Final Project

For this assignment I wanted to improve my visual narrative because I thought that it wasn’t able to tell the story how I intended it. To improve it I added more images and some text to go with each image. I started by making a rough draft of the story I wanted to tell. Then based off of that I created pictures. Once I had all of the pictures I edited the story and shorted the text so that there was a small part of the story that fit with each image. I think that this version of my visual narrative turned out a lot better and it made the story more clear.

Here is the link to my final project


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Final Project

For my final project, I will be combining what we learned in the visual narrative modules and the hypertext and hypermedia module. The story will be presented through HTML and told through images that are accompanied by some text. Adding text will help make sure that the story is accurately understood. 

For my story, I will be using the classical Aristotelian three-part structure. The story is about a sheep herding dog who one day finds that his sheep have mysteriously disappeared. The dog, being the sheep’s protector, takes it upon himself to figure out what happened to his sheep. He begins to investigate by interviewing all of the other animals on the farm and begins to try and piece together the story in order to find his sheep and bring them home. 

To create this story I will start by using Adobe Illustrator to draw all of the images. I am going to be drawing my own images on Illustrator in order to ensure that every aspect of the images down to the smallest details, like the facial expressions of the animals, are exactly how I want them to be in order to get the story across correctly. Once I finish drawing I will be using HTML to put all the images in order and add text under them. I might also add some sound effects of background noise on the farm, like farm animal sounds, in order to help immerse the reader into the story.

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Story & Games

I don’t play video games so I don’t personally have a favorite video game that involves storytelling. However, my brother plays video games so I have seen him play a few games that seem to involve storytelling. The first game that comes to mind is Grand Theft Auto or GTA. I don’t know much about this game, but from the little bits that I have seen this game allows the player to freely roam the world. However, this is not the only thing that the player can do. There are also heist missions that must be completed in order to proceed through the storyline. I think that this mix between the structured missions and the ability to roam the world freely allows the player to become fully immersed in the world of the story. Additionally, with both the missions and the free roaming of the world there are consequences for the player’s actions. If the player commits a crime law enforcement will come looking for them. With that being said I think that the story world and the conflicts within the game are essential to the game. The whole game revolves around the story of the players committing heists and the conflicts before, after, and during the heists are crucial to the story. Additionally, I think that the immersion into the story world engages the player’s imagination and emotions. When the player is able to freely move around and do whatever they want in the world they could feel like they are connected to the player and maybe even that they are in the game.

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Symbol, Index & Icon

Symbols, indexes, and icons are used all the time and help a lot with the visualization of a story. In City Fish by J.R. Carpenter there are a lot of icons used that go along with the text. These icons immerse the reader into the story world by helping them visualize the setting. This is done a lot throughout this story, like when they were in Chinatown. The written description of what they are seeing while walking down the streets of Chinatown does a good job on its own of telling the reader what they are seeing. However, with the added icons of the heaps of leafy greens and the spiky fruit that surround the text, it helps the reader better visualize what these things look like. Another great use of icons is the maps that are placed throughout the story. These maps help show where that part of the story is taking place or if there is a change in setting. In my project, I want to try to use some of these same ideas. I would do this by putting icons of important aspects of the setting. This will not only help immerse the reader into my story, but it will ensure that what I am describing to the reader is accurately represented. I will also consider using a map in order to help set the scene. I think that this helps pulls the reader into the scene of the story.

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Hypertext and Hypermedia

I thought that all three of these hypertext stories were very different and interesting in their own ways, but I think that they all would be considered stories. For the first story, “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War” I had a hard time following along. There were so many different choices to click on that I felt overwhelmed and had a hard time putting the story together and following it throughout the sequence. 

However, with the second story, “How to Rob a Bank” I had a completely different experience. I thought that the structure of this story was very linear, which made it easy to identify the story and all of its different parts as well as follow along without getting lost. I also enjoyed the perspective that the story was told from. It helped us get inside the character’s head and it also helped us get to know the other characters in the story and their relationships as well. While this piece doesn’t give you choices I think that being able to pick the pace at which the story develops is a good way to make it interactive while still being linear.  

I think that the final story, “With Those We Love Alive” is a great hypertext story. The navigation structure of this story really helped bring you into the story world and let you walk around to explore your surroundings. There were many different choice options on each page, involving you in the story without feeling like you’ve lost your place in the story.

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Cinema Language


After watching the film adaptation of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and then reading the short story by Ambrose Bierce I noticed a few differences between the two works. The biggest and most noticeable difference between these two is in the beginning, specifically with the background. In the film, there isn’t really any background information. All we see is a sign on a tree that says anyone who messes with the railroads or bridges will be hanged and then the film goes straight to the bridge where we see the soldiers setting up for the hanging. But, in the short story, there is a large section of the story devoted to Peyton’s background telling us what happened leading up to the hanging so we understand why he is being hanged. However, we did not necessarily need all of the background information in the film because we are able to tell a lot about him and his situation based on everything that we are able to see, specifically the way that he dresses.

There were a lot of techniques used in the film that helped to successfully translate the effects in the short story. At the beginning of the film, they do a great job of setting the scene. Everything is moving slowly making us feel anxious about what is about to happen. Additionally, the way that the clips were filmed made us feel like we were seeing what Peyton is seeing, which also added to the anticipation and anxiety.

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Visual Narrative II


This is a story of a boy and his best friend. The series of pictures takes you into their relationship and takes you through their day. Starting with the dog waiting at the door for the boy to come home. Once the boy gets home you can see the dog is excited because he missed him and they begin to play. After getting tired from playing they lay on the couch together. For this story I focused on one of McCloud’s six panel-to-panel transitions. The transition that I used was action-to-action. This transition allows for you to see a larger part of their day in only a few pictures.  

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Visual Narrative I

Before reading “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud I had no clue how much thought went into every aspect of a comic book. I thought that the layout of all comic books were just the same, especially the spaces between the panels. But McCloud explained these spaces as gutters. In these gutters, the reader is able to make the two pictures or moments and connect them together. They also allow for the reader to fill in the gaps in the story, using context clues and previous knowledge, to infer what happens next. He describes different panel-to-panel transitions where this can be done. I want to try some of these out in my story because I think they make the story a lot more interesting and unique. 


Another aspect of the reading that I found very interesting and that I would like to use in my own digital storytelling is the different ways that time can be represented. There are a few different things that can be used to show that time is passing. The first way that is described is the size or amount of panels. Multiple of the same panel can be displayed to show a pause or the length of the panel can be stretched to be larger than the panels around it signifying a larger amount of time. The second way is to use text. This could either be from a conversation or representing sounds. When this text is put in order it will represent different actions and their reactions, therefore, indicating that time is passing during this. I want to use this aspect in my story because representing time is important, especially in a shorter story. I can use this to show that time is passing without needing to explain a lot.

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5 Story Summaries

Story 1: Classical Aristotelian 3-part structure

On the Bryan family farm the sheep-herding dog Jack begins to notice that some of his sheep are disappearing and no one knows why. As the sheep’s protector, Jack takes it upon himself to get to the bottom of this mystery. He starts interviewing all the other animals on the farm trying to piece together the story. During his investigation, he runs into some dangerous situations. Finally, he is able to get to the bottom of the mystery and save the sheep.


Story 2: Kishōtenketsu 4-part structure 

This story takes place on a farm in Oklahoma. In the beginning, we are introduced to the family. Then we begin to learn more about the farm, it’s animals, and their daily life taking care of everything. When one of their animals suddenly gets very sick and dies. Quickly, more animals are beginning to get sick. Worried about losing all of their animals, the farmer and his family work hard and figure out what was making the animals sick. They make the necessary changes they need to make to get their animals healthy again.


Story 3: Episodic structure 

These stories are about a family and their daily life but are told through the eyes of different members of the family: the parents, children, and even pets. We will be able to see their daily struggles and know their thoughts throughout the day, giving us insight into what each of their lives is like and how they are different from each other, even though some aspects of their day may be similar. Each of these stories will show how everyone views things differently and you don’t always know what someone is going through. 


Story 4: Surrealist or fantastic mode

Sarah comes home from school and walks into the front door of her house closing the door behind her. Only to realize that she is not home and the door that she walked in through has now disappeared. She was transported to another world and is now standing in the middle of a forest she has never seen before. After walking around and somewhat exploring this new world she comes across someone who tells her she has to help the beings in this world solve their problems in order to get back to her world.


Story 5: Personal anecdote as a fictional story

Hailey and her family were on vacation in Hawaii and they all wanted to go snorkeling because it was something they had never done before. Today was the perfect day, the sun was shining and the water was calm. They get in the water and begin swimming around looking for fish. But they had no luck, after half an hour of swimming they didn’t see anything. They started to get tired but Hailey decided that she would swim one more lap and she was glad that she did. She called her family to come over to her so she could show them what she found. 

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Post 4: Diagrammatic Storytelling

The story “Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses” is about a family told from the daughter, Alison’s, point of view. Alison tells this story through a diagrammatic slide show. In this slide show, she goes through the past, describes the characters, and explains how her dad is struggling to understand his son’s obsession with pauses in songs. 

The conflict occurs when the dad tries to figure out Lincoln’s obsessions with music, specifically the pauses in songs. Lincoln was playing the songs with pauses when his dad asked him why he liked them so much. He didn’t get the answer he was looking for so he snapped, causing Lincoln to cry and causing him to run inside. The mom explained the importance of the pauses and followed Lincoln into the house to comfort him. The conflict was resolved when Alison and her dad went on a walk into the desert. During their walk, Alison and her dad talk about many things. But most importantly she helps her dad understand the importance of the pauses. 

The characters’ changes throughout this story are internal. Especially with the dad, after he talks with Alison about Lincoln’s obsession with pauses, we know that he changes because the story ends with different graphs of pauses that he helped Lincoln recreate. This shows that he has begun to understand and connect with Lincoln and his obsession. 

The diagrammatic form of the story expressed the story elements of the plot and characters very well. I think this format helped the reader visualize the story better. For example, when Alison was talking about her mom’s collages she organized that slide to look like a collage. Also, when she was talking about saying good night to her brother through their shared wall, she used a block in between the text to represent the wall. For my diagrammatic story, I will use a lot of visual elements like shapes and charts. I’m not the best at storytelling so I think adding these different graphics will help the reader to better visualize the story. Along with the graphics I will use colors that represent that part of the story similar to how colors were used in “Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses’. 

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Narrative Traditions II

The short film that I decided to write about is “She and Her Cat” by Makoto Shinkai. This film shows the relationship between a cat and its owner through the cat’s point of view. The story starts with the women at the cat’s first meeting and then going through their daily life. As the story continues the cat meets a female cat who he rejects due to his strong love for the woman. Later on, the woman gets a phone call, but due to the fact that this is from the perspective of a cat, or just simply that it wasn’t important to the plot, we don’t know what happened on the phone call. We know as much as the cat knows which is whatever was said during the phone call that night made the woman very sad. The cat does the best he can to make her feel better by comforting her and eventually she is happy again.

This story doesn’t revolve around a clear central conflict. Instead, the structure of the story feels more relatable and natural, like we are looking at someone’s daily life. However, while it isn’t very straightforward, with the lack of certain aspects like background knowledge, there is still conflict. The conflict occurs during the phone call, but we don’t exactly know much about it. It is later resolved when the woman becomes happy again. There is also another conflict between the cat and his girlfriend when they argue because he has stronger feelings toward the woman.

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Post #2: Narrative Traditions I

The plot in the movie “Fargo” begins with Jerry Lundegaard meeting two criminals, Carl and Gaear, to plan the kidnapping of his wife in order to get money from his wealthy father-in-law, Wade Gustafson. Once the plan was put into action things quickly started to go wrong and problems continued throughout the whole movie. This accurately represents what Aristotle would call a well-constructed plot. To be a well-constructed plot he says it needs to “be single in its issue” and that the change of fortune should be from good to bad.

The change of fortune from good to bad shows a lot about each character. While these situations unfold we can not only see how they handle the situation, but we can also see how they interact with each other. From the start, when Jerry comes up with his plan, we can see that he is a desperate and selfish man. He continues to prove this as the story continues with each bump in the road. Then with the criminals, we are able to see that one is more emotional, talkative, and angry. While the other is emotionless, ruthless, and keeps to himself.

Aristotle explains an important aspect of a tragedy, which is fear and pity. He says “Such an effect is best produced when the events come on us by surprise; and the effect is heightened when, at the same time, they follow as cause and effect.” This is shown when the two kidnappers are on their way back with Jean and they get pulled over, which then causes a surprising domino effect of issues. Once the cop becomes suspicious of the two men Gaear decides the best solution is to kill him. But someone saw them while driving by which then led to a car chase that ended in a double homicide. This chain of cause and effects happened very quickly which added to the element of surprise. 


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Post #1: Introduction

Hi everyone!

My name is Kendall Brandon. I am 19 years old, I’m a senior here at Washington State University Vancouver, and I will be graduating in the Fall. I am majoring in DTC, minoring in Communications, and last semester I completed my Social Media Certificate. While I am taking this course as a requirement, I’m still very interested in the class and excited to learn more about storytelling. As of right now, I am not the greatest at creating and telling stories of my own, so I hope that this class will be able to help me strengthen those skills so I can improve as a storyteller. I am also hoping that this course will help me improve my creativity because that is something else that I tend to struggle with sometimes.

The genre of storytelling that interests me the most is probably drama or mystery. I think that these genres of storytelling interest me the most because they do a good job of captivating the audience and keeping their attention throughout the entire duration of the story. This captivation makes it a lot easier to immerse yourself in the story, which makes the story itself more interesting and enjoyable.

I think that my favorite medium for storytelling is movies, but sometimes I also enjoy novels. Usually, it is a lot easier for me to fully understand and comprehend the entire story if I can watch everything unfold instead of reading it. However, I think the story also influences the medium I choose.

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