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Experimenting With Stories: Building Out Your Storyworld – Options!

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Angelique Toschi smallBuilding a transmedia storytelling plan for your project can seem overwhelming at times. Below are just some examples of types of other media (both new and old) that can be used as weapons in your creative arsenal when creating additional story content to expand your world.

Twitter/ Facebook Character Fan Page – Using these types of social media you could create in-character pages (although not Facebook profiles) that can interact directly with your fans as the characters they’re fans of.

Blog – A blog could be in multiple forms; it could take a 3rd party narrative view like a newspaper site for the fictional town (one example of this is how Smallville created a school newspaper website that was completely within their show universe) or a blog “written” by a character with a certain expertise or interesting viewpoint outside of the main cast.

Podcast – I have yet to see this one done (so I don’t have an example) but if your characters listen to (or have a podcast) that is mentioned within your storyworld, that is a great opportunity to create that podcast, and even possibly go more in depth to the stories of characters not prominently featured on screen.

Spotify Music List – Does one of your characters love music? Are they going through something emotional or have eclectic musical tastes that are discussed in your main media? This is a good way for your audience to get to know your characters better musically.

Tumblr – If you are going for a younger audience (and have younger characters, or a niche market) becoming part of the Tumblr community can help foster that part of your fandom. You don’t only have to post show content, you could also create a Tumblr for a cause or idea that is featured within an episode.

Short Fiction – This allows you to tell stories you may not be able to (due to budget or other restrictions) do on screen. It can be released in print, on digital book platforms, in PDF format, or even just as text on a website.

Comic Book – Another way to tell a story that may be too expensive to tell on the screen. This is particularity good for an action series, or series that would normally find its way to a comic book page.

Pinterest – If your characters would naturally gravitate to this platform it is a great way for your audience to get to know your characters likes and style.

Live Events – If you live in a city (or are willing to travel to your fans) this is a great and highly interactive way to get your fans involved. Another (more cost efficient) way of doing this would be in-character live Q and A’s and/or Google Hangouts.

The most important thing to remember is that any auxiliary content or storyworld building that you put time into should be a natural extension of your property and “feel” right. Having content just to have content will only seem unnatural and will not add value for your audience, and may actually drive them away for good.

More of my articles on transmedia storytelling can be found here.

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About Angelique Toschi

Angelique Toschi is a social media professional who is active in multiple social media communities. She uses her BA in English from UCLA and MA in Mass Communications, Advertising from Cal State Fullerton to help her create strategies and write social media content for various clients across multiple industries. Some of her current and former clients in the entertainment industry have included The International Academy of Web Television, web series “Lenox Avenue”, and Transmedia LA. She also currently handles social media and corporate communications for Shakey’s USA, Inc. (57 locations across the US).