A New Genre of Story

Given the innovation in technology and the means by which people consume information, you might think that new forms of storytelling would emerge on a regular basis. Perhaps the opposite is true. We’ve adapted to YouTube channels publishing content such as unboxing videos but there’s no story. Much of it seems more like a carefully crafted series of videos designed to get people to pay attention just long enough to sell ad space.

The Social Media Reality Urban Fantasy: There’s Nothing Like It

Eternal Brink falls into several categories of storytelling genres, although none of them truly capture the unique and original nature of this new format.

There are three key parts that converge which make Eternal Brink the first example of a social media reality urban fantasy. It’s a new style of serialized comic story.

(1) Urban Fantasy

According to Wikipedia, a “contemporary fantasy, also known as modern fantasy or indigenous fantasy, is a subgenre of fantasy, set in the present day. It is perhaps most popular for its subgenre, urban fantasy.”

An urban fantasy is a fantastic narrative where most of the story takes place in a city. The Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series is the leading exemplar of the genre.

(2) Reality

Eternal Brink is literally an on-going story that serves as a layer on my life. Imagine Buffy being an actual person, attending school by day and hunting vampires at night. That is one of the most unique and original aspects of this story. I am literally living this life. That leaves several unique possibilities during the storytelling period, such as these:

The story can pivot and change as I go. While the foundation is there and the end has already been written, the year or so that it will take to tell the tale can adapt and change. For example, early on, I had planned a trip to Toronto by train. As such, I worked that visit into the story.

Anyone Can Participate
Any reader can be part of the story. People can literally send photos in and write themselves into the story. If it fits, they could become a part of it.

Anyone Can Guide The Story
Some of the story’s direction could come from readers. Short of taking votes or offering a choose-your-own-adventure style, as an author, I can read comments and act on them accordingly.

This Is My Life: Scripted and Unscripted
This really is my life as I’m living it right now. They keep calling me. What will I do to make it stop? People could get in touch and ask me how bad my dreams are getting. They could offer suggestions to get over the dreams which could come into the story. This would be done without breaking the fourth wall. I used to love the Foursquare app because it added a layer of amusement to the things in my life that I was doing anyways. Eternal Brink has the same kind of feel. I try to keep the staged aspects to a minimum as best I can. The story is based on real people, almost in real time.

(3) Social Media

People tell stories in social media but not quite like this. Eternal Brink makes use of Instagram as its primary social media platform, with the content being published on this website after being posted. Several aspects of this unique approach include the following:

Post-by-post Format
The post-by-post storytelling format is unique. Prior to Eternal Brink, no one had created a longterm story of this kind.

One of the inherent points of successful social media platforms is its two-way communicative nature. That means that readers can comment on the story, get clarity (from other readers or the author), and even influence its direction.