Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Using Transmedia For A Fiction Book

The Scarlet Letter may be a literary classic and even if the author is long dead that doesn't mean the story could not be expanded through using transmedia.

The book was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850 and the scene is set in Puritan Boston. It is about an extra-marital affair that results in an illegitimate baby, to which the woman is ostracized by society.

By today's standards, the subject is the perfect made-for-television movie or soap opera. There are a number of elements that can be expanded to add to the story to create a further understanding for the audience. 
  • What it was like to live in Puritan Boston
  • Sin
  • Adultery
  • Salem, Massachusetts (where the author was from)
  • The author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Biblical references
  • Adaptations of the story -- there are many
  • Hester Prynne, the heroine of the story
  • Pearl, Hester's illegitimate daughter
  • The letter "A" -- what Hester was sentenced to wear in public to label her an adulterous

In reading the book again for the first time (with fresh eyes), you can add a lot more to this list.

So how do you expand a story like this? Here are just a couple of ideas:
  • Post as Pearl in Snapchat or Instagram, perhaps using imagery of how she would view today's world, or what she would have witnessed in her own lifetime.
  • Post as Hester on Pinterest, creating boards of items that she would have been interested in.
  • Use Pinterest to expand on the elements listed above.
  • Spoofs and memes on the story.
  • YouTube channel readings, perhaps in different voices.

Any book, fiction or non-fiction, can be expanded by using different media to create unique content. It just takes a bit of creative brainstorming.