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5.1.5 PracticeA Story in Sounds

Practice Guide

Media Literacy (S2318458)

 

 

Using the knowledge you’ve gathered about the different possibilities for audio and storytelling in a networked world, get creative! Figure out what story you want to tell, whether it’s through a creative piece like a short story or radio script, a first-person story from your past, a family history, or a documentary piece about a place, event, or something else you love. You’ll figure out the story, the audience, and how you’ll want to reach them. Then you’ll design the piece, using any of the tools at your disposal for telling a story with sound. What kinds of audio will help you tell this story in an interesting and dynamic way? 

Your write-up should be at least three paragraphs: one that sketches out the story you’ve decided to tell, one that describes your audience and how you’ll reach them, and one that maps out the performance/presentation logistics and the listener’s audio experience. An optional final step is to go ahead and make your audio piece! 

Make sure to address the following questions as you’re preparing your post:

  • What story are you going to tell?
    • What’s the subject matter?
    • What shape or form will it take?
    • What are the main points or themes you want the story to touch on?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How will you reach this audience? Podcast? Live stream? In-person live performance? Installation? Posting a recording to web pages or social networks?
  • What elements of sound will you use to enhance the story? Interviews? Sound effects? Ambient sound? Dialogue?
  • How will all these parts fit in with the narrative arc of the story to create a vivid and complete experience for your listener?

There might not be a “right” answer to any of these questions. What’s important is your effort to create a rich auditory experience for your listener.

Step 1: Understand the Assignment

Rewrite the assignment in your own words. Underline any important words that help you focus on the task.

 

Step 2: Choose, Observe, and Explore Your Subject

Review your notes from the lessons for information that might help you with the assignment.

  1. The first step is to introduce the story you want to tell. It could be a retelling of a family legend, a story that happened to you, a famous story you’ll tell in a new way, or the story of a place, object, or piece of art you love. What have you chosen and why? What are the central ideas or themes you want to convey? What’s your goal in telling this story (for example, pushing for a change, entertaining, presenting a documentary, or some combination)? 
  2. What shape will this story take? For example, will it be told by a single reader (you or someone else), will it be a series of interviews, or maybe a dramatic script acted out? What different parts will the project have? 
  3. What other sound elements will you add to enhance your story? Effects? Ambient sound? Music? Audio audience participation? 
  4. Now that you have your main story idea, who will be your audience? Why have you chosen this particular group to reach — why do they need to hear it or why might they be interested? 
  5. How will you reach this audience? That is, how will the audio be presented — recorded and posted, live performance, live streaming, podcast? Why this choice for this audience? 
  6. Keeping all this in mind, sketch out the audio event. Where will you perform or present it? How will all the parts fit together? Will other elements (such as text, images, or video) be part of the presentation as well? Give an overview of the experience the audience can expect. 

Step 3: Write Your Piece

Using your ideas and notes above, as well as any new ideas that come to you as you work, construct your piece by writing at least three paragraphs that describe and analyze your story, audience, and audio presentation. Use a separate piece of paper if you need more room.

 

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Step 4: Read Back and Revise

When you’re done writing, read back through your work and make sure it reads smoothly, is written in complete sentences, contains everything you meant to include (especially details and examples!), and that any spelling or grammar errors are fixed. Good work!

 

Step 5: OPTIONAL: Make Your Piece

Now that you’ve written your plan for the story you’d like to tell, what audio media and/or presentation format you want to use, and how you would like to reach your audience, why not go ahead and put your ideas into action and make your piece? You can use the space below to jot down any last notes, information, sketches, equipment lists, or other ideas for what you need to make your audio piece a reality.

 

Additional notes for making audio piece:
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