The powerful ‘power of story’

The importance and power of ‘story’ is the heartbeat, the soul, the life (and potential death) of a robust transmedia IP.

This advertisement by Sky Atlantic, ‘the exclusive UK home of HBO’ summarises our human need and engagement with a fabulous story….


We all spend our lives telling them, about this, about that, about people..

But some?

Some stories are so good we wish they’d never end.

They’re so gripping that we’ll go without sleep just to see a  little bit more.

Some stories bring us laughter and sometimes they bring us tears….

but isn’t that what a great story does?

Makes you feel?

Stories that are so powerful….

they really are with us forever.”

Robert McKee also has some theories on what constitutes ‘story’:

Story is about eternal, universal forms, not formulas.

Story is about archetypes, not stereotypes.

Story is about thoroughness, not shortcuts.

Story is about mastering the art, not secondguessing the marketplace.

Story is about respect, not disdain, for the audience.

Story is about originality, not duplication.

These are all valid and important points, not only in storytelling, but specifically in transmedia storytelling too, and by extending story over timelines and platforms we can only hope that we can begin to create stories that make people ‘feel’, that are so good that our audiences wish they’d never end (what a dream! to be able to write like that!).

Transmedia storytelling has been dubbed ‘fiction without barriers‘ and ‘limitless storytelling’ which I think is a little exaggerated (at least from a strategic planning, scale and scope perspective) – but from an engaged, lean-forward audience I can see how it might appear that way.

On the run-up to my Transmedia Development Workshop at Digital Book World (in two weeks time) I’ll be building on these concepts and theories of ‘story’, and other issues through a series of mini posts, here at storycentralDIGITAL so stay tuned.


14 days to go….



3 thoughts on “The powerful ‘power of story’

  1. only IF your a writer…
    tell it to WOW or Dungeons and Dragons, or Starcraft, or Diablo.

    Doing an act- in the case of most gameworld IP – killing stuff, and upping a play piece, is the core of the IP.
    the HAND, not the EYE is the key to modern successes in transmedia using tech, other wise the best youll get is AVATAR. Which has no extended “world” so far created by its makers in the market. only sequal storylines for a movie. Has ther been a fictional avatar book? or game?mmo? etc? whats earth look like with all the problems of Ubertanium and the reality of near light speed travel?… you go to aplace to get “gold” only to return to find earth doesnt “need” gold anymore?;);)

    just some thoughts about story vs world logic. and actions taken by viewsers and NPCs…. or story avatars. per say.

    • Hi Larry
      Thanks for your comments, but I’m a little confused. ;(
      I don’t quite agree that doing an act is the ‘core’ of the IP. The storyworld, interactions and spaces that encourage these ‘lean forward’ moments (the hand as opposed to the eye) are important – as without interactions and a 2-way narrative it isn’t quite transmedia. Transmedia doesn’t necessarily hinge itself in the world of tech either – live events and artefacts in our physical world all play a part in validating and grounding the experience of a transmedia narrative.

  2. another thing to think about.

    Stargate – very successful- was dev. with mainly a “hook” or “device”.- the RING that takes you there.–characaters were “altered” for mediums needed.. only the RING is constant.

    Gerry Anderson- whos name i have never seen on any transmedia blog or journal- since 1964 hes created the “21st century” world.. populated by varios “device hooks”– supercars – rescueships – spies-ships- airforces- etc… all designed and released as multimedium IPs..

    Because he did “kid shows” he was offered a freedom producers like Roddenberry or Irwin Allen did not have….. He was able to “create” and market” a transmedia world/universe a decades before lucas or the wachowthy bros.

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