Gibson – Blog Post #11 (3/28)

Hey Everyone,

I checked out the story “Book From The Ground: From Point to Point” by Bing Xu. This is a short story told through icons on a Google Slideshow. This is a really interesting and different format for telling stories, as most works of fiction are told through written language, film, or some other more common method.

Our story starts off with a zoom in on the world, taking us down onto Earth and into a city where we eventually arrive at a bird singing in a tree. The bird singing leads to a man waking up and noticing the birds. The story continues from this point, doing things like showing us how he starts his day.

The various signs help us learn the story as it gives us visual images. Each of the images are connected to one another in the sense that their order is important. We can see an image of a camera zooming down onto a city from space because of the icons that show a planet and then a slightly more zoomed in version of that planet than a city than a slightly more zoomed in icon of that city.

For my own project, I might use similar icons to tell my story. I could use emojis from an iPhone to show off some kind of conversation between two people. Maybe the conversation goes south and so I use a red-faced emoji to express that.

– Gibson

Gibson – Blog Post #10 (3/21)

Hello everyone,

After checking out “My Boyfriend Came Back From The War,” I am a little bit confused on the story it was trying to tell. At one point I got the impression that the partner cheated on their boyfriend while they were deployed. There is a line that says something along the lines of “He was my neighbor” and shortly afterwards, there is the line “Forgive me.” that as well as some other lines gives me this impression.

As for whether or not this can be considered a story, technically yes. It’s sort of like a puzzle that readers have to fit together, as the story is not laid out in a direct and linear fashion like most stories do. It sort of reminds me of how games like Bioshock and Prey (2017) can tell stories. In both those games, there are audio logs scattered around the game’s map that can be listened to in different orders. Players will often listen to logs of overarching stories out of order, forcing them to piece together what happened in some of these audio logs.

I am kept engaged by these hyperlink stories because of the way that they uniquely present information to readers. It is different than a traditional book or movie and it feels more interactive.

I was very disappointed that I did not learn how to rob a bank from the second story. Oh well. This story uses its navigation structure of simply pressing on the spacebar to transition you through a linear story, allowing you to read it at your own pace. The linear sequencing is clear.

– Gibson

Blog Post #7 (2/21)

There are many differences between the original book and the film adaption of the story “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge,” written by Ambrose Bierce. One of the most obvious differences is that not all characters look the same in the movie as they are described in the book. Some characters appear to be a different age than what they were originally depicted as.

Another example of a noticeable difference between the two works is the fact that characters seem to be a lot more chatty in the book than they are in the show. The show seems to do a good job of “show don’t tell” with some characterization being done through shots of film instead of through dialogue like it is done in the book. This makes perfect sense given the medium that the story is being showcased in. This is most strongly noticeable in the introduction of the story.

As a result of this bigger emphasis of show don’t tell, there are many different camera shots used in order to tell the story that the author was trying to express. Because of the way a certain scene is filmed, it can invoke stronger emotions in the reader that are more intense than what we got in the book of the same name.

– Gibson

Blog Post #5 (2/7)

After reading part of the book “Understanding Comics,” there are several different ways that I could approach this next assignment. For one, I could use unique ways of sequencing text in order to get across my story. In the recent story that we read in class about the rock and role pauses (the name escapes me), the author used many different ways to relay information.

One example that comes to mind is when she used a graph of a cycle going in circles to explain the flow of a conversation that she was having with her mom. Using this style showed off how a conversation in their family typically flows and the fact that it is shown to be a cycle shows that these kinds of conversations happen a lot.

Time frames are a great way to communicate to readers about the order of events that are happening in the story. For my own assignment, I could have text flash on screen to say things such as, “1 Hour Earlier” to show off something important in the story. This might work well in something where there is a lot of drama happening. Maybe there’s a murder mystery that needs to be solved, and the author wants to cut to a flashback of a scene where two characters are arguing with one another in order to further the suspension and get readers more invested in the plot.

I doubt that I will write a murder mystery for my assignment, but it does still give me some ideas for things that I could do. I am probably going to be writing a sci-fi war story of some kind, and maybe within this story there could be cuts backwards in time to events that started the war and influenced the characters in the story. I will have to give it some thought.

– Gibson

5 Story Summaries

Classical Aristotelian 3-Part Structure

A young man is undergoing abuse at the hand of his narcissistic father. During the first part of the story, he undergoes intense abuse before finally rebelling against him, only to be shot down. The second part takes place over a decade later, in which he is finally able to kill his father and free himself of the abuse. In the third and final part, more years have passed, and he must now overcome the trauma he has faced in order to avoid passing it onto his daughter and continuing the cycle of abuse.

Kishotenketsu 4-Part Structure

A science-fantasy adventure that takes place in a world where a person’s thoughts and feelings can have real effects on their physical reality. The story starts by introducing the audience to a society full of war and violence, with many people obsessing over not having peace and desperately wanting war to end. The development sees the war get worse and worse, only for an ancient being to reveal that because they are so obsessed with not having peace, they continue to attract circumstances that make them obsessed for peace. The conclusion arrives when thoughts creating reality are revealed to the population, but they don’t believe it. They return to the never-ending cycle of war, while the protagonist is left to find their own peace.

Episodic Structure

A story about a battle in a sci-fi universe told through the perspectives of three different groups of people. There is the first faction and the second faction who are battling out against one another, and a group of civilians stuck in the middle simply trying to get out alive.

Surrealist/Fantasy Mode

A group of friends who have the ability to shift their consciousnesses to other realities find themselves stuck in a strange dimension surrounded by impossible terrain and fantastical creatures. This dimension is populated by strange flying creatures as well as an intelligent race of intelligent beings that are made of pure energy. It is unknown how the friends can escape and how this reality came to be.

Personal Anecdote

A short retelling about the time I accidentally set the fence on fire at my dad’s house during the Fourth of July. It humorously exaggerates my anxieties and fears that eventually come true as I nervously hold a roman candle the wrong way.

Blog Post #4 (1/31)

Hello everyone,

The story Great Rock n’Roll Pauses tells the story of a family who live in the desert. This family consists of a dad, who works as a doctor. A loving and supportive mom. A 12 year old daughter (and author of the story). And lastly, there is the older brother of the family–Lincoln–who has a hyper-fixation on pauses in rock and roll songs.

The conflict of the story revolves around the father and Lincoln. Lincoln is seemingly obsessed with the pauses found in rock songs, and seems to have little other interests besides this. He does not have any friends aside from his family members, and it is due to this special interest of his. His father wants Lincoln to develop interests in other things, so that his son can make some friends and live a more “normal” life. When Lincoln resists his attempts, this leads to him crying and the father regretting pushing his son so hard.

From reading this story, it seems that Lincoln is autistic. Autistic people tend to be extremely interested in only a few specific things/hobbies. These are called “special interests” and Lincoln has a special interest in the pauses in guitar rifts. Additionally, he has difficulty making friends, a trait commonly found in those with autism. Lastly, the scene where Lincoln begins crying and curls up into a ball after his dad gets upset with him gives me the impression that he is special needs.

While Lincoln does not change in the story, his father does change. He accepts his son’s limited interests and decides to be a better father to him.

This story inspired me when it comes to writing a diagrammatic story in one particular way. During the start of the story, it has a slow burn/pace and introduces readers to the characters. There is a lot of characterization, and we get a good idea of each of the characters by seeing all of these details that don’t impact the plot directly. I could write a story where I do the same thing, introducing all of these small characterizations to get readers invested in who they are reading about and to learn more about them.

– Gibson

Blog Post #3 (1/24)

Hello everyone,

The short film that I chose to watch was called “She And Her Cat.” It follows the story of a Japanese woman who adopts a male cat. The cat soon falls in love with her, and later on, in the story rejects the affection of a female cat that he later meets.

Toward the end of the story, the woman receives a phone call that causes her a great deal of distress. She starts to cry intensely and falls into a depression. The cat can’t do anything but comforts her. As time goes on, she eventually recovers and the show ends in a happy tone.

This short gives me “slice of life” vibes. There is no overarching conflict, just something that appears randomly and isn’t foreshadowed at all in the short, just like what can commonly happen in real life.

The short invoked feelings of nostalgia in me, as it reminded me of the cats I had in my childhood home. A lot of the things the cat said invoked feelings of romance and longing, which makes perfect sense given the tone and setup for the relationship between the cat and his owner.

The narrative structure that I found reminds me greatly of the kind found in the previously mentioned slice-of-life genre. It’s really just two people (or one person and a cat in this case) going about their lives and dealing with life’s mundane problems as they are handed to them. This makes the plot more relatable, but it comes at the cost of making the stakes much lower.

– Gibson

Blog Post #2 (1/17)

Hello everyone,

In the 90s crime drama/comedy Fargo, you see the story of a man named Jerry orchestrate his wife’s kidnapping. The reason why he does this is for money, but his reason for why he needs the money is unknown.

The action/rising tension of the story comes about with Jerry asking the two criminals to do the job, the criminals breaking into the house, and then escalating again to the triple homicide. This is one of two high points in the film where the tension is very high, and the story shifts dramatically.

There is another point in the story where things shift, that is when the funny-looking guy gets shot and then shoots and kills Gene’s father. The movie seems to shift to a much more nihilistic tone, as we find out shortly after that Gene has been killed by the other criminal and that Jerry is very likely to be caught and go to jail.

The rest of the film falls into the “Pity and fear” category of the tragic structure, becoming more anxiety-inducing and tragic as everything falls apart at an even greater pace than before. It’s hard to watch everything unfold while imagining Jerry’s son going through life with his mom and grandpa dead, and his father in jail for in-directly causing the deaths of them both.

If it wasn’t already obvious before, Jerry is a deeply selfish man who is never shown to really care about his wife or son. He only did it for money, and when everything falls apart his only concern is fleeing. He is never once shown genuinely caring about his son, or even asking if Gene is okay after the funny looking guy tells him that “…blood has been spilled.” The end of the film where he is shown crying and resisting the police as they arrest him put the nail in the coffin that he is a slimy, pathetic worm who only cares about himself.

– Gibson

Blog Post #1 (1/10)

Hello everyone,

My name is Gibson, and I am currently enrolled here at Washington State University with the intention of getting a certificate in game design. I am 23 years old and I am very passionate about video games, music, and animation.

The genre of storytelling that interests me the most is horror, specifically psychological horror. This brand of horror tries to get viewers/participants into a certain mental state to scare and disturb them. One of the most common ways of doing this is getting viewers attached to a certain character, and then putting that character through life-threatening situations.

Video games is by far my favorite medium for storytelling. I love the amount of interactivity in games, as well as the interactivity they provide for players. There is a lot of freedom in how a creator wants to make a game. They can make it very linear or very sandbox-like, for example. There are many things you can do with a game that would be much harder to do with a movie, such as providing players with choice in how they want to accomplish objectives and experience the story.

One of my favorite games would have to be Red Dead Redemption 2. This game tells the story of a man named Author Morgan, who runs with a gang of outlaws in the wild west. He starts off the game as a bad, cruel man, but evolves into a good soul and changes drastically through the course of the game. It’s one of the few games that have really made me cry.

– Gibson