Writing’s easy. Storytelling is hard.

I know I’ve been deviating wildly from IA and Design here lately, but it’s all connected to what I do everyday in my head, and hey – this here is my outboard brain.

I think everyone involved in design, particularly experience design is keenly aware of the importance of storytelling, in communicating important ideas in a business context, and also the wider heritage of the storyteller and narrative’s bearing on designing experiences.

I’ve been plugging away at couple of comicbooks for my own pleasure for a few years now, and comics are something I do continously – storyboards and illustrations for work, or for fun.

But i hadn’t written a story as in ficitonal prose with words and nothing else, since secondary school. So, I thought I’d try.

It took me an evening. I didn’t edit it. Didn’t revisit it apart from a spellcheck. I wanted to see what came out. I lucked out, and got it published on upsideclown.com.

It’s clumsy. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not a great read. It’s too high concept, and there’s no-one or nothing to care about.

But it was fun!!!

I’ve started reading “ender’s game” on the recommendation of many folk I met at ETCON. In Orson Scott Card’s introduction he offers up this on the difference between what I did (and enjoyed) and what he did when he had the idea for the book…

“It was a good idea… [but] I hadn’t the faintest idea of how to go about turning the idea into a story. It occurred to me then for the first time that the idea of the story is nothing compared to the importance of knowing how to find a character and a story to tll around that idea.”

and further thoughts about the craft of telling that story once it has grown from eing a mere idea:

“I learned to separate the story from the writing, probably the most important thing that any storyteller has to learn – that there are a thousand right ways to tell a story, and ten million wrong ones, and you’re a lot more likely to find one of the latter than the former your first time through the tale”

I went through the tale once, and it was probably one of the million wrong ways to tell the story as a result – but I’ve got the bug now, and I’ll try again… See – separation of content from presentation, iterative process… not so far away from being a proper IA blog!!! ;-p

»Books By Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game

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