Your Final Digital Project: Stepping into New Narrative Realms

One of the aspects of writing for digital media I’ve been hoping to impress upon you all this semester, is that the realm of “the digital” isn’t so much a singular, discrete entity, but rather a variety of forms, styles, and media that overlap and intersect with the forms, styles, and media we categorize as “analog.” That digital media allows for engagements with story in ways that are often extensions or re-imaginings of the physical world, but are meaningfully changed in the shift into the digital. Some digital humanists say that, when they’ve done their job, the term “digital humanities” will become obsolete. We study how to write for digital media now because digital media forms are new and exciting, and need to be studied. But eventually, they will all just be called “writing.”

Your final project for this class should be a digital narrative that embraces this intersectionality: a narrative that embodies some of the characteristics that makes writing for digital media new and exciting, but that also communicates a story well and clearly. The parameters of the project are intentionally very broad and open-ended: I want you to have full creative control over the story you’re telling, and the form in which it’s told.

Some guidelines for creative & development:

  • Your final project should grow out of (or even combine several) projects you began in this class, this semester, though its beginning may have been as one of your graded exercises, or as the subject of a blog post, and the new version of this narrative can be substantially different from the original.
  • The form this final narrative takes is up to you; it must be a digital artifact, but it can exist in any digital storytelling or multimedia format you find most creatively compelling.
  • Choose the story you want to tell first, and then allow decisions about the form, structure, and media of the final project to follow naturally from the story.
  • Your project must be both public and multimedia, but it should also embody at least three of the other characteristics of writing for digital media we’ve covered in this class (hypertext, nonlinear, location-based, hacked, collaborative, remixed or interactive)

Whatever story, form, and media you choose, your final project should demonstrate to me your ability to make conscious choices about how best to use digital media in narrative construction. To that end, in addition to the final project itself, you will each compose a detailed artist’s statement describing your vision, goals, rationale, creative process, technology use, and the digital characteristics your narrative embodies. Basically, think of this as a lengthier version of your blog post reflections for each project; consider using your “pitch” responses, incorporate references to your various sources of inspiration, discuss your creative process, and reflect on how your ideas developed as you went through the process of creation.

The artist’s statement may be included as a blog post on your website, or you may email me a link to a Google doc of the essay, if you prefer not to post it publicly. In either case, the artist’s statement itself should include at least five hyperlinks and two images that help illustrate your vision, intention, process, or personality.

Some deadlines:

  • Thurs. 4/4: Each of you will meet with me one-on-one to pitch your final project and get approval, using the questions laid out in this blog post.
  • Tues. 4/9: In-class revision bootcamp: this is a day devoted to working on your final projects; you may choose to work as you need to, or to use some of the exercises Marissa will provide in this blog post to help guide your revision and expansion efforts.
  • Thurs. 4/11 & Tues. 4/16: Work-in-progress presentations: Each of you will show your final project drafts to the class, and solicit our feedback using the guidelines here.
  • Tues. 4/23 3:30pm: Final project and artist’s statements due by emailing Marissa a URL no later than this time.

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