Digital Storytelling: A Tutorial in 10 Easy StepsExpert tips on creating a polished, professional digital videoBy:J.D. LasicaOctober 2, 2006Digital storytelling is a craft that uses the tools of digital technology to tell stories about our lives. Doneproperly, storytelling can be a powerful, evocative, and emotional way of communicating themes andstories, often touching us in deeper ways than one-dimensional videos that rarely probe beneath the surfaceof people's lives.The best such stories are at once both personal and universal. Storytellers may decide to create a workmeant to be seen only by a few family members, but increasingly they're sharing their stories online with awider community. It's remarkable how often these small snippets of life appeal to millions of us looking formeaning beyond the facile, artificial stories found on network television. In fact, we're discovering that weall have stories to tell.Digital stories come in all sizes and shapes, from a simple video blog that recounts an interesting episode toa more sophisticated treatment that follows a narrative arc and relies primarily on images and foundmaterials.To create a polished digital story, it's best to sign up for a digital-storytelling workshop, which can last froma few hours to several days and generally costs a modest tuition fee. However, not everyone in everycountry can attend such a hands-on workshop, so the steps below should enable you to create your story.(Of course, feel free to take shortcuts if you need to.)I was first introduced to digital storytelling by two masters of the craft, Joe Lambert and Nina Mullen, whorun theCenter for Digital Storytellingin Berkeley, California. Below are some tips culled from theirworkshop, from Lambert's book "Digital Storytelling," from another inspiring workshop run by Leslie Ruleof KQED's Digital Storytelling Initiative (and a member of theOurmediaBoard of Advisors), and from myown observations among the family of digital storytellers.Step 1: Decide on the Story You Want to TellYou probably already have a person or subject in mind. Think small. Focus. Don't get caught uptrying to convey all the aspects of someone's life - you're not writing the great American novel,you're creating what will optimally be a three- to five-minute work that recounts a personal taleand reveals a small truth.What form should your story take? In their decade of leading workshops, Lambert and Mullen listthese main varieties of digital stories:The story about someone important.Character stories center on a person who'stouched you in a deep way. Often, these stories reveal as much about the narrator as aboutthe subject of the piece. Memorial stories pay tribute to someone who passed on but left alasting impression.