If you build it, (hopefully) they will come…


Stories are everything. And any story can be awesome if you tell it the right way…

Perhaps the single most valuable thing I’ve learned this semester is the lesson of specificity. Be specific, Blake! Be deliberate! Who are you writing for? Who are you writing to?

I wrote a handful of articles and stories and blogs this semester, and they were all catered to an “audience of storytellers,” which is a pretty vague audience. And when you’re audience isn’t specific, your work has a hard time finding its target. In other words, there is really no exigence to your work – there’s no purpose. When something belongs to everyone, it belongs to no one. Communism, you know?

Let’s get back on topic…

At the beginning of the semester, I was told to identify which online (or offline) community I belonged to, and then find where my community’s discourse was taking place online. As a screenwriter, I had a hard time finding the “conversation.” Sure, stories existed online and they were being told in a million and a half different ways. They were being told through videos, they were being written on blogs, and they were even being told in .gif format, but there wasn’t anything happening in the online world of screenwriting. Scripts still adhere to the efficient (and archaic) format that began over a hundred years ago.

In short, I was fairly convinced that my community’s “online discourse” didn’t really exist. And if it weren’t going to exist for me to find it, I would just have to create it. And that’s exactly what I did, or at least that’s what I’m trying to do with my final project: create the online discourse for the community that I belong to.

During the last five months, I discovered that stories exist online to be read by everybody, but the storytellers themselves only exist behind the scenes. They write stories to bring readers together; to bring people together. Unfortunately, however, this phenomenon doesn’t bring the storytellers together.

But hopefully, that’s all about to change.

Because as much as storytellers enjoy experiencing stories, we enjoy creating them even more.

Everything I’ve learned this semester will hopefully be displayed through what I call the “Interactive Character Study.” Through this final project, I want to create a community in which story can be experienced and created at the same time. I want to create a community in which story is king, and the audience has just as much say in the outcome of the story as the writer. Why? Because the audience is the writer.

So that’s that.


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