«Transmedia» è una buzzword e sembra che qualsiasi cosa resa transmediale possa diventare virale in un attimo. Ma la narrazione dov’è finita? Quando hai creato Sophie, per il tuo Staying Single, è stato più per il bene della narrazione o per marketing?

È stato sicuramente per il bene della narrazione, perché Sophie era il mio personaggio principale. Non avevo realmente una strategia quando ho iniziato quel progetto. Ho solo provato a far vivere Sophie in quante più piattaforme potessi. Alla fine del progetto, ho trovato due forum che i lettori avevano creato per conto loro per parlare della storia. Ho capito che ero troppo autoritaria.

Sophie era decisamente il cuore della storia. Ogni tipo di marketing che è venuto dal personaggio, è venuto in modo virale e organico. Che per me è la cosa migliore.

A proposito di tecniche di scrittura, cambia qualcosa tra un romanzo tradizionale e uno transmediale? Ci sono dei consigli che vorresti dare ai giovani autori?

Cambia molto. I miei primi romanzi erano libri tradizionali. Non avevo bisogno di ascoltare cosa i lettori pensassero, non avevo bisogno di considerare troppo la mia storia. Scrivere qualcosa di transmediale significa che devi conoscere molto di più del tuo mondo e dei tuoi personaggi. È quello che chiamiamo iperdiegesi: ciò che mostriamo nel creare una storia è solo la punta dell’iceberg. C’è molto al di sotto che non mostriamo. J.K. Rowling l’ha fatto con Harry Potter.

Per uno scrittore il mio consiglio sarebbe quello di prendersi il giusto tempo per capire il mondo, capire i personaggi e avere un forte tema centrale per la storia. Anche perché senza un forte nucleo, nel viaggiare attraverso le piattaforme, la storia tende a indebolirsi.

Sappiamo che dobbiamo avere una grande storia per fare un buon progetto transmediale. Quali sono qualità di una buona storia per un buon progetto transmediale?

Non tutto è adatto a essere reso transmediale. Se hai una storia che pensi debba essere sviluppata in più di un libro, per poter creare un mondo più grande, se vuoi narrare la storia da differenti prospettive, puoi aggiungere un libro dalla prospettiva di un altro personaggio, una intera web series che dà la stessa storia da un’altra prospettiva, ma qualcosa che funziona già come un solo film, un solo libro, non deve essere necessariamente reso transmediale. Occorrono buoni personaggi, un buon conflitto e un buon tema centrale.

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Transmedia is a buzzword now, and it seems that making something transmedia could be a great way to go viral. When you created Sophie for your Staying Single, was it more for the sake of fiction or for marketing?

It was definitely for the sake of fiction, and because she was my central character. I didn’t really have a strategy when I did that project. That was part of my master’s degree and I just tried to let Sophie live as many platforms as she could. There were a lot of platforms I chose that were just completely dead, nobody visited. There are others where I’d created forums where I wanted people to speak to Sophie and they were dead despite me going in in different voices and trying to get people to talk. Near the end of the project, I found two forums that the readers had set up on their own where they were talking about the story. So I learned that I was a little too bossy: that I was trying to tell them where to talk. So Sophie was definitely the heart of the story. Any marketing that came from her character, came quite virally, quite organically. Which for me was the perfect scenario.

Speaking of writing technique, does it change something between a traditional fiction and a transmedia one? Are there any advices would you give to young authors?

It does change a lot. My first three novels was straight books and I didn’t need to listen what the readers thought about them. I didn’t need to consider so much about my story. Writing something with a transmedia heartbeat to it means that you need to know a lot more about your storyworld and your characters. And there is something called hyperdiegesis which means when you create a story-world, and all you show is the very tip of the iceberg, and there’s low down beneath that you don’t show. And JK Rowling did that with Harry Potter. She said that there’s a lot of the world that she created that she still hasn’t shown. So my tip would be take the time to understand your world, understand your characters and to have a very strong core theme to your story. Because as it travels across platforms, it does become weaker if you don’t have that core theme.

We are aware that we must have a great story behind in order to make a good transmedia project. What are the qualities of a great story for a good transmedia project?

The quality of a great story for a transmedia project. Not everything is suited to go transmedia and I don’t think that everything should try to be applied. But if you’ve got a story where you feel you can build it out to more than one book, or where you can build the world to be wider than just one little snap-shot of the character’s life… if you feel you can tell the story from different perspectives, so you may have a book from one character’s perspective, a whole web series that gives the same story from another character’s perspective… but some things are just meant to be one movie, one book and not to try to apply transmedia technique, to everything. But good conflict, good core theme, and the premise that you can build a world are things that I would look for.

Our life is a transmedia experience, said someone. But are there any stories that can’t be translated? And what are the elements that a story must have to be “transmedia”?

It’s a good point. Funnily people say to me “I write documentary, I write non-fiction. How can I apply transmedia to that?” And I say, “You know, there are museums that actually are using transmedia techniques to bring their artifacts to life… and sometimes non-fiction and documentary the facts are already there. You can Wikipedia or Google the historical story behind something or some place. So I think that, to say what I said before, to know that you have a strong story, a good core theme, but that you can build it out beyond one thing. It can be built to a wider world. Lots of opportunities for immersion, lots of opportunities for extraction – where people can jump in and swim around in the story for a bit, and also where people can take parts of the story and pull it out, and they can actually own parts of the story.

Photos by Matteo Piselli, www.ibridodigitale.com

Un pensiero su “[ENG – ITA] TEDxTransmedia – An interview to Alison Norrington

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