It's in the detail

Multiplatform Fiction – So What’s The Story?

October 28th, 2012 by Catharine Ashdown


Multiplatform fiction delivers a common story across different media and digital platforms (TV, mobile, online, social media, gaming), with each platform making its own unique contribution to the unfolding drama.

Different story elements are coordinated across these platforms to engage the audience in a unified and immersive entertainment experience.

So far, so theoretical. But what does it mean in practical terms for the screenwriter?

The good news, firstly, is that no one is suggesting that every TV idea or film concept automatically lends itself to a multiplatform or transmedia format. Or that giving your project a digital extension increases its chances of being commissioned. If anything, it’s the opposite:

Multiplatform commissioning isn’t a TV idea plus digital content. It’s an idea that includes TV.  (Richard Davidson-Houston, Channel4 online)

What multiplatform fiction demands then, of the screenwriter, is a bit more in the way of lateral thinking. A 360 degrees angle look at those early choices – in particular of genre and setting – with the aim of creating not a finite story, but an entire ‘storyworld’.

A storyworld is a world under pressure… For a storyworld to work, it must boil and bubble with its own internal combustion. *

A world accessible on a variety of levels and platforms, each of which offers the audience its own rewards. And for the writer? Multiplatform is a wander off the traditional screenwriting path. A step towards understanding your work in terms of ‘content creation’, which may lead to new project ideas and collaborations in the process.


Sources & Further Reading:

* The Storyworld Pressure Cooker by Mike Jones

Possible Futures For Storytelling 

Transmedia Storytelling



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One Response

  1. Krish

    Nice post Catharine.

    This area is SO interesting and ripe with potential. I’ve just published a free report about developing Multiplatform for TV – it’s here:


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