Storytelling Home

"Make me laugh. Make me cry. Tell me my place in the world. Lift me out of my skin and place me in another. Show me places I have never visited and carry me to the ends of time and space.  Give my demons names and help me to confront them. Demonstrate for me possibilities I've never thought of and present me with heroes who will give me courage and hope. Ease my sorrows and increase my joy. Teach me compassion. Entertain and enchant me. Tell me a story."  - Dennis O'Neil (11)

Each form of storytelling has advantages and disadvantages that the others do not.  This site examines the differences that make each storytelling medium unique and important, and how one cannot replace another.  One important thing a reader must understand is narrative is not narration.  Dictionaries from the last forty years generally describe Narration as "story," or "that which is narrated" and narration as "the act of telling a story" (Encarta 1203; World Book 1368). Each medium has its own way of telling a story that is difficult to translate to others.  Several forms exist, but all fall into three categories: verbal, visual and audible.  The purely verbal forms are narrative prose and narrative poetry.  Purely visual storytelling is mostly defunct, but includes mimicry and silent film.  Audible storytelling pertains to ballads, radio programs and the occasional recorded play.  Most other forms are amalgamations of more than one.  comic books and comic strips fall into both visual and verbal; modern film and video games contain all three.  Using more than one medium to tell story is called multiliteracy or multimodality.  Education programs and casual readers are gravitating toward this media type of storytelling because fiction sales and readership in a constant and dramatic decline ("Americans..."; Asher; Charles 1; Davis; Espisoto; Geise; Gioia 4; Koval; Liberman; Little 15; "Today's..." 1; "US book sales..."; Weber; Wyatt). That is why this site will include two important storytelling media whose popularity continues to rise: graphic novels (comic books) and video games.

All narrative forms have several things in common and all have several things that separate one from another.  This analysis of comic book, film, novel and video game gives evidence why none of them should become defunct.  Even the novel's waning popularity does not mean it is without merit or should be replaced with flashier forms.  Each storytelling form feeds off the others, gaining ideas and inspiration from them.  Movies seem to have the most influence, but it's possible in the near future, we will see video games or comic books at the pinnacle of respected narrative forms.