Audience, Purpose/Goals, Choices
My audience is a large group of memoirists in their eighties and nineties. Some use word processors. Some handwrite their essays. Many have hearing and vision loss. Approximately twenty percent are interested in publishing their memoirs, especially for family members to read. The writers meet monthly to read their essays aloud. Occasionally, I present short writing seminars at the meetings; and I work with individual writers one-to-one, in person and through email and phone calls, between meetings.
The objective of this video is to help writers become comfortable enough with “multimodal writing” to consider expanding their efforts beyond print. The video is intentionally slow-paced and I hope easy to follow. I tried recording voiceover, but my reading complicated the viewing experience. Audience members will not be distracted by their own silent voices reading to background music.
I selected a relaxing sound track to allay anxiety about the subject matter. After experimenting with a variety of background colors, I used a bright white background on all slides, for consistency and to make colors stand out. After trying many combinations of special effects, I returned to the simple dissolve to minimize distractions. I added colors and used three fonts to make the text inviting to read; and I used cartoon-like presenters and audience members to add a lighthearted note.
I chose examples of non-digital multimodal texts familiar to my audience. Their knowledge of scrapbooking, quilting, and live performance gives them a quick way into the multimodal conversation. I introduced the idea of multimodal writing as an extension of what everyone already does. By defining a simple vocabulary and sticking to it, and by making direct comparisons between non-digital and digital multimodal texts I hope to inspire creativity and minimize confusion. Not all the memoirists will try digital multimodal writing; but non-digital projects will be fun too, for those who prefer not to use a computer.
I prepared the video and a downloadable PDF version of the video slides. The words and images in the PDF copy are large and easy to read. Having both versions available will help vision-impaired audience members. And, anyone who wants a hard copy to take away can have one.
Since the video is a brief introduction to multimodal writing, I can use it to advertise a new workshop to the whole community on our private CTV channel, which normally runs a slideshow loop of monthly announcements and some live feed of special events. Maybe more people will be inspired to join the writing group.
Flash Memoir Infographic