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Multimedia Stories Are The Future Of Fiction

For as long as I can remember, I've loved reading and writing. Some of my fondest memories involve my adventures with Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Nancy Drew. But my sister is experiencing this through Commaful and multimedia stories.

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Stumbling across Commaful from my sister

For as long as I can remember, I've loved reading and writing. Some of my fondest memories involve my adventures with Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Nancy Drew.

This year, I graduated college and the last time I read a full novel was in high school, five years ago. I didn't even finish the assigned readings in my college English classes. It makes me embarrased even writing that line. Back then, I'd read more fiction in a day than I have in the last 5 years combined.

Do I miss the days I spent snuggled in bed reading? Yes, absolutely. I actually have a bookshelf of books in my room that I have filled up slowly but surely over the yaers with books I promised myself I'd read.

But things get in the way....homework, boyfriend, family, work...life. I'm imagining the scene in the Toy Story movies where Andy, the kid, grows up and eventually leaves his favorite toys behind. That's exactly how I feel.

Last week, my little sister texted me a fictional story. Her only comment was an emoji of a monkey covering her eyes. Yes, this is the same sister that spends all day every day taking selfies and Snapchatting with her friends. The same one who's never even read Harry Potter (GASP I KNOW).

But after checking it out, I think I understood why. The stories had pictures. It felt like Snapchat. The stories suck you in. I read several stories after that one.

After doing a little research, I found that Commaful, the site my sister had sent me, was pioneering a new type of storytelling known as multimedia fiction.

I'm convinced that the future of fiction is in multimedia fiction. Here's why:

1. It got my sister to read

Believe me, this is kind of amazing. I never thought there'd be a day where my sister would willingly read. It's not the same kind of reading, but, hey, it's something!

2. Stories are bite-sized

From Cornelia Funke's story / Via commaful.com

While not all multimedia fiction needs to be short, the vast majority I saw were. In some cases, the pictures add important details and thus the writer can use fewer words. In any case, I found myself reading a lot more in my busy schedule. It feels a lot less intimidating to read the stories live on my phone and can be finished in 5 minutes.

3. Multimedia stories bring incredible variety

a screenshot of a dog story I found to commaful

In just the dozen stories I've read in the last week, I've already seen many creative spins using the multimedia format. Illustrated stories are my favorite ones so far but there aren't that many of them. It looks like this is very new and has a lot of room to grow with the future. I actually found one of my favorite authors had an illustrated story on the Commaful site (this one is the one I'm referring to).

I can imagine everything from Shakespeare to JK Rowling using multimedia fiction

It seems like it's still very new, but extremely promising. I could see magical renditions of existing classics like Shakespeare or Dante in this format, making these stories more exciting for teens to digest.

I could see authors like JK Rowling embracing this as a way to delight new and future generations to get them hooked into the Harry Potter books.

The possibilities seem endless. For now, I'll keep reading the stories that are available and watch this movement evolve.

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