This is the most important step in the storytelling process. The reflection by the storyteller brings the most rewards and must be done in order to create an effective story. While creating and reflecting upon your memories, never lose sight of the most important part of the story: yourself. Always come back to your thoughts and feelings, your experiences and most important: where you are placed in this story and in your history. Remember that your story is personal, meaning that no one else has this story. How you experienced an event is unique to you. Stories need to be told in order to preserve all history, including your point of view. This also means that there is no correct way to tell your personal story. But, there are ways to tell an effective story.
When thinking about creating your story you first need to ask yourself questions, in order to start their reflection process. Begin to think about your desires in life and struggles you have faced. When you have selected a moment or event you want to tell ask yourself questions.
Why is the story important to you? What are you looking for in your story? What do you want to hear? Why do you want tell your story? Why now? Who’s it for? How does this story show who you are? How does this story show why you are who you are? Form the answers to these questions into statements, such as I have been, I am becoming, I am and I will be.
Realize that there may be many questions you come upon that do not know how to answer. The storytelling process is challenging so take your time going through your story when reflecting. Other times you may come across questions that you may not want to answer. This makes the storytelling process overwhelming. But the more you think about these questions, the more you will begin to realize why you don’t want to answer to question and what it means to finally be able to ask yourself those hard questions.
Placing Yourself in History
When thinking and coming up with your story, never lose sight of where you are in the story — what your thoughts, feelings and reactions are. To help the audience realize your story, think about as many details as you can that might help in telling your story. Many stories become journeys. Realize the listener needs to know all the key details needed to understand your point of view without getting lost in the details. It is your point of view that you want to convey and get across to the listener. Ask yourself questions: what do you see? What do you hear? What is being said? What are your feelings? What are your surroundings? What are the key details the audience needs to know to follow your story?
Once you realize your story, reflect upon it, think about where you are in your story. Do you see yourself as the victim or the survivor? Do you see yourself as the hero or the villain? As you think about your story and yourself, reposition yourself, and recreate your history and your story.
For more information on this topic, please see:
Digital Storytelling Manual: http://dsi.kqed.org/index.php/workshops/about/C66/
Story Center Manual: http://www.storycenter.org/cookbook.pdf
Aline, Gubrium. “Digital Storyteling: An Emergent Method for Health Promotion Research and Practice.” Health Promotion Practice 10.2 (2009): 186-91.