Week 1 – A Glimpse of Platforms for Stories

The Story Lab studio kicked off with a little bit of introduction and reviewing the course outline (the usual). During our three-hour workshop, we were shown three platforms of storytelling media ­– paper, radio and film.

  1. Roald Dahl’s Lamb to the Slaughter
  2. War of The Worlds Radio Drama
  3. Frankenstein (1931)

The keyword linearity came up during class. I have gotten ahead in myself learning the multi-narrative plotlines, the twists and so forth. This made me backtrack a little and asked myself, what and why linearity was important in stories back in the days. One of the main reasons were due to time constraints, there was no room for complexity of stories. There simply was neither enough room nor the time for something indirect. Readers at the time, I presume listen to radios or the television during their down times, especially after a hard day at work.

With linearity, the story is very predictable and it is easier to digest compared to the complexity of Hollywood plots these days like Inception. The predictability comes from the style of documenting or commenting on the event just like how the journalist was describing the scene of the battle and stating his next action. Frankenstein was the same, he mentions repetitively that he will be able to bring life and play God. There is a clear goal of the protagonist in linear plots that the audience can grasp at the beginning of the story.

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