Extreme Stories: 5

A normal story is usually to convey experience or information about a particular topic, object (including a person or a place), relationships, or a major event. Most such stories contain a subject or theme, and experience from several events related to what storyteller intends to share with his audience. Of course stories are told with some specific goals in mind. Independent of the goal and subjects, there is a general process that is used by a storyteller.

A storyteller usually has many events and their experiences in his memory (or a databases) from which it draws appropriate material used in the story. Considering her goal and the target audience, she first applies a filter to all the events and experiences to select only those event experiences that are relevant in the current context. She then selects particular experiences and their modality (text, audio, photos, videos, emotions, …) to use the ones that are most effective on the audience in creating a compelling story. Based on the goal (emotional impact, information communication, …) particular mode for the experience is selected. The final step is to create a sequence in which the story is narrated — or should we say rendered — to the audience.

From a computational perspective, storytelling is a process to collect events, experiences related to events, and put the in a form so one can easily select them. Once the database is ready, the storyteller first selects events and experiences that are the best for conveying compelling experiences to the specified audience, (usually) within a given time (space) constraints.

This sounds very geeky, but the storytelling is a very algorithmic process executed most of the time based on approximate processes and fuzzy memories. Many of these storytelling fields, such as journalism and movie making, have become very systematic with use of computational tools for all the steps. With popularity of mobile phones with all the sensors, storytelling even by amateurs, including preschool kids, is likely to become more and more computational.

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