Find the story

Finding the story.

Once you’ve done your interview(s), it’s time to find the story.

There are lots of story possibilities. It doesn’t have to be a chronological account of someone's life. It can be about:

  • an object
  • an experience
  • an event
  • what the interviewee’s life is like now, how it was in their past, or both.

It might already be clear to you what the story is. However, if you’ve gathered a lot of material, particularly lengthy interviews, you might be overwhelmed about what to focus on.

If so, a good idea is to review your material. Listen to or watch interviews again, or read through notes you’ve taken, and ask yourself:

  • What was the most interesting part of this person’s story?
  • Did they say anything particularly heartfelt, or were they especially passionate about something?
  • Were there great quotes and anecdotes that stood out?
  • Did any themes emerge, such as family, friendship, identity, belonging?

Perhaps it's a recollection towards the end of the interview that you want to use for your digital history. Or maybe you will pick quotes from throughout the whole interview and weave them into a story based on a theme.

Will you give a brief overview of a longer story, or go into more detail about a smaller story?

Whatever you choose, remember that your digital history must not be longer than three minutes.

Once you know what the story will be about, go through all your material and put aside anything that is not relevant or suitable. You may still have a lot of material left, but that’s okay. You’ll do further editing in the next step, which is creating a storyboard.