Inspiration

What it does

With encouragement from an intelligent agent, like Amazon Alexa, you can easily become a Master StoryTeller, creating well organized narratives dramatically retold using expressive voices, sound effects and music that evokes an emotive response from your listeners. Save your stories to your private library, and play them again and again.

Choose alternate readings using a variety of narrative voices, characterizations, colloquial accents and audio effects to make each story you create a personal masterpiece. Story Teller is ready to capture your creativity anytime, anywhere you have an Alexa-enabled device.

Once you've perfected your library of original stories, share your best work in contests and expositions where the most compelling entries are reviewed for a chance at making our Best-Stories list, as determined by our panel of experts, and 'liked' by a community of supportive StoryTellers just like you.

Your words, your adventures and all the glory await!

How I built it

StoryTeller is build using node.js, implementing the Alexa SDK and runs on Amazon's Lambda serverless platform. It also integrates several NPM modules and PLSv1.0 Lexicons which provide a broad array of character voices as a resource to help bring life to original narratives. To complete the experience, a large collection of licensed audio effects and instrumental music are available, and are contextually inserted into storylines when StoryTellers complete and publish their work.

Challenges I ran into

Getting multiple character voices to play in one session, other than Alexa's own voice was a challenge, as well as concurrently playing audio tracks for dramatic effect with computerized spoken voices. Overlapping voices remain a challenge, but one I believe will soon be overcome.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Developing colloquial Lexicons using the PLSv1.0 facility in Amazon Polly was quite interesting and cool, and in the process I learned a great deal about regional speech variation in English for North America. The addition of digital PLSv1.0 Lexicons allows the dozen or so English voices integrated into Amazon Polly to functionally equal a far larger number of characters, limited only by how many of the Lexicons Amazon Polly can tolerate during the story build process.

What I learned

I learned that good enough is actually better, when it comes to getting product out there and in use by people who care about the end result. The feedback they provide is far more extensive and practical than any I can imagine in my own philosophy.

What's next for StoryTeller

I'm only one guy, and while the idea is good, it won't go far without other cool people to help. So here I am, humbly asking for interested coders, who like the concept, can work well with others, and feel the need to contribute to something that could grow up to be much, much bigger than it is now. Whatever your level, its a good way to get familiar with some great technology, and to discover the how the agile process and design patterns help turn a code respository into useful product.

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