As digital media become more a part of our lives, I wonder how technology will affect the standard written-text story. We have the capacity to tell stories through video and audio, and we've had that for decades, and yet text has persisted. Ebooks will give us the ability to interact with narrative (to choose different endings, perhaps?) and to incorporate multimedia (e.g., click on a song title mentioned in the text and hear the song). But I wonder if that will really enhance the reading experience. It's easy to pile bells and whistles onto a text without really adding anything to the meat of the story. It's like decorating a cake with a zillion icing squiggles just because you have a cool icing tool. Does it make the cake taste better?
two possible paths. One is that text will remain durable, that people
will still want the experience of reading words and generating the story
in their heads, and they won't want a lot of adornments distracting
from the text. The other is that people will find meaningful ways to
incorporate the multimedia experience into a text; ways that are
essential to the story and not just whiz-bang decorations. It's also
possible that both of these things will happen. A big question is: have
we been using words just because they were all we had, or is there
something the written word can do that no other medium can do?
is a special way of telling a story--a way I love, both as a reader and
a writer. It may or may not persist. But story-telling has always been
with us in one form or another, and I believe it will always be with us,
no matter how we tell those stories.