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Published:May 8th, 2008 19:42 EST
Media Is The Masses: Together, But Separate Narration

Media Is The Masses: Together, But Separate Narration

By Sean Stubblefield

Narrative fictions are microcosmic bubbles containing alternate realities and parallel universes. Metaphysical worlds within worlds, criss-crossing each other like wadded up string. There are strings attached to any story, a kind of interconnecting web of associated content, linking them to other stories and/or the real world.

Every story is part of and connected with other stories overlapping and intersecting. All stories refer to/ draw from sources outside themselves. Contemporary New York need not be re-invented for a NY based fiction. A story mentioning Santa Claus taps into and incorporates everything we know about Santa-- and therefore every story we`ve heard about him elsewhere. Seemingly unrelated, that story pulls another story into itself in order to be told. The Santa character doesn`t need to be introduced or explained to us each time, because we`re already familiar with him from other stories. A Star Trek novel doesn`t need to describe the environs of a starship or the details of starship life because those people reading already know from watching the TV shows. We already know what it`s like inside The Enterprise, and so no story time need be wasted re-describing that.

And if something is included or referenced which we do not know or are unfamiliar with, we are presented with an opening into other stories, if we choose to investigate further. A quote from Nietzsche might lead us to read more by or about him.

Separate stories may also share/ extend narration, co-narrating with small parts telling different portions/ aspects of a larger whole.

Something happening with Batman in an issue of Detective Comics could be carried over into and effect an issue of Robin or Justice League.

The Batman mythos has been developed through comics, movies, animation, novels, fan films, video games, toys. In a sense, action figures and toys are another way to continue the narrative outside its original venue.

Cross media story telling has become more prevalent, also being utilized as marketing platforms, in which stories initially/ primarily introduced in one media format are continued/ expanded in other media forms.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer ran seven years on TV, continuing as a comic book for season 8. Stories from one series may cross over ? into its spin-off companion series, with two different series being used to tell one story arc.

The nature of a spin-off requires sharing narrative elements. Because Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures all inhabit the same narrative reality, they inevitably merge and involve some of each other`s material.

Star Trek: Next Generation and Deep Space 9 evolve their narrative canon continuity from TV/movies to novels.

The Matrix universe elaborated from the films into comics, animated short films, and video games.

Battlestar Galactica expounded on its TV story with brief internet webisodes.

LOST and The 4400 incorporated an alternate reality game and webisodes.

Buffy and Stargate were movies, before they became TV series.

Stargate and Farscape ended their stories as TV series, but continued in movies.

Clearly, multiple possibilities for narrative cross-pollination.


Currently based in Houston Texas, Sean Stubblefield graduated Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Television Production. A philosopher poet, Stubblefield has been writing non-fiction for 15 years, and has penned eight books to date. His first book, Paradox: A Journey Inside Out is available today.


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