English: What are the elements of a digital narrative?


When you’re building your story, here are some angles to attack from.

Normally we write more of an introduction here, but that opening line really nailed what this article is about, so off you go to the subheads section…

It’s important to have a point

Back in primary school you could get away with stories that were like “John was a dog. He had a hat. I love John.” These days, we’re getting sophisticated and using our digital narratives to make a point, or at least express a specific point of view. Before you start, think about what you’re trying to say. When they finish it, what should your audience be thinking?

Speaking of… having an audience in mind is one of the best ways to keep your project on track. Picture telling the same story to your teacher and your best mate. You’d be using very different language, and choosing different parts of the story to emphasise or leave out. Creating a digital narrative is the same – have an idea in your head of who you want it to speak to.

Voice is one of your key tools

We mean this in two different ways. In a literal sense, using a voice-over adds extra layers to your project beyond the written word. Imagine a story about deforestation: the same words will take on different meaning if read by a 15-year-old girl or an 80-year-old man, right? The other meaning of “voice” is more like “the way you tell the story”. Go back to the paragraph above that starts with “Normally…” What does it say about the article you’re about to read?

Work the soundtrack

In addition to voice, music and sound effects can add a fresh dimension to your story. If you’re into podcasts, you’ll know a lot of them do things like leave in the sound of a phone ringing before an interview. Have a look at the images you’re using, and see if there’s an aural way to bring them to life – like the sound of a rumbling storm, dogs barking in the distance or people singing. And, of course, you can use music to create a mood, like they do in… uhh… every movie and TV show ever.


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What to eat during last-minute study sessions

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