Fabrice’s newsletter #9

Memo 1: Can A Story Be A Platform?

I write commentaries through essays and philosophy designed to inspire you deeply to greater heights. I also write 500 word Memos on the future of the fiction publishing industry, storytelling, entertainment, tech and media.

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Hey all,

I’ve added a new track. In addition to the commentaries around philosophy, I am writing a series of short memos around 500 words on the storytelling and fiction publishing industry, media, tech and entertainment and how I see its evolving in 2021 and beyond. They will be brief, I promise. Here’s the first one.

memo 1
: can a story be a platform?

Essentially, yes. This is a growing trend in the media & fiction publishing space. 

It’s also a trend that has existed for centuries actually, but now it's been amplified through the rise of telecommunications technologies from cellphones devices, the rapidity of access to the internet to the production of films. 

When readers connect to stories that fiction authors produce, they enter into a shared world with others. A shared imaginary. There’s this continual exchange of meaning between people and whomever the story reaches. Stories can change people. It can transform them to new heights and many experience them in different ways. Stories can hold the ideas whose time has come for them. Stories can sweep the human minds and hearts towards its evolution and entertainment. 

Today, if these fiction stories can hold a resonance to what is happening to a particular part of the broader society, a particular type of person or simple can be told very well, a lasting  ‘fandom’ is created. 

This fandom is the platform of the story. Often, as a result it becomes increasingly possible to transfer and transform that media asset that is the story to other multimedia mediums of today. 

This really ensures the artist's creativity and visions of their work can hold the greatest reach to impact even new consumers found in these other forms. 

Major Media companies of today such as the book publisher Penguin Random House, the streaming platform Netflix and now Disney + have all benefited from the power of using a story as a platform to engage its fandom. It’s a lifeforce and a marketplace.

New fandoms of a story creates built-in audiences which become attractive to larger media and publishing companies who want to partner and organize this fandom in a certain trajectory to reach new audiences and amplify the artist's voice.

As a consumer of fiction content, there is a world, and as I immerse myself into this world, I begin to identify with the set of characters, these characters grow with me as I grow and essentially I want to continue to see their stories unfold, see where they head, how they evolve, which new lands they will discover. I become a fan and a part of its fandom. The fandom is the ultimate talking head of a story. 

Readers enjoy reading an epic three part series science fiction book and wait each year for the next to come out. The more likely they will enjoy with great anticipation that same series and its characters in motion picture, in gaming, in animation, in visual and illustrate graphic novel. Stories are indeed platforms. They always have. The best ones span decades to even centuries onward with old myths found across the world. 

A challenge remains, how do these modern stories transition to different multimedia forms? 

It's archaic at best. Those forms of transformation are most likely centralized and very top down. As a result the content and the soul of the characters you fell in love might not never ever be the same. Of if they bring on the right talent that connects to the original creators, something magical may happen.

There are clear gatekeepers that enable such transformations. We know the publishing world holds many challenges for BIPOC and underrepresented writers already, then imagine how many of those creatives are left out of multimedia creativity? 

Can this be replicated from the bottom up? I think that is one of our hypothesis at Syllble.

Thanks as always for reading. If you want drop me a note fabrice@syllble.com

In good spirit,