the drafts a few times to reflect changes in technology, but not nearly to the level to make details realistic. Technology does impact characters. As much as I would like to write a period piece, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me…so, how can I best utilize telling a story without obviously calling attention to the fact that there are shiny, new things?
In one of my WIPs, technology does play a major role in moving the story forward. Characters use satellite phones, encrypted software, and other high level security devices. It was fun researching these, but when will those items become obsolete? I realize the author of the above suggestion is encouraging use of all forms of communication, but as of now, I’m not going to have Ayah log into Pinterest and go crazy pinning things – she’s got more important matters to attend to.