Allison Brandon

Final Project

For this assignment, I wanted to further develop the idea I had for my video Video/Audio Anecdote. I had an idea for that project that I was unable to complete due to time restraints but I wanted to still see the idea through in another format. The story is about a father and son who go on their first father-son camping trip, but the boy gets lost during the trip. I wanted to use Twine to tell the story from the father’s perspective and the son’s perspective. In using Twine, I was able to make it so the reader could choose which version of the story they wanted to read (the father or the son), or they could even switch back and forth and get both sides while the events take place. I would have liked to come up with another way to represent the different perspectives to make it more clear in a visual aspect instead of just writing which perspective it is at the top. Additionally, I would have liked to add some sound effects so you could have truly felt like you were in the story with them. I plan on adding these aspects when over the summer when I have more time but for this project I had too much going on that I unfortunately ran out of time. Other than that I am happy with the way I was able to present the story from both perspectives.

Here is the link to my Final Project:

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Final Project Idea

For my final project, I plan to further develop my Hypermedia Narrative which subsequently was also what my idea was for the Video/Audio Narrative project that I was not able to accomplish due to time restraints. With that being said, the basic idea of my story for the final project is a story about a father and son who go camping and the boy ends up getting lost. I will be telling this story using Twine which will allow me to allow the viewer to see the story unfold from both the father’s and the son’s perspectives. As events happen in the story there will be a variation of it from the father’s side and the boy’s side. The user will be able to interact with the story by deciding which point of view they would like to read the story. They have the option of switching back and forth between the son’s perspective and the father’s perspective as each thing happens or they can choose to just view the story from their perspective and read through it that way. Additionally, I want to include images throughout the story to help set the scene and put the reader in the mindset of the characters as we have seen done in some of the examples we looked at a few weeks ago. My goal with this is to get the readers immersed in the story in hopes that they can connect themselves to the story and the emotions felt by the characters.

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Story & Games

This week’s blog prompt was difficult for me to answer because I don’t play video games. Although I don’t play video games, my brother and friends love playing video games and I have spent some time watching them play in the past. Most of the games I have seen them play revolve around storytelling. The games I see them playing the most that appear to revolve around storytelling are Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. From what I know all of the Call of Duty games have storylines. As for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the game’s goals and challenges involve the player in uncovering or finding meaning in the narratives by the role/character that they are playing in the moment. In the game there are different missions that the player must complete. In the missions, the player will play different characters which pertain to the mission and what is unfolding in the narrative. Although I could be wrong because I have never played the game, I think that the narrative of the story works to immerse the player into the story world. Since the player is switching between characters as the missions are completed, it helps to carry on the narrative and immerse the player into the world by embodying/playing different characters pertinent to the current mission in the game. I think that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare works to engage the player’s emotions because the actions you make have consequences. In the game you must make quick decisions in the battlefield that will affect others, whether that be enemies, other members on your side, or innocent bystanders.

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Symbol, Index & Icon

After ready symbol, index, and icon and looking through the four works, I decided to discuss CityFish by J.R. Carpenter. I liked the way the author used symbols, indexes, and icons as a secondary way of telling the story. From my understanding of the reading, symbols, index, and icon, CityFish by J.R. Carpenter primarily uses indexes. Something I especially liked about this specific work and why I chose it over the others to discuss is how the indexes relate to the work so well that the indexes themselves can tell the story reasonably well if the words were taken away. The indexes used in this story kept me engaged and interested in reading the story because they helped me visualize specific components of what was happening in the story. In a way the use of the icons almost made me feel as if I was in the story by somewhat being able to see what the character was seeing. For my project, I want to utilize indexes in a similar way. I plan on using them for the most part to set the scene. I want the reader to connect with the story and feel as if they are right there with the characters. As of right now, I think I may do this primarily to set the scene. For example, using icons of trees when they arrive in a forest.

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Hpyertext and Hypermedia

I think that the three works we looked at can be considered stories, however, they don’t all align from a coherent point of view in my opinion. All three pieces tell a story in their own interactive ways. 

For me at least, I found How to Rob a Bank the most coherent, clear, and easy to follow. The way that the story was set up the characters, their development, and the plot was evident. I found the structure of this story to be linear which made it easy to comprehend. Unlike the other two stories all, you had to do as the reader was click the space bar to continue on with the story. The story was already laid out and there really is only one way to interpret the story and its outcome. 

As for My Boyfriend Came Back from the War, I found this story a little bit difficult to follow. There were a lot of options that you could click on, subsequently changing the way you read the story. I think that being able to explore a story in your own way by clicking on different text is something that keeps people engaged and interested in the story. 

Finally, for With Those We Love Alive, I think the story’s structure is very engaging. I like the way that it makes you feel like you are a part of the story. This story is very nonlinear, you are able to choose the actions you want to take and really be a part of the world and the development of the storyline

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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

When comparing the short film version of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge to the written short story I noticed a few differences. The main difference I noticed has to do with the backstory. In the written version of the story, there was an entire section dedicated to providing background about his life/who he is, and why he is being hanged. However, in the short film version of the story, we aren’t directly told anything about him or why is about to be hanged. At the beginning of the story, we are briefly shown a poster explaining why someone would be hanged. We are then able to connect this poster to the reason he is in the situation he is in. As for his background, we are able to infer things about him from his appearance, like the fact that he is a wealthy man.

As for the film techniques that successfully translated the effects in the short story, I think that pacing was a big one. At the begging of the film when Peyton is being set up to be hanged, it is moving very slowly and we are able to feel the built-up anticipation of his hanging that he must have been feeling as well. In addition, I think that the scene where he was falling into the water was shot and edited in a way that elevated the story. Prior to that scene, we were feeling the same anticipation he was feeling and then we were able to be immersed in the scene with him by seeing what it looked like from his perspective.

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Visual Narrative II


The story I chose to depict or attempt to depict in 5 photos is of my brother forming a snowball. Initially, I was going to use the 5 photos to show him preparing for a potential snowball fight by throwing the snowball. However, I decided to leave out the picture of the snowball being thrown to leave it up to the viewer to decide in their minds what he is doing with the snowball. Is he throwing just throwing it for fun? Is he throwing it at someone? Is he making a snowball as the start of a snowman? That said, I used what we learned about closure from last week’s reading. As for the panel-to-panel transitions, I used action-to-action progression for my transitions. I show the actions he takes in preparing to go outside followed by the actions it takes for him to make the snowball with him as the only subject featured in each shot.

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Visual Narrative I

After reading the chapters of Understanding Comics, one of the main aspects that stood out to me was when he discusses closure saying, “This phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole has a name. It’s called closure” (McCloud 63). I think that closure is something I will want to play with and explore more in the next visual narrative assignment. With the concept of closure, I think that often times when left with a gap we decided to use what we know to patch up the space and make it whole again. I like the idea of playing with this space and in some aspects of the story leaving little bits and pieces to be determined by the reader’s imagination. This also ties in with what he says about participation, stating, “Participation is a powerful force in any medium” (McCloud 69). I think that allowing room for the imagination/participation of the readers, makes the story more interesting and engaging for them.

Another aspect of the reading that stood out to me was the section about time frames. More specifically manipulating the shape of a panel with the purpose of representing a longer period of time. This is definitely something I want to incorporate into the next visual narrative assignment. I think that time is an important aspect that can add a lot to a story especially when it is a visual narrative. With visual narratives where text is kept on the minimal end, the use of time manipulation can add a lot to a story.

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5 Story Summaries

Classical Aristotelian 3-part structure: Lily, a young woman who just graduated from college with a degree in English doesn’t know what to do with her life now. Soon after she has graduated from college, she inherits money from her grandma. Lily has always been an adventure seeker and is in need of a newfound self-discovery when a family member passes away and she inherits a large sum of money. Lily sets off on a journey and a lot of the way she faces challenges meets new friends and uncovers a dark family secret. She is now faced with a difficult decision to make that will determine the future of herself and her family. Throughout her journey, Lily learns more about herself and beings to grow into the person she knows she is meant to be. Upon coming home, Lily is no longer clueless about what she wants to do with her life, she has everything all planned out after her eye-opening adventure.

Kishōtenketsu 4-part structure: A boy and a girl have been together all through high school and everyone thinks they are going to be together forever. However, the summer before their senior year, the girl has to move because her dad got a new job halfway across the country. They aren’t ready to give up on their relationship yet, so they try to make long-distance work. However, this did not last for long, they realized it was too difficult and they were too young and eventually, they stopped talking altogether. They have both moved on and are now getting ready to go off to college. Upon going to their first college party, by a stroke of luck (or fate) they run into each other. They have both changed a lot in the last year and spent all night catching up with each other. In the end, the couple gets back together and they are happier than they were before.

Episodic structure (at least 3 mini-stories under a main theme): This story will be based around Jake Sterling, a brilliant and tenacious detective. Each mini-story will follow Detective Sterling as he works on new cases. 

Mini-Story 1: “The Small Town Murder”

Detective Sterling is called out to help with a case in the small city of Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is a friendly town, where everyone knows each other and people feel safe like nothing could ever happen there. However, something terrible has happened in this small town. The mayor’s wife was found dead in their home. The mayor has recently upset the people in the city because he is trying to bring chain restaurants/fast food places into their small town full of family-owned businesses. To make matters worse, his affair has also just been exposed so there are plenty of suspects. Detective Sterling must unravel the truth behind the murder and catch the killer. 

Mini-Story 2: “The Stolen Relic”

There has been a string of robberies of smaller items from museums around the city. But,  when a valuable ancient relic worth millions is stolen from a prestigious museum, Detective Sterling is called in to catch the thief and retrieve the stolen relic. 

Mini-Story 3: “The Missing Heiress”

Detective Sterling is hired by the Pearson’s a wealthy family to find their missing daughter. All they know for sure is that their daughter was last seen at a high-end nightclub. The Pearson’s are a very powerful family that has made some enemies along the way and they are afraid one of them could be involved. Detective Sterling follows a trail of clues that leads to the discovery of blackmail and a web of deceit. 

Surrealist or fantastic mode: A young woman in her final year of law school was going about her typical day when she accidentally discovered she has the power to manipulate time. Law school is extremely difficult, especially in your final year. So, as any other law student would do upon discovering this power, she started by using it to give her more time to study and prepare for cases she was assisting on. However, after using her power a few times, she quickly realizes something is off. Whenever she manipulates time it changes something in the past that will eventually have far-reaching consequences in the present and future. Things start to get too out of hand and she must now start her journey fixing the damage done by her time manipulation in order to restore the natural flow of time. 

A personal anecdote as a fictional story: One night in late December it started to snow. Two friends were bored and wanted to go on an adventure. They wanted to drive up into the hills to find some snow. They did not intend to be up there very long or go up very far, so they went alone in one car. It is common knowledge that you should not be going up to find snow alone especially in the dark however, they did it anyways. They had a fun time but it was around 9 pm and the snow was getting heavier, so they decided it was time to head back. However, one of the friends wanted to try to make it up this one last hill before turning around which ended up getting them stuck. With no one knowing where they are and no tools to get them out, they have to use whatever they have in the car to break them free.

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Post #4: Diagrammatic Storytelling

Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses uses diagrammatic storytelling to tell a story through Alison Blake’s perspective. The story follows the interactions that occur within the Blake family from Alison’s point of view. Throughout the story, Alison tries to analyze and make sense of the actions and behaviors of her family members, Sasha (Mom), Drew (Dad), and Lincoln (Brother). Throughout the slides within the story, we are provided with information that Alison deems important in our understanding of her family dynamic.

The story’s conflict revolves around the relationships between the family members, or the lack thereof. I think that a majority of this conflict is centered around Alison’s father Drew due to the fact that Drew is hardly ever around and when he is home he is very distant and does not show much affection. It is also revealed that when he is home he uses gin to calm his anger which can be said to add to the conflict. In addition, he struggles a lot with connecting with his son Lincoln. I think that this is somewhat balanced out but also adds more conflict with Alison’s mother’s somewhat apparent favoritism towards Lincoln.

The conflict is resolved when Drew asks Alison to go on a walk with him in the desert. During this walk Drew starts a discussion about how he needs to do better with Lincoln. The conflict is therefore being resolved because Drew recognized the problem and is now trying to fix it. As for the change in characters, there is an inward change because nothing is really changing on the outside it is the inside that is being changed for the better with the mending and development of their relationships.

For my diagrammatic storytelling, I want to incorporate the visual aspects seen in Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses. The shapes and the colors help to move and allow the story and keep me engaged. In addition, I think that the placement of the text and the arrows/shapes leading the text made it easier to follow. With the text being so minimal, the visual elements really bring everything together and create a bigger impact on the story you are trying to tell.


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Post #3: Narrative Traditions II

The film I wanted to discuss in my blog post was the short film “160 Characters”. I chose this film because it was the one I was the most interested in. The story presented in the film is a personal story which is part of the reason I was drawn to it. Another reason I was drawn to it is because it is a story that I think tells a somewhat relatable story (in one way or another) with our day and age being absorbed in technology.

The film follows the story behind text messages over a decade from 2003 – 2015 between Victoria and her ex-partner. With that being said, the world in this story is built primarily from text messages with some dialog here and there to provide more context to the story behind the messages.

The conflict in this short film lies within the relationship or lack thereof at some points with Victoria and her ex-partner. Their relationship starts off well with the first text revealed from Victoria saying, “I had a great time last night” however, it quickly ends with a phone call from the ex-partner saying “it’s not you it’s me”. After the phone call, it is made known that Victoria is pregnant and is not with the father of the baby. So, we now have a conflict where Victoria finds out she is pregnant shortly after the father of her baby breaks things off with her. Following this, we now have another conflict with the continuous back-and-forth of the father’s involvement with the mother and the child. Therefore this short film does not follow the Aristotelian plot structure that we learned last week because the story does not develop around a single, clear conflict.


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Post #2: Narrative Traditions I

In the movie Fargo, the plot moves forward in a domino effect of bad decisions and actions. At the beginning of the movie, it is revealed that Jerry Lundegaard is in some sort of financial trouble. In order to escape this financial trouble Jerry wants to obtain his father-in-law’s money. To do this he contacts Shep Proudfoot who then sets up a meeting with Carl Showalter which ended up being a meeting with Carl and his partner Gaear. Jerry discussed a plan with Carl and Gaear to kidnap his wife Jean Lundegaard and demand a ransom of $80,000. Carl and Gaer would receive a tan Ciera in addition to half the ransom, $40,000. A seemingly simple plan that quickly turned sideways. In the process of kidnapping Jean and taking her to the cabin, Gaear killed a Minnesota State Trooper and two seemingly innocent bystanders who drove by the dead Trooper. As a kidnapping that was intended to have no physical harm to anyone quickly turns into a triple homicide Carl quickly becomes overpowered by stress and begins to panic, requesting $1 million as the new ransom which Jerry now gets no cut in the ransom. As tensions run high and Sheriff Marge Gunderson begins asking questions reckless decisions are made which lead to catastrophic consequences. Ultimately resulting in the death of Jean, her father Wade Gustafson, and Carl. As well as the arrests of Gaear and Carl.

When comparing Aristotle’s Poetics and the movie Fargo, the first connection I made was with Aristotle’s definition of tragedy. In chapter 6, Aristotle defined tragedy as “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude…” This stands true because Fargo is based on a true story that took place in Minnesota in 1987. So, it is therefore an imitation of an action (the kidnapping leading to a string of murders) that are serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude because it shows how one bad decision led to another which ultimately lead to a great deal of sadness with many innocent lives taken.

The second connection I made between the two was when Aristotle said, “Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves and these – thought and character – are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends.” This is something that I connected to Fargo because each of the characters had different personality traits that affected their decision-making. However, once the first person was murdered things started to spiral out of control which demonstrates an action that sprung, resulting in further actions which eventually led to failure.

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Post #1: Introduction

Hello everyone!

My name is Allison. This is my fourth semester at WSUV and I will be graduating in the Fall. Prior to coming here I went to Battle Ground High School and did running start at Clark College. I am a DTC major with a minor in Communication and just completed my Social Media Certificate. I took this class for two reasons. The first reason is because in all honesty I just needed an elective. However, when looking through my options I knew that this was the best option for me. This brings me to the second reason I wanted to take this class which is to challenge myself. Storytelling is not something I am not very good at. I don’t see myself as a creative person when it comes to writing/creating stories. I am the type of person who tends to overthink things and ends up just deleting everything I had written because I don’t think it is good enough. However, think that this class will help me improve my creative writing skills which will help me later on in my career path. After graduating I plan on going into Social Media Marketing.

I would say that my favorite genre of storytelling is probably mystery if I had to pick one. However, I also like horror, drama, and romance. As for my favorite story media, it would definitely be movies or TV shows. I like being able to physically see the characters and hear their distinct voice to be able to follow along with the story.

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