My Cousin is Not a Hero
: "But it’s not fiction, it’s real life. It’s the night of his dad’s funeral and we’re standing there together, and neither of us is a hero. Neither of us is on an epic journey... Our plot points are weird ones, and our stories don’t add up to some amazing narrative of personal growth and enlightenment — but they do matter, because they’re ours." [more inside]
Since the first stirrings of the Nieman Foundation’s narrative writing program nearly 20 years ago, the staff has tended a treasure trove of resource material devoted to excellence in journalistic storytelling. Much of that material went online first via the Nieman Narrative Digest and, in 2009, here at Nieman Storyboard. Storyboard 75 represents some of the most popular posts from our archive so far.
Essays, interviews, how-to’s and analyses of narrative journalism
A SPOOKTACULAR ADVENTURE -
Alex Roberts' charming mostly-ghostly obscenity-laden, Choose Your Own Adventure game is just filled to bursting with spooks, ooks, and skeletons.
Sarah Polley, previously
, is a Canadian actress and director whose new documentary Stories We Tell
is about her own family's story
. Or stories
. And how storytelling shapes us
Sarah Polley's Meta Masterpiece [more inside]
She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants,"
an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
"You are a cat.
You don’t know your name, or where you are, or how you got there. You are sitting on a pile of clothes that smell familiar, and the room around you is quiet and dark." So begins A Stray In The Woods
, an online collaborate comic/illustrated interactive fiction about being an amnesic cat. Take control of the story by suggesting things for the cat to do
. [via mefi projects
"If you strung all of the opening scenes
from the various seasons
[of Breaking Bad
] together in chronological order, would the show's basic narrative make sense?" [more inside]
"I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today," posits game designer Steve Gaynor. Responses and rebuttals
. [more inside]