About the Course

This course is described as the study of “[n]onlinear, multi-linear, and interactive narrative using elements of creative writing such as character, dialog, setting, plot and image” (WSU Catalog).  But I have a loftier vision for the course:  to produce a new generation of storytellers who are able to utilize the affordances of new technologies for the development of effective narratives.

I also have three goals for the course.  I want you to 1) Understand the nature of storytelling, 2) be aware of the ways digital medium can influence strategies for telling stories, and 3) develop effective stories for a variety of digital contexts

At the end of this course, you will be able to answer these questions:

  1. What is a story?

  2. Where does the need to tell stories generate from?

  3. What are the elements of storytelling?

  4. What forms have storytelling taken in the past? 

  5. What are current forms?

  6. What is different and unique about storytelling in various mediums?

  7. What does it take to tell a great story in an electronic environment?

Immersive Environments

Electronic Literature

Locative Narratives

Thumb Novels

Some Storytelling Genres We Will Explore

Online Graphic Novels

Game Narratives

Our Media

Course Materials

Downloadable Syllabus

Downloadable Course Information

War of the Worlds

  1. H. G. Wells’ novel

  2. Orson Welles’ radio broadcast

Online Sources

  1. “What is Electronic Literature,” by N. Katherine Hayles

  2. “Mediums”

  3. Brothers Grimm’s “Little Red Riding Hood”

  4. The Electronic Literature Organization Directory

  5. Various other work on CD, DVD, and online


  1. War of the Worlds (1953, 2005)

Electronic Literature

  1. Kate Pullinger and babel’s Inanimate Alice, Episode 1

  2. Thom Swiss’ “Shy Boy”

  3. Donna Leishman’s “Red Riding Hood”

Mobile Stories

  1. Birdie DJ’s A Love of Flowers & Lace

  2. Stef’s Sarah Zero

Interesting Articles

  1. Keitai Shosetsu, from Hearing Voices, 11-10-09

  2. TextNovel, a place to publish your “thumb novel, or “cellphone novel”

Required Texts

Digital Storytelling by Carolyn Handler Miller, $40

Literary Terms by Beckson and Ganz, $16.00

A variety of free works found online

Issues to Explore

Narrative structure, elements of fiction, rhetorical conventions, genre, adaptations, performance-based literature, interactivity, adventure games, sequential and nonsequential storytelling, electronic literature, geotagging, and storyboarding, media convergence, & more