Doctor Who and the Power of Stories

Mrs. J in the Library

Collette J., or Mrs. J in the Library, is a full-time elementary teacher-librarian, blogger, and mama from Pennsylvania. She loves technology, books in any format, makerspaces, and all things Harry Potter. The information and opinions represented here are my own and are not the views and opinions of any business or organization.

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3 Responses

  1. I agree whole-heartedly, that in the end it is about excellent stories. I would go even further in saying we crave narrative as it helps us organize our minds. At the end of the day, whether the story comes to us orally, by book, e-book, comic or even stained-glass, the most important interface is our own mind. The rest is a means to an end.

    That said, sometimes an excellent story is not necessary, as creatures of narrative, as story-craving (almost Whovian) monsters, we put narratives into situations even when there is none and thus often make the excellent stories for ourselves. The research project I am currently working on is a digital attempt to engage the story maker in all of us, to discover the narrative we wish to tell. An old teacher of mine once said that a good story works for its holes, and I believe that these holes often allow us to further engage in the work by allowing us to complete it for ourselves, filling in with our imaginations what we perceive as missing. I think Umberto Eco talks about this in his book, “The Open Work”.

    What interests me about the narrative in so many video games is that they show us an aspect of storytelling that is often overlooked and that is as ancient as Homer. In a video game we are the Hero, literally, where as, in the case of The Doctor, he is our agent in the world that he inhabits. His experience is our experience. Is it any wonder we cry when that experience ends?

    Thanks for your thoughts,

    Ian McDonald

    • Collette J. says:

      Yes, I agree about humans craving narrative as a way of organizing our minds and making sense of the world around us, and I believe that’s one reason print books will endure in some form or another (along with the many other formats). I disagree, however, about a good story that “works for its holes.” Perhaps it’s because I see so much junk coming from traditional and self-publishing these days, but I think we really should have very high standards for ourselves as readers. If a story isn’t working for me, no matter how well reviewed or how many friends recommend it, I just ditch it. A story should speak to a reader, and to do that, the author’s story needs to be clearly communicated and understood.

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