During the Narrative Unit, we focused on a short story we wrote in English class and brought it to life using different programs. We created an audio book as well as an character design. Throughout my website, you can find both of these projects as well as the process I used to get to the final product. This unit not only helped me take my ideas and put them on paper, but also bring them to life using imagery and sound. This brought a new level of emotion to my story. I had to learn to show these emotions through sound and imagery and not just by using words.
On this page, you will be able to read my short story. We were given full creativty while writing this story and I went through multiple drafts before I wrote this one. I then recorded myself reading the story and brought it to Pro Tools. I then had to create a mood for my story using only music and sound effects. We were required to compose three music pieces, a character theme, a climax, and a resolution or end theme. I then added sound effects to add natural noises into my story.
A Wild Cry
Drew was blinded. The morning sun was beaming through the screen in his tent, directly hitting his face. He sat up from his makeshift bed and rubbed his hands together to warm them up from the frigid air. He reached over into his bag and pulled out his box of Cheerios as well as his mini calendar. He scraped a few Cheerios out of the box and threw them into his mouth. Drew pulled out a sharpie and opened the calendar to October. The boxes in the calendar were blank, only containing the date. He took the cap off the pen with his mouth and wrote “Day 1” in the box of Saturday, October 17. Directly after, he crossed the box out, putting an X on the entire thing. Drew then wrote “Day 2” on the next day and closed his calendar. The calendar and sharpie were thrown into the backpack as he went back for another scoop of cereal. His fingers began to become closer to nearing the bottom of the box. Drew pulled the box up to his eyes to examine how much was left. He shook the box in front of his eyes as if the Cheerios inside were hiding. None were. A sense of panic struck Drew as he began to frantically search his backpack, throwing the box to the side. From his backpack, he pulled out a small book. The cover read, “Camping Basics 101”. As he scurried through the pages, his breathing became heavy. The flipping of the pages began more urgent, only briefly looking at each page. His breathing came to a halt as he began to briskly read a page about hunting for your own food. He studied a diagram that explained how to create a simple trap and used his cereal box to make it. He got up and unzipped the door to his tent as he held his trap. He placed the trap on a rock a few feet away from the tent and went to find a place to wait. Drew slouched down next to a nearby oak tree and let out a quivering exhale. He surveyed the ground trying to find an object to distract himself. Looking into a puddle to the right of him, he caught a glimpse of himself. He styled his dark brown hair up with his fingers and continued to search the ground. Drew picked up a small stick from the ground and began to fiddle with it as if it were a pen. As his eyes were wandering, they suddenly locked on his camping book. In the bottom right corner of the book, there was a laminated sticker that read, “Property of Blairsville Foster Home”. There was a slight pause after Drew had read the sticker, but soon a sense of anger took over his face. He began to attack the corner of the book with his stick, using it like it was a knife. There was a look of revenge in Drew’s eyes as the laminated label was no longer readable. A sudden thud caused him to jolt up to his feet. Frightened, his eyes scanned his surroundings. He noticed his trap had fallen. With his shaky hands, he grabbed his pocket knife from his backpack and ran over to where the trap was lying. The adrenaline took over as he lifted up the trap without a plan. Sitting there, frozen, was a golden brown rabbit. It had big black eyes with long pointy ears. Frantically, Drew grabbed the rabbit by his back and lifted it up. His hands began to shake as the rest of his body was motionless. The rabbit stared into his eyes as if he knew what he was thinking. Drew was overcome with emotion and conflict as he couldn’t force himself to do it. The rabbit began thumping its legs in the air as it tried to free itself from Drews grip. He watched, almost mesmerized by the rhythm of the thumps. He shook all thoughts from his head and let instinct take over. He knelt down and pinned the rabbit against a rock. He pushed the pocket knife up to the rabbit’s throat as he gripped it around the waist. The rabbit began to squirm at a more rapid pace, thumping its legs faster and faster like it was mimicking Drew’s heartbeat. Tears began to consolidate in Drew’s eyes, blurring his vision. Drew tried to regain focus, wiping the tears away with his sleeve before he repressed the knife against the rabbit's throat with more force this time. The slow drizzle of tears down his face turned into a sob, taking over his whole body. Drew let out a deafening scream, almost involuntary. Tears stained the rock. His fist clenched down harder onto the knife as if he were trying to break it and pressed it up against his own throat now. The tears streamed as he began to think about which life would be harder to take, the rabbit’s or his own. Drew began to feel his body become weak. He watched as the squirming of the rabbit became violent last attempts to stay alive. He couldn’t do it, there was no way. Drew loosened his grip on the rabbit and watched as it flipped onto it’s back so expeditiously and bolted off. He laid his head down on the rock and broke down into a wail, coating the rock with a layer of tears, and continued to cry.
For our illustration, we were assigned to create an animal based character that represented our character from our story. The main and only character in my story, Drew, is a shy, antisocial teenager, so the choices for animals was instantly narrowed down for me. My character is a snail with a sloth face and fox ears and is sitting in the forest next to a river. After many hours and layers, I created my final product shown below as well as the steps I took to get there.
I started my brainstorm by thinking of the character traits for Drew. I then related them to animals I thought shared the same traits. My first sketch was pretty different from what I ended up with. I started with a sloth face and had a turtle shell body with a lizard tail. The only thing that stayed for my final design was the sloth.
We were assigned to take photos of example poses for our character.
My flash fiction is a story about an eighteen-year-old kid named Drew who has lived in a foster home his whole life. He has never been the social type and has lived most of his life in solitaire. After he never found himself a family, Drew became self-conscious and realized no one would ever want him. This motivated him to create a life of his own, escaping the foster home and living in the nearby woods. Once there, he is overwhelmed with the responsibilities and challenges of living a life in the woods. When he is faced with the obstacle of finding food, he has to come to a realization that he will have to hunt and kill. After he captures a rabbit through a homemade trap, he is overcome with extreme emotions as he is unable to get himself to kill it.
The character I created is a mixture of three different creatures, a snail, a fox, and a sloth. I started by creating the body of the snail. I chose the snail's body mostly because of the shell as it represents Drew’s antisocial attitude. The physical slug part of the body relates to Drew’s motivation, as snails are able to regenerate new body parts if needed. After finishing the body, I moved onto the sloth head. The sloth represents how Drew is always alone. Sloths are animals that spend most of their lives alone so I thought this would be a perfect fit to how Drew feels. The ears of the creature are fox ears. Just like Sloths, Foxes spend most of their lives solitary as well. I also wanted the ears to represent how Drew was paranoid in the forest and foxes are perfect for this because their sense of hearing is excellent. I wanted the background to represent the forest Drew is now calling home, including the vast amount of trees as well as the stream running through it.
On this page, you can listen to all of my music that was used in my audiobook. Each song brings a different mood to progress my story with emotion.
Main Character Theme
Another project we took on was creating a conjoined EDM song with our whole class. Everyone made an eight bar beat and then all of the beats were joined together to create our Exquisite Corpse. There is a screenshot of the eight bars I made using Reason.
Here is my audiobook. You can listen to all the pieces put together to make my final product. You will hear all three of my songs behind an audio track of me reading my short story. You may also hear some realistic sound effects in the background. Below is the link to my story.