The Herbalist’s Journey
For my Transmedia Storytelling group assessment – i.e three narratives delivered via a simulated podcast entitled, ‘Many Lives, Many Stories’ – I wrote two stories.
The first was a personal memoir regarding my experiences of living and adapting to Australian life as an overseas student. The second was a short biography of my grandfather’s life in China and Hong Kong.
One of the group challenges was to keep to a particular podcast theme. I wrote two stories, as I first believed that autobiographies were to be the podcast’s subject. Then I wrote the second when a preference for biographies emerged.
The finished podcast resulted in two biographies and one personal memoir. This posed no real problem as to theme, as both types of nonfiction writing styles are related. We rewrote and re-recorded the podcast host’s introduction and conclusion to reflect a program about both biographies and autobiographies. However, if we were all clear as to project’s goal, we could have saved valuable time.
Our limitation regarding this was in not having more group meetings to make sure all members were working towards the same aim. We had a Zoom meeting near the beginning of the project and thereafter communicated intermittently via Facebook Messenger, especially in the last week of the project. We should have had enough meetings to make sure there was no confusion as to the project’s purpose.
While writing one’s own narrative, creating the accompanying audio-visuals and delivering the individual finished product, (with agreed upon group guidelines), is the province of the storyteller, the overall finished project should be a creative collaboration which takes place in a final group meeting.
However, members’ busy schedules meant that the final concept in terms of threading the different components of the podcast together, fell to one member, who was in phone and email contact with the others while doing so. A not ideal and stressful event.
Finally, it took me a long time to write Pak’s story and record it. As English is my second language and I have a heavy accent, I had to re-record some parts of the audio several times to make my pronunciation clear. Even so there are a couple of words in the voice-over that are not quite right correct. However, the meaning will be understood by the listener.
The accompanying family photographs and historical pictures supported the audio and added to the story’s context and were worth the time invested to find them.
Overall, the process of group collaboration, the actual writing and producing of the story and the making of the podcast were a valuable learning experience which I believe created a worthwhile finished result.