How To Properly Integrate Video Into Fiction Digital Books

The chorus of skeptics continues to bleat about how textual fiction and fictional video don’t mix, won’t mix, can never mix, etc, etc.


It just hasn’t been done properly yet.

This requires thinking about storytelling in a new way.

Right now, even Vook hasn’t figured that out, so I’m compelled to do this post.

This is how the Embassy vook opens:


The embedded video is a dramatization of all of those sentences. In other words, it becomes a repeat.

A better way to open the vook would have been this:


Now that text stands on its own.

However, the best way to open the vook would have been this:


All of those sentences are edited out and the video takes their place. One is not competing with the other. They shouldn’t. It should be one or the other — not both.

After the break, I will display a piece of video that frames an entire television series. It tells a story in and of itself, not requiring a voice-over narration or other ham-fisted technique to get new viewers introduced to the series.

And because it’s a story in itself, it’s also the perfect illustration of how video should be incorporated into a digital book.

Many of you reading this will be familiar with this clip, but run it again anyway.

Now imagine that’s the opening video of a digital book. This is the key sequence at the end:

He regains consciousness.

The blind begins to rise …

… we see him, with his head still down …

… and he looks out.

What does he see? What’s out there?

That is where the text begins. That’s the rest of the story.

There are other methods for incorporating video into fiction, but this example should be sufficient for everyone to get an idea of a proper way to do it.

The rest I will keep for myself.

4 Responses to How To Properly Integrate Video Into Fiction Digital Books

  1. John Konopka says:

    Rather than competing with the text some video and audio could show up on another monitor or in the background to help immerse you into the scene. For example, in a novel set in the countryside the background video could be of a wide front porch looking out over the fields in the evening. Maybe you’d see fireflies glowing or bats racing by. The soundtrack would play the sounds of insects singing in the evening. Maybe the rumbling of a distant thunderstorm.

    I wouldn’t want anything directly related to the story. I think that would be distracting and, as you say, compete with the words. Definitely when the action picks up I’d want the video to become more low key. It would be nice if when I take a break from reading I can still stay immersed in the scene whether it be the seaside or a downtown park or coffee shop.

    I suspect this would be difficult to pull off. Some scenes would lend themselves to this better than others. The people taking the video would want to shoot something interesting. It is difficult to focus on something which is essentially background. Might be difficult to get clean audio.

  2. Bradley Robb says:

    See, this is my primary argument against incorporating video into digital works of fiction – they typically don’t belong. Chances are, such inclusions are going to at the least break the flow the author has established and alter the POV being worked in.

    The only exception I can see is a story which integrates video as part of the narrative. Say, a newsflash that comes on television – such as the USA Trilogy by Dos Pasos – or one in which there is a great deal of video-based conversations. The second idea could be used as the reader would receive the exact same information as the character, the same level of insight and subtext and context clues, while saving the author a significant chunk of writing.

    But even that would seem kind of gimmicky.

  3. sugamari says:

    video removed by user boy that sucks more than anythng well almost youtube sucks worse when they remove sensitive stuff for buloney reasons

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