A good story does have to abide by certain rules and these rules are learned through practice. Andrew Stanton, the Pixar writer and director behind both Toy Story and WALL-E, talks some of these rules in his popular TED Talk, The clues to a great story.
After much consideration, you’ve decided to take the plunge and develop your online presence with a shiny new author website. Now comes the important part— making sure your site is well designed. You want the style and function of your author website to turn curious visitors into dedicated fans. To capture the interest of even your most casual reader, here are five must-have design essentials for your website:
Figment is a community where you can share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors. Whatever you're into, from sonnets to mysteries, from sci-fi stories to cell phone novels, you can find it all here.
Sarah McElrath's insight:
Just purchased by Random House. Great site for teen writers and readers. Educators can sign up for a free account -- see the educators link at bottom of page.
Not so long ago, Reddit users gathered around a digital fire to tell horror stories using only two sentences. The experiment demonstrated that the power of suggestion is infinitely more powerful than the explicitness of modern Hollywood gore.
There's plenty of hand-wringing over how technology is affecting communication, but an illuminating article by Clive Thompson argues that technology may be doing more to increase literacy and encourage reading since the rise of the novel.
When giving advice to new bloggers as to what kind of content grabs the most readers, the most comments, and the most shares on social media, most elder statesmen of the blogging community will say that controversy sells.
So many of these quotes resonated with me. Here's one: "The British author and psychologist Adam Phillips has noted, “When we are inspired, rather like when we are in love, we can feel both unintelligible to ourselves and most truly ourselves.” This is the feeling I think we all yearn for, a kind of hyperreal dream state."
"t was not long ago that producing multimedia digital content required expensive equipment and deep levels of technical expertise. We are at the point now where anyone can create and publish very compelling content with nothing more complex than a web browser.
"The point is not that these are professional level production tools, but that the barrier of entry to content creation can be drastically low. And you should find a new mode of creativity when the tool have some limits as to what they can do-- and find that the core of the story is much more important than a widget."
Jim Lerman's insight:
This is Alan Levine's classis wiki from 2007, most recently updated in May, 2013. The site links to, names, and briefly describes more than 50 web 2.0 tools to use and share with students for many forms of storytelling. Be sure to check oout the "New Tools to Be Added" link in the navigation bar. It goes to a page containing tools that Levine is still considering for addition to his list. Readers may suggest tools to add as well.