Types of Stories


The interviewing process can be performed as a one- or multi-person exercise. Questions can be asked by a friend or questions can be asjed by yourself.

A good source of questions for interviewing can be found at: http://storycorps.org/diy/great-questions/

Here are some tips for the interviewer, taken from Story Corps, a non-profit organization founded on propelling the idea of digital storytelling:

1.) Have questions already in mind. Memorize them so you can sustain eye contact throughout the interview.

2.) Let the interviewee finish their thoughts. Interruptions can cause people to loose their train of thought. Let them tell you they are finished with answering a question before moving on.

3.) Be flexible. As you are listening to the interviewee other questions may arise. Feel free to ask different questions than researched. Ask for more detail on responses from the interviewee.

4.) Be respectful of the interviewee. Realize there may be painful memories if the questions are related to a traumatic event. Take your time with the interviewee and let them decide how much information they would like to give.

Personal Stories

Personal stories can be anything from stories about someone important in your life, stories of events in your life, stories about places in your life, stories about who you are, recovery stories, love stories, discovery stories.

Community Histories

Community Histories are personal stories that you have about your community. The stories can be histories of your community relating to your own personal experiences or community member profiles who you have met in your life.

The story at http://firstpeoplesnewdirections.org/blog/?p=672 is an example of the thought process used to develop the story of a community history. This is a blog of a man’s book about his history of the Hualapai Nation community. Here he describes his book and the questions he examined at to write his story. He chose specific events to talk about in order to preserve and tell the story of this nation. Always remember to bring your community story back to yourself and your personal experiences.

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

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