Week 1 Blog Post: Self-Introduction

Hello there!

It’s very nice to be learning with you all. My name is Caleb and I’m pursuing a major in DTC with a double minor in business and film studies. I am a transfer student from Clark College, but I took about a 6 month break between Clark and WSU Vancouver to work and gather some income. I live in a coffee shop that my parents started themselves nearly 12 years ago.

Regarding storytelling, I’ve noticed that my interests fall in line with a lot of others in this class. I primarily enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and comedic stories whether it be on paper or on screen. From the works of Jordan Peele, James Cameron, JJ Abrams, and Christian Nolan to J.R.R Tolkien, Timothy Zhan, and Octavia E. Butler. These people have created some of the coolest stories I’ve ever seen/read. An interest that I’ve found over the past few years is that of storytelling through images. An increasingly notable author and artist by the name of Simon Stålenhag, who has published various art books with his “kitchen sink sci-fi” aesthetic, are now some of my favorite books that I own. While only his first two books do this, I enjoy his simplistic writing that leaves the audience to place the pieces together themselves of what story his artwork is conveying. His later works follow a linear storyline which is no less intriguing.

Video games are another platform of storytelling I engage with. The genres I play are pretty much identical to the films and novels I read. If a game has an interesting story that can hook me in with a trailer or clip, I’m sold. I think of God of War, The Last of Us, Halo Reach, Red Dead Redemption (1 and 2), and Spiritfarer just to name of few. I believe that video games are just as important of a storytelling platform as both books and film, especially in our current time.

I’m extremely stoked to read, hear, and watch the stories this class creates and hopefully gain some new skills myself in the process of becoming a better digital storyteller. Thank you!



Hi everyone!

My name is Brayden. I am a DTC major who is graduating this semester! I am taking this class because I love storytelling and thought that this would be an enjoyable elective. My favorite genres are horror, thriller, fantasy, and some sci-fi, but I enjoy dabbling in everything. I love character studies and stories that focus more on internal struggles. While I prefer these elements, if the story is well-written and holds my attention, I’ll gladly give it a chance.

Some of my favorite mediums for storytelling are books, films, and video games. I love exploring the different ways in which these three platforms can tell an impactful story. When creating my own stories, I prefer writing darker pieces that explore the mindsets of the characters and how it affects their current situation.

I’m excited to explore digital storytelling and see what creative projects I can create within our future projects. I’m also looking forward to seeing what everyone else creates!

Narrative Traditions I

Brayden Sathrum


DTC 354

The movie “Fargo” follows Jerry Lundegaard as he attempts to obtain money from his father-in-law by hiring criminals to kidnap his wife and demand a ransom. His seemingly simple plan quickly turns to disaster, resulting in the murders of numerous  people. The plotline of Fargo is only moved forward by the actions of the different characters. Jerry’s half-baked attempt at exhorting money from his father-in-law sets the rest of the story in motion, motivating others to make mistakes that continue the line of tragedy. Aristotle speaks on this notion in his book, “Poetics,” in which he discusses how tragedy is built in poetry. He describes how the most important function of a tragedy is the plot, as it is “the soul of a tragedy…the most beautiful colors, laid on confusingly, will not give as much pleasure as the chalk outline of a portrait.”

Along with this, Aristotle explains how a strong plot is formed and what it can achieve for a tragedy. “A well constructed plot should, therefore, be single in its issue, rather than double as some maintain.” He goes on to explain that the overarching conflict in a tragedy should come from a character’s actions rather than an outside source. Fargo executes Aristotle’s argument well. Everything that occurs in Fargo is a direct result of Jerry’s first major decision: hiring criminals to kidnap his wife. From there, a series of errors occurs that brings about the tragedies presented to us.

Unraveling the plot this way brings more than creating conflict. It also allows the viewer to understand the motivations and struggles of each character. While we don’t know why Jerry needs the money, we can see that he is a desperate man that’s willing to bend morals to achieve his goals. Inevitably, almost every character makes an angry or murderous decision that leads to their demise, all of which directly correlates to Jerry’s first choice. Each of these demonstrates a different side to the characters. While both criminals are morally gray, we can see through the way they deal with the situation how their perspectives differ. One is more emotional and hasty, while the other is methodical and mostly numb. Though each character’s viewpoint is different, none of them react in a way that doesn’t align with their established personality or what one could expect from a person realistically. Aristotle explains that this is key to a good tragedy, stating that “character must be true to life: or this is a distinct thing from goodness and propriety.” 

Exploring Fargo’s plot through the lens of Aristotle’s Poetics shows how well-written tragedies can be created. Having the storyline unfold through the action of one central character allows for the motivations and personalities of others to be explored naturally. In this way, nothing feels forced or uncharacteristic. Rather, characters are responding to the actions of someone else and have to make plays of their own, which are chosen based on their unique perspectives.

Week 1 Blog Post: Self-Introduction

tommy o.

Hello Storytellers!

I’m Tommy, a transfer student returning to school after a 30 year diversion; well, it was almost 30 years ago that I left the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This is my second term since coming back to school. I chose WSU-V specifically for the DTC program and its roots in both the arts and technology, two things that are dear to me. My main career was in global information security; Once a geek, always a geek. I am passionate about games of all kinds, video, board, role-playing, etc., and have a special place in my heart for collective storytelling. My goal in this class is to grow my skills as a storyteller.

Storytelling Genres: I favor sci-fi, fantasy, and psychological thrillers/horrors on screen. For books and comics I lean heavily toward horror and sci-fi. Sometimes I read fantasy, though not so much recently. For video games I prefer sci-fi, horror, and an occasional western theme. I tend toward single player mode and like to explore open-world environments. Although, all of my favorite games have very strong plot lines.

Story Media: I’m fascinated by short films. When time is tightly restricted it’s amazing to me how critical every aspect of sound and vision becomes to a well told story. Watching short films helps me better appreciate and digest longer format cinema. I read comics. I suppose it’s a similar attraction to short films, everything matters. Though video games have been important to me, I used to collect retro systems and games, I am not as interested in them currently. Or rather, my interests are focused elsewhere for now. I would not be interested in making video games, but the topic is a great discussion.

I am especially interested in seeing your various approaches to storytelling and creation in this class. I find other peoples’ perspectives an exciting prospect, and am curious to know more about your styles and processes.


Hello DTC 354 class!

My name is Sotheara (sew-tear-rah), or Sothe (sew-tea) for short. I am a senior and am retaking this class. The last time I took this class I got covid really bad. I have taken a few screenwriting courses at Portland Community College prior to transferring to WSU. I enjoy the story-building and character development aspect of the story-writing process– the things you don’t see. I have a certificate in Multimedia from PCC, so my interest in media crosses many different platforms/genres so it’s hard to pick. But what I will say is I enjoy the short format and stories that don’t have a lot of dialog but relies on character movement/body language and the environment to create a subjective story for the viewer to interrupt. I look forward to that aspect in our upcoming class projects.

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

Getting to Know Sammy

Hi all! Thanks for taking the time to read my post. My name is Sammy, I’m 24, and I’m pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with a minor in DTC. Right now, I bartend and cook at Underbar in downtown Vancouver. Come visit if you’d like! This is my first semester here at WSUV, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know more of you. I’m not very good at making the first move, but I’m really nice if you don’t mind striking up a conversation!

I watch and read a lot of different genres, but the ones I find myself going back to the most are romance, fantasy, and comedy. I tend to gravitate toward dramas as well, though I don’t actively seek it out. I think stories are usually more fun when they have some romance- except Top Gun, it was so unnecessary in my opinion. For the longest time I refused to say I liked fantasy, because to me, I thought it meant something Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. Nothing wrong with those, there were just other things that interested me more. But I’ve started to realize how vast the fantasy genre is- some of my favorite stories are actually categorized as fantasy. The appeal of comedy, I think, is self-explanatory.

The story media that interests me the most is categorized under graphic novels. I read a lot of Japanese manga growing up, though I read more Korean manwha these days, usually romance with drama and other themes. I read almost every day. I also enjoy watching animated shows. Anime, which you probably could’ve guessed, and mostly action or comedy. I don’t watch a whole lot of movies, but I’m obsessed with Studio Ghibli and have two tattoos of Ghibli characters. I like American animated shows as well! My coworker recommended to me the show Bee and Puppycat, which wikipedia classified as a fantasy dramedy. The whole series was the most zen psychedelic experience, and it ended having answered none of my questions. It was such a trip and I highly recommend it. Immediately after I did a complete 180 to rewatch Bojack Horseman, a black dramedy. A special mention that doesn’t quite fit are musicals. I’m a theatre kid at heart, truly. I enjoy many genres of musicals, as long as the songs are fun to sing along to.

Thanks for sticking through and reading! I hope some of you are into the same things, I would love to be able to geek about it together (particularly Bee and Puppycat).

See you in class,


^DTC354 after we all become besties

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

Introducing Me

Hey y’all! My name is Kira Podelco (she/her). I’m 20 yrs old, majoring in English Teaching w/o degree and double minoring in both Spanish and Creative Writing. As you may be able to tell from that information writing and storytelling are a big part of my life and have been since I was young. I started creating my own stories when I was roughly thirteen and ever since then I’ve been seeking out new ways to really bring them to life. I haven’t had a chance to practice much with digital storytelling tools, save for using Twine a few times, so I’m excited to see where this course takes me.

My favorite genres of story are romance and fantasy. I’m a sucker for a well-built romantic story and lets be honest, magic is just really cool. That being said, I’m usually not very picky with what I watch/read/listen to/etc. so long as the story is told well and the characters are well developed. I really adore musicals because even if you don’t see the play or movie, you can still get a good idea of the story from the tone and lyrics of the songs. I have a bit of a harder time with visual media such as movies and shows because I have a hard time sitting still for that long without being physically engaged in something else. Podcasts work very well for me because I can listen to them while playing games, doing homework, etc. However, what I want to learn about most is games and making games, because my younger brother makes his own games and I love watching his work come together and want to be able to better understand what he does. Overall though, I’m just excited to have the chance to learn about how I can use (and how others use) digital media to tell unique stories. Excited to work with you all and to bare witness to your creative styles!

-Kira P.